Date of Award

Fall 12-2021

Document Type

OTD Capstone Project

Degree Name

Post Professional Occupational Therapy


Rehabilitation Sciences

Research Coordinator

Christine Raber, PHD, OTR/L

Program Director

Mikel Stone, OTD, OTR/L


Autism affects 1 in every 54 children and has been present in all racial, ethnic, and socioeconomic groups (Center for Disease Control and Prevention [CDC], 2020b). Every individual diagnosed with autism can have varying skills and abilities, when dysfunction occurs impacting engagement in everyday occupation, occupational therapy services may be recommended. One important area to consider during occupational therapy evaluation, in order to explain dysfunction, is the visual system (Zoltan, 2007). Efficiently comprehending information retrieved through the visual system is crucial for successful engagement in daily occupations. Ocular motor function is a fundamental skill as explained in Warren’s hierarchy of visual development and is required for developing comprehensive visual adaptation. Throughout the literature is has been made clear that there is a high prevalence of visual dysfunction among those with autism (Bakroon & Lakshminarayanan, 2016; Davis et al., 2006; Schmitt et al., 2014). Results from the conducted needs assessment indicate that occupational therapists have a general knowledge of ocular motor function, but do not feel equipped to address it in everyday practice. There is a great need for expanded knowledge and resources in occupational therapy practice in order to address ocular motor skill. To address the discovered area of limitation, ocular motor dysfunction in children with autism, a three-module education course was created for occupational therapy professionals. The education course developed meets a great need within the professional occupational therapy community and will serve as a resource for many therapists.


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