Title

Using Child Interviews to Enhance Our Understanding of the Perceived Occupational Barriers of Individuals with ASD

Start Time

4-10-2012 8:00 PM

End Time

4-10-2012 9:30 PM

Session Type

Event

Abstract

Introduction: Sensory features (e.g. sensory seeking, hyperresponsiveness, and hyporesponsiveness) have been reported in over 69% of children with autism spectrum disorders (ASD) (Baranek et al., 2006) and are considered to impact the occupations of children and their families (Bagby et al., 2012). Current understanding surrounding sensory features is limited to observation and parent report with a dearth of research providing insights into the child’s personal experiences. Although interviewing this population poses challenges, research suggests that children can enhance our understanding of their experiences through qualitative inquiry (Kortesluoma & Nikkonen, 2006) and that perspectives of children with ASD can be incorporated into the study of occupation (Spitzer, 2003).

Methods: Twelve children, ages 4-13, were selected from a larger study in which they met ASD criteria on the Autism Diagnostic Observation Schedule (ADOS), obtained elevated scores on the Sensory Experiences Questionnaire (SEQ), and were determined to have sufficient spoken-communication skills to participate in semi-structured interviews. Each child was initially videotaped during three sessions in their home engaging in sensory-related behaviors during their daily routines. From the videos, shorter clips were produced and used as probes to stimulate discussion and personal reflection during the interviews. Interview guides were individualized using data derived from video footage, parent interviews, and the SEQ. The interviews, lasting 15-50 minutes, were videotaped in the child’s home and transcribed verbatim.

Results: This poster will detail our methods with report of what investigators found effective (e.g. building rapport prior to interview, limiting distractors, and following the child’s interests) and challenging (e.g. inconsistent responses, perseverative language, and distractibility). We will present preliminary results of the child interviews alongside findings obtained with other methods (e.g. SEQ results and parent interview findings) to demonstrate the method’s potential for making unique contributions to our understanding of children’s experiences and occupational performance and participation. Suggestions for future directions to further this type of research will be discussed.

Discussion: It is critically important to include the perspectives of children with ASD in our understanding of supports and barriers to their occupational engagement. The methods described have demonstrated success with accessing personal accounts from the children and have potential for contributing to an enhanced phenomenological understanding of the occupational impacts of sensory features commonly seen in ASD.

Objectives for Poster Presentation:

  1. Present a novel method for interviewing children with ASD while acknowledging the challenges of conducting this type of research.
  2. Discuss preliminary findings of the study and demonstrate this method’s potential for unique contributions to our understanding of the occupations of children with ASD.
  3. Highlight the importance of including the perspectives of people with disabilities in the discussions about their perceived occupational supports and barriers rather than only allowing others to speak for them.
  4. Suggest future directions to further enhance our growing understanding of the occupational supports and barriers associated with ASD.

References

Bagby, M. S., Dickie, V. A., & Baranek, G. T. (2012). How sensory experiences of children with and without autism affect family occupations. American Journal of Occupational Therapy, 66, 78-86. http://dx.doi.org/10.5014/ajot.2012.000604

Baranek, G. T, David, F. J., Poe, M. D., Stone, W. L., & Watson, L. R. (2006). Sensory Experiences Questionnaire: Discriminating sensory features in young children with ASD, developmental delays, and typical development. Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry, 47, 591-601. http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1469-7610.2005.01546.x

Kortesluoma, R. & Nikkonen, M. (2006). ‘The most disgusting ever’: Children’s pain descriptions and views of the purpose of pain. Journal of Child Health Care, 10, 213-227. http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/1367493506066482

Spitzer, S. L. (2003) With and without words: Exploring occupation in relation to young children with autism. Journal of Occupational Science, 10, 67-79. http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/14427591.2003.9686513

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Oct 4th, 8:00 PM Oct 4th, 9:30 PM

Using Child Interviews to Enhance Our Understanding of the Perceived Occupational Barriers of Individuals with ASD

Introduction: Sensory features (e.g. sensory seeking, hyperresponsiveness, and hyporesponsiveness) have been reported in over 69% of children with autism spectrum disorders (ASD) (Baranek et al., 2006) and are considered to impact the occupations of children and their families (Bagby et al., 2012). Current understanding surrounding sensory features is limited to observation and parent report with a dearth of research providing insights into the child’s personal experiences. Although interviewing this population poses challenges, research suggests that children can enhance our understanding of their experiences through qualitative inquiry (Kortesluoma & Nikkonen, 2006) and that perspectives of children with ASD can be incorporated into the study of occupation (Spitzer, 2003).

Methods: Twelve children, ages 4-13, were selected from a larger study in which they met ASD criteria on the Autism Diagnostic Observation Schedule (ADOS), obtained elevated scores on the Sensory Experiences Questionnaire (SEQ), and were determined to have sufficient spoken-communication skills to participate in semi-structured interviews. Each child was initially videotaped during three sessions in their home engaging in sensory-related behaviors during their daily routines. From the videos, shorter clips were produced and used as probes to stimulate discussion and personal reflection during the interviews. Interview guides were individualized using data derived from video footage, parent interviews, and the SEQ. The interviews, lasting 15-50 minutes, were videotaped in the child’s home and transcribed verbatim.

Results: This poster will detail our methods with report of what investigators found effective (e.g. building rapport prior to interview, limiting distractors, and following the child’s interests) and challenging (e.g. inconsistent responses, perseverative language, and distractibility). We will present preliminary results of the child interviews alongside findings obtained with other methods (e.g. SEQ results and parent interview findings) to demonstrate the method’s potential for making unique contributions to our understanding of children’s experiences and occupational performance and participation. Suggestions for future directions to further this type of research will be discussed.

Discussion: It is critically important to include the perspectives of children with ASD in our understanding of supports and barriers to their occupational engagement. The methods described have demonstrated success with accessing personal accounts from the children and have potential for contributing to an enhanced phenomenological understanding of the occupational impacts of sensory features commonly seen in ASD.

Objectives for Poster Presentation:

  1. Present a novel method for interviewing children with ASD while acknowledging the challenges of conducting this type of research.
  2. Discuss preliminary findings of the study and demonstrate this method’s potential for unique contributions to our understanding of the occupations of children with ASD.
  3. Highlight the importance of including the perspectives of people with disabilities in the discussions about their perceived occupational supports and barriers rather than only allowing others to speak for them.
  4. Suggest future directions to further enhance our growing understanding of the occupational supports and barriers associated with ASD.