Disability Experiences of Childhood Therapy: Recollections and Recommendations for Pediatric Therapy
thesisposted on 19.10.2016, 00:00 by Faye H. Weinstein
This study retrospectively explored childhood PT experiences of eleven Disability Studies scholars with lifelong physical disabilities to: gain the developmental perspective of therapy, the effects of those experiences over time, and inform better pediatric PT practice and education. Eleven disability studies scholars participated in email interviews, or on the telephone as accommodation for access, about their childhood and teen physical therapy experiences. Demographic, physical therapy setting type and location information was also collected. Results were organized into six major themes: characteristics of positive and negative physical therapy experiences; PT in the family context; values conveyed through therapy; the quality of relationships with therapists; lasting developmental impact of therapy, including the development of disability identity and scholar perspectives; participant recommendations for current and future pediatric PT practice and educational programs; and implications for PTs working with adults with lifelong, very early onset, physical disabilities. Within those themes, there were 22 subthemes described. Member checking revealed that findings were relatable to more than the majority of the participants. Discussion related to themes; contributions to the literature; intersections with participant characteristics; limitations of the study; and recommendations for future research and application of the study’s findings.