Research Output
Autistic adult perspectives on occupational therapy for Autistic children and youth
  The Autistic community values neurodiversity-positive approaches rather than behavioral interventions for Autistic children; however, little is known about what that would look like in occupational therapy. Frequently, researchers seek parent perspectives for understanding Autistic children’s preferences, while to date insufficient attention has been paid to Autistic adults as valuable informants on the Autistic experience of Autistic children. The objective of the study was to understand Autistic adult perspectives on pediatric occupational therapy for Autistic children. We sought and thematically analyzed data from a large Facebook group and an occupational therapy podcast on Autistic values, needs, and experiences in pediatric occupational therapy. Participants described wanting therapy that supported Autistic identities rather than trying to “fix” children, changing environments or tasks to promote participation, and setting goals that address self-advocacy and autonomy. Occupational therapy practitioners should critically reflect on their practice’s alignment with Autistic values and start to shift their practice as needed.

  • Type:


  • Date:

    17 June 2022

  • Publication Status:

    In Press

  • DOI:


  • Cross Ref:


  • ISSN:


  • Funders:

    Historic Funder (pre-Worktribe)


Sterman, J., Gustafson, E., Eisenmenger, L., Hamm, L., & Edwards, J. (in press). Autistic adult perspectives on occupational therapy for Autistic children and youth. OTJR: Occupation, Participation and Health,



self-determination, evidence-based practice, occupational justice, autism

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