Honors Theses and Capstones

Date of Award

Summer 2020

Project Type

Senior Honors Thesis

College or School



Occupational Therapy

Program or Major

Occupational Therapy

Degree Name

Bachelor of Science

First Advisor

Dr. Sarah Smith


The family unit is the driving force that creates a foundation for life satisfaction and wellbeing of a child that extends across the lifespan. Understanding family health and family participation in meaningful daily activities are critical components of family life lacking in current research, especially for families raising children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). This study seeks to determine the effectiveness of an occupational therapy intervention program designed to support families raising children with ASD to identify and overcome barriers to everyday family activities. The Healthy Families Flourish Program is a 10-session occupational therapy intervention program developed for this study which uses a coaching-based approach to support families. Recruitment of four participant is established using convenience sampling methods via social media platforms. The program is delivered via telehealth and consists of a six-phase coaching process in which family identified goals, strategies, and evaluation drives the occupational therapy process. Quantitative assessment methods before and after the intervention program determine if the program is effective in increasing family health and engagement in everyday family activities. Preliminary results indicate that the intervention program is effective in improving cohesion, engagement levels, and family communication among participant families. Expanding the current studies’ findings with further research may provide evidence to support occupational therapy practice via telehealth for families raising children with autism spectrum disorder desiring to improve family health and occupational participation.