Aims: Due to the lack of tools evaluating participation of children with ASD in the educational setting, this study aimed to adapt the Structured Preschool Participation Observation (SPO), which assess the participation of preschool children attending mainstream-educational settings to children with ASD attending non-inclusive special education (content validity), to measure its initial psychometric properties (internal reliability, inter-rater reliability), and to describe children’s participation characteristics, creating an effective tool to fill this gap. Methods: Content validity was evaluated by 21 experts using questionnaires. Thirty-five children with ASD were observed in their educational setting using the adapted tool (SPO-ASD). Results: Content validity was satisfactory regarding the items and their classification into occupational areas. Moderate to excellent internal consistency (α =.73–.92) and inter-rater reliability (ICC =.61–.95, p<.05) were found for all scales and most areas. Children’s participation frequency was high in learning and activities of daily living (ADL), low in play and social participation. Performance level was low in social participation. Enjoyment level was low, and needed assistance in ADL was high. Conclusions: Based on our initial evaluation, the SPO-ASD may be suitable for assessing participation of children with ASD attending special education preschools. Additional studies are needed to more securely establish its psychometric properties.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
This research received no specific support. We are grateful to the occupational therapists and the educational teams who participated in this study, as well as to the children and their parents.
© 2021 Taylor & Francis Group, LLC.
- Autistic spectrum disorder