Title: Parental Perceived Benefits and Limitations of Intervention Services for Children with Autism and Learned Strategies in Support of Individual Goal Achievement.
Researchers: Lori Silvanage-Charney, OTR/L; Kristin Karr, OTS; Jacqueline Kendona, OTS;
Brigid Lyman, OTR/L; Rachel Pirouz, OTS;
Research Committee Chair: Thomas Swartwood, MS OTR/L
Reader: Dr. Charles A. LaJeunesse, PhD
Objective- Considering the pervasiveness of the diagnosis of Autism Spectrum Disorder and the many challenges that the child and family face, the purpose of this study was to examine the lived experience of a group of mothers of children with Autism and understand the participants’ goals, aspirations and the perceived benefits and limitations of the services received.
Methods- Six semi-structured interviews were conducted using a phenomenological method of interactive dialogue and exchange. Transcripts were reviewed using Giorgi’s data analysis strategies. Participants raw data was transformed to meaning units. Triangulation was employed to enhance credibility of data analysis.
Results- Through analysis of the transcripts, four major themes emerged. The major themes included the mother’s advocacy for the care that her child receives, the need for the parent to have an effective form of communication with their child, parental hope for their child’s future and the importance of having patience and perseverance when the child is attempting to learn a new skill.
Conclusion- The participants interviewed in this study offered important information regarding their personal goals for their children diagnosed with Autism, their perceived benefits, and limitations of therapeutic services and they shared strategies they have found most helpful for raising a child on the spectrum.
Title: Comparison of a Hybrid Speech Input System and a Speech Recognition System on the Speed and Accuracy of Text Generation
Researchers: Dominick DelPrete, OTS, Kristi McCluskey, OTS, Alysa Scavone, OTS, and Megan Vascellaro, OTS
Research Committee Chair: Denis Anson, MS, OTR/L
Reader: Dr. Joseph Cipriani
While there are features that make electronic communication fast and convenient for able body people, these can act as barriers for individuals with disabilities. Dragon Naturally Speaking 10.0 is one software program that acts as a facilitator for text generation for individuals who cannot use the keyboard. The purpose of this research project was to determine whether the speed and accuracy of a hybrid text entry (speech and mouse emulation) system is greater than speech input alone. The study used a quasi-experimental A-B comparison design. The control group of subjects used standard speech recognition to replicate a complex word processing document, while the experimental group used a hybrid system combining speech recognition, head-controlled mouse, and on-screen keyboard to produce the same documents. Results showed that hybrid speech input provides significant speed advantages over speech alone. These results may lead therapists to recommend more effective access methods for people with disabilities.
Title: Video Games: Motivations for Playing
Researchers: Jessi Burgess, OTS, Russel Heerkens, OTS, Erin Kramer, OTS, and Monica Winshel, OTS
Research Committee Chair:Dr. Ellen McLaughlin
Reader: Dawn Evans, MS, OTR/L
The relationships between the experience of “flow” as described by Csikszentmihalyi (1997) and the type of motivation that drives college students to play video games were examined in order to provide knowledge about an occupation that has become a growing trend in our society. Occupational therapists focus on how an appropriate balance of occupations influences individuals’ lives. Using the Modified Gambling Passion Scale and the Dispositional Flow Scale-2, college students indicated their video game playing background and completed measures of the experience from their perspective. The passion for video game playing is conceptually based on past research that looked at the addictive behavior of gambling. Results demonstrated support for the relationship between the experience of flow and both harmonious and obsessive passion. A significant correlation was found between prior video game experience and the flow dimension (r = .288, p = .001). Results are discussed in relationship to prior research and future clinical directions.
Title: Understanding the Occupational Concerns within the Lives of Women with Spinal Cord Injury
Researchers: Allison DiFebo, OTS, Tracey Ganz, OTS, and Gina Pfeiffer, OTS
Research Committee Chair: Dr. Grace Fisher
Reader: Dr. Lalit Shah
The purpose of this study was to identify the primary occupational concerns of women with spinal cord injuries (SCI). To help identify these concerns we sought to answer questions pertaining to the occupational challenges faced by the participants, the way those challenges affected the quality of their lives, pre-injury to post-injury perspectives of their futures, adaptation methods, their goals, and necessary resources needed or available. Semi-structured interviews with three women were conducted by telephone to obtain information regarding their concerns associated with occupation, relationships, pregnancy/parenthood, sexuality, employment, life satisfaction, and healthcare. The results of the study showed that despite all of the difficulties faced, each woman was able to come to an understanding and accept the severity of her injury and its implications. Each woman obtained the necessary resources needed to move forward with her life. Differences were also noted, as each participant had unique experiences associated with her injury. It was concluded that advocacy and awareness of women with SCIs should be addressed more frequently, not only through support groups, but also in the literature, to properly understand their occupational concerns.