Social participation frame of reference (FOR), focuses on the abilities needed to support children with typical to mild cognition functioning to engage in social participation in a socially acceptable manner. Without the proper way of communication socially amongst their peers, or caregivers, children with social participation dysfunction tend to have a difficult time forming meaningful relationships. This is not the only problem these children may face, it can also affect their family relationships as well as their academics.
This issue needs to be addressed while the child is still young to prevent them from growing up into adulthood with the problem which can further disable their daily occupational functioning. The author reminds the readers that social participation is an occupation and is just as important as academics. This FOR specifically focuses on two theories, acquisitional theory which is the establishment and promotion of the skills needed to be developed in order to allow engagement in social participation effectively and behavioral theory, which focuses on the different ways in which children learn to participate socially.
Occupational therapists have a responsibility to enhance social participation by doing an evaluation or observation of the child who may not be effectively engaged in social participation. This will help the OT to find out the underlying reasoning behind the lack of social engagement. The therapist must also consider possible factors such as the child’s social context, the demands of the activity/task which may be limiting the child from participation. The deficits of the child is another important factor that needs to be analyzed, this could be the main reason why the child has failed to engage socially.
Application The book introduced many different concepts which ties nicely together to explain the importance of daily social participation to children with disabilities and children without, and how the lack of social participation can greatly affect the child and their families. Temperament is a concept introduced in this FOR, is based on the individual ways in which we all deal with our emotions, motor and attentional reactivity and self-regulation. Children usually exhibit three different temperaments. The first temperament is the infant that is easy to please and adapts easily to their environment.
They are also known to have regular eating and sleeping patterns, and they are also attentive and cheerful with caregivers. The second child, reacts similar to the first child as long as their environment is consistent. This child is unable to deal with change. They may withdraw, become anxious and they also adapt slowly. The last child is difficult to please, have strong and frequent negative moods, irregular eating and sleep patterns. They are also less likely to respond to caregivers in a warm , cuddly fashion.
They tend to display : hyperactivity , hypersensitivity, distractibility, emotional liability or insatiability. Their social and physical world is also stressful for them as well as caregivers. This type of child is often labeled difficult. Reading this concept made me think about the types of children that I grew up with, most of us had very different personalities in the way in which we acted. Often times, the kids with the bad temper were described as bad, or disrespectful and some of the parents of the “good” kids would advice their children to stay away.
This behavior causes a lot of further damage to the child referred to as bad. They are often teased and alone during social interactions. This treatment from their peers , teachers and parents can make the child feel rejected from society. My thoughts on the actions from the parents were a concern that their “good” child may learn to imitate some of the bad behaviors of the difficult child. Based on my understanding of this chapter, temperament is not a contagious, is something that we are all individually born with which are evident even on the first days of life.
I also find it appalling that children described as bad/difficult are often automatically viewed as if they have a behavior problem without further investigation into the underlying reasons why the child may be acting in the way that they do. Future occupational therapist must make it a goal to educate caregivers as early as the stages of pregnancy on the different temperaments that a child could exhibit and the different ways to help the child improve by learning self regulation strategies in order to act accordingly with effortful control over emotions.
Emotional regulation is another concept I found very interesting and the way the book explained it was also very accurate. “It is the ability to take action by changing behavior to modify feeling states for the purpose of accomplishing interpersonal goals (Kramer, & Hinojosa, 2010). ” In order for one to exhibit emotional regulation, they must have control over their response in relation to their daily actions. I personally think that it takes a lot of self power and maximum control to always have your emotions under control and to also always act appropriately socially.
For example, someone may let out a loud cry in public if they are feeling overwhelmed without the ability to control their emotions. They may let themselves go at that moment and allow their emotions to take over. Society often look down on people like that. I feel that sometimes, society do not allow for emotions to show as this is seen as a weakness. Talking about your emotions and showing it freely especially when is needed I think will allow people to learn emotional regulation.
Reading this chapter revealed the importance of social participation to the well being of every child. If a child refuses to participate socially, it can affect many different areas of their lives: academically, forming meaningful relationships, friendships and even their families can be affected by this problem. I knew the lack social participation can create some problems for an individual but I did not know to what extent the problem created. Also social participation may be hard for children without disabilities but it is even harder for children with disabilities..
The chapter had many great ideas and concepts that I enjoyed reading about but I did not entirely agree with all the concepts in relation to social participation. The book stated the need for children with disabilities to gain social competence. It also stated that this skill will help children with disabilities to gain acceptance from their peers which will further allow them to develop friendships. This concept to me is not stated correctly, in that I find it a little insulting.
I think society need to shift their focus from doing whatever it take to “fix” people with disabilities to the focus of also teaching typical children without disabilities to learn to accept and socialize with other children unlike themselves. I truly believe that as a society we can benefit from interacting with people who are different from us. The book also stated the important of the problem I mentioned above , which is the integration of children with or without disabilities to engage in the classroom together and to learn about the different disabilities.
By so doing, I believe that society can slowly but surely change all the ugly perceptions about children with disabilities and kill all the misconceptions and stereotypes. As a future Occupation therapist, I can help advocate on this matter by educating my clients, running a group about the topic or make brochures to bring attention to the issue. Evaluation The author of the book Pediatric Occupational Therapy focus on the social participation frame of reference in chapter ten did an exceptional job in providing all the needed information to learn about the theory.
The pictures in the chapter were all good representations of the subject matter, especially for novice students first being exposed to this material. It gave a visual perception of the theory discussed; especially for readers who may be visual learners. It also had a guide to evaluation, which is extremely helpful to the novice occupational therapy student as we can learn about different ways to assess a client who may be dealing with a deficit in social participation and treatment ideas to help enhance social participation. The application to practice section is another favorite of mine as it shows how the FOR is applied.
Additionally, I appreciated the last section of case studies which helps to tie everything together and to make sure the reader has gained further understanding of the theory. One critique of the format and material included in the chapter would be that a lot of the information was very redundant; most of the concepts were repeated in different sections of the chapter. It would be beneficial if the author of the book ameliorate the chapters with less unnecessary information as this confuses the reader due to the disorganization of information which makes direct connections to the reading difficult.