Christi Tuleja, OTR, Judi Rogers, OTR, & Megan Kirshbaum, PhD
(Through the Looking Glass, 2002)
Few occupational therapy schools include the topic of parenting with a
disability in their curricula, yet there are an estimated 8.4 million U.S.
families in which one or both parents have a disability. The population who can utilize adaptive babycare equipment is increasing as individuals with disabilities (e.g., cerebral palsy, spinal cord injuries, multiple sclerosis) and older individuals choose to become parents. An increase in the occurrence of repetitive stress injuries adds to the clientele that will benefit from occupational therapy practice addressing adaptive babycare equipment.
Developed from over ten years of clinical experience and research, the module introduces undergraduate or graduate level occupational therapy students to the provision of babycare intervention for parents with physical disabilities. This field-tested three hour module is designed to be presented in two sessions. It includes a videotape of parents using adaptive equipment for babycare activities, copies of Adaptive Babycare Equipment: Guidelines, Prototypes & Resources and an administrative manual which includes classroom instructions, readings, discussion
questions, case studies and an annotated bibliography.
- to examine socially held perceptions and personal feelings concerning parenting with a physical disability
- to understand that a parent's physical experience of doing a babycare activity may differ considerably from an observer's impression
- to become aware of the implications of family systems and cultural issues in intervention
- to consider both adaptive equipment and adaptive techniques as solutions to babycare barriers
- to problem-solve parents' babycare equipment needs
- to become aware of different approaches for different clinical situations (e.g., recent versus long term disability, stable versus progressive disability)
- to understand basic concepts in assessment, design and fabrication of adaptive babycare equipment
- to describe the potential impact of babycare adaptations on the infant-parent relationship, family systems and parent physical functioning