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Occupational Therapy Early Intervention in Indiana and Contiguous States

Thomas Fisher

Objective: This study examined the reasons why a particular discipline is chosen to provide early intervention services within the states of Indiana, Ohio, Illinois, Michigan and Kentucky, the perception of the personnel that determines appropriate disciplines, and the personnel understanding of that discipline’s scope of practice.

Method: A total of 72 early intervention personnel from Indiana, Ohio, Illinois, Michigan and Kentucky completed an online survey. IRB approval was obtained prior to the initiation of the study.

Results: Some determiners of early intervention services perceive an overlap in the services offered by occupational therapy and developmental therapy. Some participants acknowledged that occupational therapy services are underutilized; however, most believed services were utilized appropriately.

Conclusions: The perception of occupational therapy and developmental therapy scopes overlapping can result in a lack of referrals to the best discipline for a child’s need. Some barriers may exist to receiving occupational therapy in early intervention.