Date of Award

January 2012

Degree Type

Open Access Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

Department

Occupational Science and Occupational Therapy

First Advisor

MaryEllen Thompson

Department Affiliation

Occupational Science and Occupational Therapy

Abstract

Students with disabilities have poor adult outcomes following high school compared to students without disabilities. Issues including poor self-determination, limited work and community experiences, and poor life skills contribute to poor adult outcomes. Occupational therapists possess unique skills that guide intervention in these areas. Despite explicit skills, occupational therapists are currently not predominate service providers in secondary transition services for students with disabilities. This study focused on transition-related intervention approaches used by occupational therapists in the Arizona Peoria Unified School District. Data was collected through qualitative research of a larger study designed to establish the role for occupational therapy in effective transition programming. Application of grounded theory methodology revealed themes describing how occupational therapists utilize transition-related approaches. Themes included collaboration with team members, occupational therapists' transition repertoire, specific interventions, and therapists' perspectives of students. Application of findings will enhance multi-disciplinary understanding of occupational therapy's role in secondary transition-related intervention approaches.

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