Early intervention in children (0-6 years) with a rare developmental disability: the occupational therapy role

Dall'Alba, Lucy, Gray, Marion, Williams, Gary, and Lowe, Sharon (2014) Early intervention in children (0-6 years) with a rare developmental disability: the occupational therapy role. Hong Kong Journal of Occupational Therapy, 24 (2). pp. 72-80.

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This study aims to explore the occupational therapists' role in early intervention for children diagnosed with a rare developmental disability.


A survey was distributed by mail or online, to eligible occupational therapists currently used by the Disability and Community Care Services throughout Queensland, Australia. Eligible occupational therapists were those working with children aged 0–6 years. Two in-depth phone interviews were also undertaken.


Eleven participants who had previously worked with at least one child with a rare developmental disability returned the survey. One participant nominated for a follow-up interview and a second interview with a speech and language pathologist was conducted to gain a multidisciplinary perspective. The most common areas requiring intervention were play support (85.3%), activities of daily living, communication, gross motor, and fine motor skills (79.4%).


Family-centred practice, play therapy, and individually tailored programmes are identified as key practice areas for this population. The important role occupational therapists play in early intervention teams is highlighted; however, further research is needed to develop the evidence base for best practice with particular rare developmental conditions.

Item ID: 38632
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1876-4398
Keywords: early intervention; occupational therapy; rare developmental disabilities
Date Deposited: 29 Apr 2015 04:29
FoR Codes: 11 MEDICAL AND HEALTH SCIENCES > 1103 Clinical Sciences > 110321 Rehabilitation and Therapy (excl Physiotherapy) @ 100%
SEO Codes: 92 HEALTH > 9202 Health and Support Services > 920201 Allied Health Therapies (excl. Mental Health Services) @ 50%
92 HEALTH > 9204 Public Health (excl. Specific Population Health) > 920403 Disability and Functional Capacity @ 50%
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