Targeting the school environment to enable participation: A scoping review

Scand J Occup Ther. 2022 Sep 28:1-13. doi: 10.1080/11038128.2022.2124190. Online ahead of print.

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Children with special educational needs experience limited levels of participation at school; their participation is influenced by the physical and social environment. Interventions that have been applied in school environments are described in the literature.

AIMS: To illustrate the main features of interventions targeting school environments to support participation of children with special educational needs in mainstream education.

MATERIALS AND METHODS: A scoping review using a qualitative, thematic analysis was conducted in May 2021.

RESULTS: We included a total of 20 articles. We found that intervention features contributed to children’s participation and targeted social and physical school environments. The majority of the intervention features focussed on applying supportive teaching methods to enable individual children’s participation. A small number of interventions described a systemic holistic approach that involved changes to the school environment. In these interventions, different professionals such as occupational therapists collaborated with teachers to adapt the school environment.

CONCLUSIONS AND SIGNIFICANCE: A shift from individual child-focussed to environment-focussed approaches that target all children’s participation could impact classroom setup and teachers’ roles. Occupational therapists’ expertise in matching school environments and task requirements with individual children’s needs could be valuable in their collaboration with schools to support this transition.

PMID:36170879 | DOI:10.1080/11038128.2022.2124190

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