Addressing the Occupational Needs of Immigrant Children: A Pediatric Program




Lee, Caitlin

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Immigrant children are a deeply underserved population in the U.S., even though they comprise over a quarter of the pediatric population. Not only that, they face life-altering changes and challenges in their life, which negatively affects their participation in occupation. Despite their complex occupational therapy needs, there is a dearth of literature regarding the role of OT with immigrant children in the U.S. To address this problem, this capstone project aims to address this gap by providing resources, strategies, & education for the immigrant pediatric population through program development. The capstone student partnered with the Agape Clinic, a non-profit healthcare center, to develop occupation-based programming for their patients. The end product was a comprehensive, educational manual intended to educate caregivers and staff members of the occupational and mental health needs of immigrant children. Overall, the outcomes of the manual were found to have a positive impact on the clinic and future pediatric patients. More programs like these are needed to meet the occupational needs of immigrant children. It is important that OT practitioners grow experiences with this population to create culturally competent, effective, and client-centered interventions.



Occupational therapy, Pediatric occupational therapy, OT, Immigrant children, Immigrant pediatric population, Play, Mental health, Development, Program development