Media is loading

Date of Award

Spring 5-8-2021

Document Type

Oral Presentation/Poster

Degree Name

Doctor of Occupational Therapy (OTD)


Health Science

Faculty Mentor

Dr. Jessica McHugh, PhD, OTR/L, BCP


occupational therapy, community, family centered care, parent education

Subject Categories

Occupational Therapy


Abstract: The goal of this project was to gain advanced knowledge of the field of occupational therapy, utilizing advocacy and education to promote family centered care in the community-based setting. The 14-week capstone experience was conducted at South Dakota Parent Connection (SDPC), the state’s only parent training and information center. Practice was guided by the Family Centered Theory, Model of Human Occupation, and Ayres Sensory Integration® theory. The objectives centered around learning about the wants and needs of families in the Sioux Falls area, providing educational resources and experiential supports to families and siblings, increasing professional knowledge and skills, advocating for occupational therapy in community-based settings, and encouraging parent self-efficacy in navigating the world of disability services. The objectives were met through collaboration with staff members at SDPC, case discussion, parent education resource creation, sibling and family special programming, research, and continuing education courses. The occupational therapy student (OTS) gained insight on the needs of families in South Dakota; increased knowledge on the implementation of family centered care in the community; developed further understanding of how flexibility and lifelong learning can contribute to successful interprofessional experiences; and increased independence in content creation, parent education, and critical thinking. Occupational therapists have a unique skill set that allows them to adjust to the various needs of families while maintaining a holistic, functional, and meaningful approach.