Abstract

OBJECTIVE. The study describes the current role of occupational therapists in the transition of young children with special needs from early intervention to preschool and from preschool to kindergarten.

METHOD. Questionnaires were mailed to a random sample of 500 pediatric occupational therapists who are members of the American Occupational Therapy Association’s School System Special Interest Section.

RESULTS. The response rate was 44.3%, with 173 usable surveys. Approximately 40% of therapists working in the early-intervention-to-preschool transition and 32% of therapists working in the preschool-to-kindergarten transition reported not participating fully in the process. The primary barrier to full participation was “not enough time.” Evaluation was identified as the most frequently used strategy for participation. Only 23% of respondents reported receiving specialized transition training.

CONCLUSIONS. Although limited by a small sample, the study provides an initial description of occupational therapists’ participation in early childhood transitions.

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