Date of Award


Document Type

Oral Presentation/Poster

Degree Name

Doctor of Occupational Therapy (OTD)

Faculty Mentor

Shana Cerny, OTD, OTR/L, BCP, TBRI® Educator


pediatric occupational therapy, cash-based practice, DIRFloortime®, community outreach, sensory processing challenges, family-centered care

Subject Categories

Occupational Therapy


Providing optimal support for a pediatric client requires a family-centered, relationship-based approach from occupational therapy practitioners (OTPs). A child’s developmental challenges often impact family relationships, routines, and community-based occupational participation. OTPs are in a unique position to use their holistic lens and expansive training to support families beyond direct, 1:1 intervention. There is also a growing collection of evidence supporting developmental models, instead of behavioral approaches, to support children with development and occupational challenges and cultivate a lasting impact. This project explored how family education, community events, and the application of DIRFloortime® in a pediatric cash-based clinic could adequately support child development and family wellness. The OTS planned and executed two community events and three educational blog posts to nurture family involvement in their child’s development. The OTS intentionally addressed leadership and clinical development with advanced clinical practice and collaboration with the cash-based clinic’s interprofessional team. It was determined that families experience several developmental and sensory-based challenges that inhibit the child’s and the family’s everyday occupations. Second, DIRFloortime® is a valuable, effective practice model that utilizes positive relationships and affect to support children of all abilities and ages. Third, Cash-based practices offer a variety of opportunities for OTPs to apply creativity and leadership skills essential for filling gaps in family wellness and child development. OTPs should thoughtfully consider innovative ways to expand their clinical and professional skills to nurture pediatric development and empower the family unit.



To view the content in your browser, please download Adobe Reader or, alternately,
you may Download the file to your hard drive.

NOTE: The latest versions of Adobe Reader do not support viewing PDF files within Firefox on Mac OS and if you are using a modern (Intel) Mac, there is no official plugin for viewing PDF files within the browser window.