Scanned is a series of blogs which will scan research done by Indian occupational therapy authors who form the milestones for the development of evidence for the occupational therapy practise in India.

‘You are the parent, we are the professional’

This was one the themes arised in a qualitative study conducted on mothers of children with pervasive developmental disorders to understand the parents perception and their expectations of profession of sensory integration.

‘Sensory integrative services in India – a qualitative analysis of parent’s perspective.’ authored by Dr.Anjali Joshi and Co-authored by Dr.Ashwini Vaishampayam .

In last five years this study is the only qualitative study published in Indian Journal of Occupational therapy.( Vol. XL : No. 2 (May 2008 – August 2008).

The authors have used a phenomenological approach for the study forming a questionnaire of open ended questions. The data was analysed using the thematic approach. On consent 9 mothers were interviewed for an in-depth understanding of their perception of various issues.

Both the author’s coded the tape thus reducing the bias.

The important findings of this study are that parents want to be a part of their child’s therapy. The author’s observed that parents are seeking more information and are keen to understand therapy. The study indicated the importance of parent-therapist interaction from a parent’s perspective.

“My child requires lot of deep pressure. The moment there

is a temper tantrum; I give him a bear hug. There is an

immediate effect. It works 90% of the times.”

That’s what one of the parent said during the interview. Thus giving an understanding of the use of sensory integrative principles by parents, when handling their children.

A must read study to understand the use of qualitative approach and a peek in understanding the parent’s perspective about the therapist approach.

My suggestions :-

  • One of the parent’s named Ni said :-

“Except for a speech therapist from school, who, to some

extent takes my opinion into consideration, nobody is really

addressing my primary concerns”. (Ni)

The word ‘extent’ in the dialogue indicates that parents have expectations but the extents of these expectations are not known. And how many of these expectations are actually valid for an occupational therapist to solve them. Thus a further study must be conducted to understand the therapist’s perspective , since it’s a dynamic interactive process between the parent and the therapist.

  • A study into this extent of expectations of the parents from the therapist and the child should also be evaluated.
  • Nowdays researcher’s are video recording the interviews, as this helps in indicating facial expressions and hand gestures during the interview, which help in better understanding of the emotion behind a certain dialogue.

The article is  available on the following link :-