presented by Heather Kuhaneck
This course is Part One in a two part series. Families of individuals with ASD face significant stressors that are well documented. However, most families are resilient and find ways to cope. Specific occupational therapy practices using principles of family centered care can encourage and support coping and resilience. Occupational therapists well versed in these practices may assist the family in “reframing,” improve parental self- efficacy, and promote optimism and hope.
Heather Kuhaneck, PhD OTR/L FAOTA, has practiced in pediatrics for over 25 years in rural and inner city schools, outpatient clinics specializing in OT using sensory integrative intervention, early intervention settings, inpatient settings, and privately in children’s homes. She currently is an associate professor at Sacred Heart University, teaching the pediatric content of the occupational therapy program and courses in research. Mrs. Kuhaneck is an editor or co-editor of three editions of Autism: A Comprehensive Occupational Therapy Approach, published by the American Occupational Therapy Association, a co-author of Activity Analysis, Creativity, and Playfulness in Pediatric Occupational Therapy: Making Play Just Right and a co-author of the Sensory Processing Measure and the Sensory Processing Measure-Preschool. She has written a variety of chapters, articles, and CE on CD on intervention with children with autism, promoting family resilience and coping in mothers of children with ASD.
This chapter will explain the types of stressors faced by families of children with ASD and will compare these families to typical families. This chapter provides the background for the rest of the content, and explains why it is important. This introduction will also provide case examples that highlight the importance of family centered care in relation to the family stressors. (Case one- child escaping from home and being found lying on the yellow lines in the road to look at the yellow paint. Case two- child who keeps undressing completely during his brother's soccer games and running in the field nude- embarrassing his brother who is playing, and forcing his mother to deal with this behavior rather than be able to relax and watch her other son play soccer.)
This chapter will define the terms coping and resilience and explain how they develop for families, and theories regarding family characteristics that promote and hinder both. This background is important for the course participant to understand as they are assessing family characteristics in order to potentially promote coping and resilience. This portion of the course will also discuss how to assess family coping and resilience through interview and describe specific areas of family functioning to ask about based on the literature.