Early intervention services of children with physical disabilities: complexity of child and family needs

Ziviani, Jenny, Darlington, Yvonne, Feeney, Rachel, Rodger, Sylvia and Watter, Pauline (2014) Early intervention services of children with physical disabilities: complexity of child and family needs. Australian Occupational Therapy Journal, 61 2: 67-75. doi:10.1111/1440-1630.12059

Author Ziviani, Jenny
Darlington, Yvonne
Feeney, Rachel
Rodger, Sylvia
Watter, Pauline
Title Early intervention services of children with physical disabilities: complexity of child and family needs
Journal name Australian Occupational Therapy Journal   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 0045-0766
Publication date 2014-04
Year available 2013
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1111/1440-1630.12059
Open Access Status
Volume 61
Issue 2
Start page 67
End page 75
Total pages 9
Place of publication Richmond, VIC, Australia
Publisher Wiley-Blackwell
Collection year 2014
Language eng
Formatted abstract
Background/aim: To gain insight into the special issues confronting parents when accessing early intervention for children with physical disabilities where child and/or family characteristics indicate complex needs within the unique Australian context.

Methods: Qualitative interviews with families receiving early intervention for their children with physical disabilities (N = 10). Families with complex circumstances such as having children with high support needs, those from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds, and single-parent families were recruited to the study. Families where parents had mental or health issues, parents/other family members had an identified disability, and/or where families lived in regional or rural locations were also purposively sampled.

Results: Participants highlighted issues around (i) the nature of early intervention services provided; (ii) the ways in which services were structured; and (ii) managing their child's needs/planning into the future. Parents stressed the importance of having access to a variety of early intervention services aside from therapy. They also emphasised the need for greater clarity about what to expect from services, the intensity of therapy, other services they could access and how long they would be able to receive these.

Conclusions: Despite their complex circumstances and needs, participants' experiences of accessing early intervention services were largely consistent with the broader research literature. Of the parents interviewed, those with health problems and single mothers expressed most apprehension about managing their child's needs and planning for the future.
Keyword Disability
Early intervention
Family-centred practice
Qualitative research
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Confirmed Code
Institutional Status UQ

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Created: Fri, 28 Jun 2013, 11:33:27 EST by Professor Sylvia Rodger on behalf of School of Health & Rehabilitation Sciences