Graduation Date


Document Type

Master's Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science in Occupational Therapy

Department or Program

Occupational Therapy

Department or Program Chair

Ruth Ramsey, EdD, OTR/L

First Reader

Julia Wilbarger, PhD, OTR/L

Second Reader

Jane Dressler, JD, OTR/L


At the request of Matrix Parent Network and the Marin Autism Collaborative, the project developers have gathered information in order to help parents of children with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) better understand Occupational Therapy (OT) in the school setting. The development of the resource guide consisted of three needs assessments to identify areas of occupational therapy in which parents required further clarification. After meeting with the director of parent services from Matrix Parent Network, and receiving the online survey results from twenty-eight parents in Marin County, who have children with ASD, the project developers identified areas of OT to focus on. The identified areas include OT assessments, goals, terminology and role in the IEP process. School based OTs in Marin County were consulted through an online survey in order to identify common assessments, interventions, and goals, along with any tips for parents in the IEP process. A resource guide was then created in order to organize and distribute this needed information to parents in Marin County. The information gathered from both surveys was used to help determine the content of the resource guide. The final resource guide was sent to parents and school-based occupational therapists in Marin County in order to be critiqued. Based on the positive feedback received, the project developers were successful in creating a booklet that succinctly conveys integral information to parents in Marin County. The information provided in the resource guide will allow parents to further understand OT in the IEP process, and in turn be a resource for advocating for their child with ASD. When knowledge of OT in the school setting is gained, the parents may feel more comfortable advocating for a positive change in their child’s life. The resource guide PDF will be available for download on the Matrix Parent Network website in January 2015.

Resource Guide Final.pdf (620 kB)
Understanding Occupational Therapy in the School Setting