Perspectives of the occupational therapist's role in early childhood intervention programs
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Early childhood intervention programs (ECI) provide therapy and educational services for infants and children from birth to three years of age. Occupational Therapists are key members of a team of therapists providing care to children and assisting their families with support services to aid them in caring for the child. Public Law 105-17, Part C, mandated the change from center-based services to therapy in the least restrictive environment. Challenges that occupational therapists encounter working in natural environments were identified as, limited space, lack of toys to stimulate the child, distractions during the therapy session, safety within the community and sanitation of the homes visited. How therapists adapt to these environmental challenges can be explained according to the Occupational Adaptation Frame of Reference (OA). Implications for practice and education for therapists working in early childhood programs were presented.