Faculty of Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences

Monash University

Undergraduate - Unit

This unit entry is for students who completed this unit in 2012 only. For students planning to study the unit, please refer to the unit indexes in the the current edition of the Handbook. If you have any queries contact the managing faculty for your course or area of study.

print version

6 points, SCA Band 2, 0.125 EFTSL

Refer to the specific census and withdrawal dates for the semester(s) in which this unit is offered, or view unit timetables.

FacultyFaculty of Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences
OfferedPeninsula First semester 2012 (Day)
Coordinator(s)Helen Bourke-Taylor


This course is about occupational therapy for young children with neurodevelopmental disabilities and their families. Etiology and epidemiology of conditions will be reviewed. The impact of accommodating the significant needs of a child with a disability in a family will be described and the impact on family member's and occupational therapy service delivery will be explored in depth. Students will learn about occupational therapy methods using the International Classification of Functioning and Disability (ICF) and family centred practice. Learning will be experienced in the online classroom environment and students will examine several case studies in detail.


  1. Compare the WHO ICF, Social model of disability, the premises of the United Nations Charter on the rights of children and occupational therapy practice for young children with delayed development and additional care needs.

  1. Evaluate the impact of a young child's disability on the occupations of the primary caregiver and the family.

  1. Demonstrate understanding of occupational therapy practice that accommodates the needs of the primary carer and other family members.

  1. Explain both typical and atypical childhood occupations and development in the first five years and the impact of major developmental disabilities.

  1. Evaluate the occupational therapy needs of a young child with developmental delay within the home, and community contexts.

  1. Design an occupational therapy program that is family centered and builds the young child's strengths, capabilities and participation in family life.

  1. Design an occupational therapy program that accommodates the needs of the primary caregiver.

  1. Select appropriate occupational therapy intervention applicable to young children with a range of different disabilities (i.e. Autism, cerebral palsy) to improve the development of capabilities in childhood occupations.

  1. Explain evidence based occupational therapy management options that the young child's participation in home, school and community life, as well as the families functioning.

  1. Develop professional report writing skills that aptly describe a child's capabilities, challenges that optimize the child's supports, in preparation for school entry.

12. Identify evidence-based practice approaches to occupational therapy interventions for young children with delayed development or diagnosis of a lifelong disability.


ssessment includes attendance requirements, a 30 minute presentation at a seminar (20% of mark) and submission of a 1,000 word summary (10% of mark), and active participation in online discussion boards, research reviews and proposals and short quizzes (3,500 words total over 8 weeks), contributing to the final grade (70%).

Chief examiner(s)

Helen Bourke-Taylor

Contact hours

3 per week

Off-campus attendance requirements

80 percent


Complete first year of occupational therapy degree