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Scandinavian Journal of Occupational Therapy, Essay Example

Pages: 1

Words: 298

Essay

Author’s Main Point:  When working with infants and children, occupational therapists must create a collaborative relationship with parents in order to create a therapeutic environment that stimulates attachment through family-centered care.

-Majority of recent research has focused on occupational goals as they relate to the receipt of services and the implementation of structured plans.

– The importance of using occupational therapy to strengthen family relationships and create strong and successful home routines has been overlooked in most research.

Case Study:  Price and Milner (2009) evaluate the manner in which NICU occupational therapist Erin worked with mother Carmen, primarily in the area of feeding, to support and bolster the bonding process between Carmen and her infant daughter Mikala.

Enabling Competence & Confidence:    Occupational therapist supported Carmen in developing safe and effective methods to feed her daughter while working to demonstrate that Carmen was capable of attaching to her daughter emotionally.

Scaffolding/Promoting Confidence:  Erin utilized a systematic approach to developing Carmen’s confidence that was rooted in the creation of an interactive and instructional relationship between occupational therapist and mother.  Functions included direction maintenance, demonstration, and frustration control.

Reinterpreting the Meaning of Parenting/Promoting Confidence:  Mentoring role of occupational therapist emphasized procedural approaches to parenting in tandem with developing emotional relationship between mother and daughter.

Results:  This collaborative approach resulted in increased parental confidence for Carmen, who took her daughter home from the NICU with a practical skill set and emotional security that had been developed by occupational therapist Erin through modelling, collaboration, and the creation of an individualized parenting narrative.

Implications for Occupational Therapy:  Biomedical approaches often take precedence in therapeutic work between occupational therapists and infants and young children, with very little interaction between therapist and parent.  Erin’s collaborative approach demonstrates the value of family-centered care in situating parents to effectively and confidently engage in the bonding process.

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