Autism spectrum disorder is a developmental disability that has gained increasing attention in Malaysia. Much effort is
now being taken to include children with autism spectrum disorder in the school system, either in inclusive settings or
in special educational settings. However, this endeavor raises many challenges for the children with autism spectrum
disorder, their families and for service providers. The current study uses a qualitative approach to investigate parents’
perceptions of problems faced by their children with autism spectrum disorder in issues related to academic skills. A faceto-face
interview was performed with parents of children with autism spectrum disorders who were receiving occupational
therapy services for their difficulties in academic related skills. Findings indicate that most of the difficulties faced by these
children are related to skills needed to be accepted at school, such as ability to communicate and socialize and this often
limit their performance at school. These findings not only raise and discuss important implications for service providers
such as teachers, health care professionals and policy makers, but also lead to suggestions for future research.
Assessing a child’s functional abilities and limitations can provide useful information for occupational therapists to develop individualised intervention plans. Usually paediatric assessments require parents to rate their child on different domains of health and functional performance. To do so, parents need to be able to understand the assessment content and instructions to rate their child accurately. The primary purpose of this study was to examine if parents in Malaysia understood the content and instructions of three assessments: the Sensory Profile Caregiver Questionnaire (SP), the Sensory Processing Measure Home Form (SPM) and the Behaviour Rating Inventory of Executive Function Parent Form (BRIEF). The secondary purpose was to examine perceptions about the clarity and relevancy of each of the items in each assessment. Thirty parents, recruited using convenience sampling, completed a survey about the assessments. In general, the parents indicated no problems or only minor problems in understanding the content and instructions of all three assessments. The parents also provided comments to improve the clarity of the assessment items. Comments were primarily related to the terms or jargon language used. Elaborations of the terms or jargon were later provided based on the parents’ comments. All three assessments were identified as relevant to be used in the Malaysian population. The results suggest that all three assessments can be used by parents and are suitable to be implemented by occupational therapists working with children in Malaysia.
Kefungsian mobiliti dalam kalangan populasi warga emas merupakan elemen yang penting bagi kualiti hidup yang
lebih bermakna. Penilaian adalah penting untuk memastikan langkah-langkah sewajarnya boleh diambil demi
mengesan perubahan dalam kefungsian mobiliti. Terdapat pelbagai jenis penilaian mobiliti namun kebanyakan
kajian kebolehpercayaan ulang semula alat penilaian ini adalah berdasarkan kajian luar negara. Oleh itu, kajian
ini adalah untuk menentukan kebolehpercayaan tiga alat penilaian status kefungsian mobiliti terutama aktiviti fizikal
dalam kalangan warga emas. Seramai 60 orang warga emas dengan min umur 76.32 tahun dan sisihan piawai 8.66
terlibat dalam kajian kebolehpercayaan uji-ulang semula bagi tiga jenis alat penilaian; Ujian Berjalan Enam Minit
[Six-Minute Walk Test (6MWT)], Ujian Bangun dan Berjalan [Timed Up and Go Test (TUG)], Ujian Duduk-Berdiri [Sitto-Stand
Test (STS)]. Bacaan di ambil sebanyak dua kali dengan selang masa seminggu antara penilaian pertama dan
kedua. Korelasi Intra-Kelas [Intraclass Correlation (ICC)], Had Keserasian [Limits of Agreement (LOA)] dan Ralat
Pengukuran Piawai [Standard Error of Measurement (SEM)] dan diikuti kombinasi ketiga-tiga kaedah telah digunakan
dalam analisa data. Hasil kajian menunjukkan ketiga-tiga alat penilaian menggunakan metodologi analisis statistik
ICC, LOA, SEM dan kombinasi ketiga-tiga metodologi tersebut menunjukkan nilai kebolehpercayaan yang tinggi. Nilai
ICC bagi kesemua alat penilaian aktiviti melebihi 0.90 (ICC=0.94-0.99). Graf LOA menunjukkan wujudnya suatu tahap
kebolehpercayaan bagi kesemua alat penilaian aktiviti manakala peratus SEM pula merekodkan nilai kurang dari
10% (SEM%=0.95%-9.95%). Kesimpulannya, ketiga-tiga alat penilaian mempunyai ketekalan yang tinggi dan sesuai
digunakan sebagai salah satu alat penilaian kefungsian mobiliti bagi warga emas di Malaysia.
Children with dyslexia are commonly associated with gross motor difficulties. However, this non-literacy symptom is often overlooked as an important feature of dyslexia. Therefore, the aims of this study were to determine gross motor skills status among children with dyslexia and to compare the gross motor skills between younger and older children. A cross-sectional study was conducted on children with dyslexia from government schools and Dyslexia Association Malaysia. The participants were divided into two groups, namely younger (4 to 10 years) and older children (11 to 17 years old), and were recruited randomly. The gross motor skills were measured using the Bruininks-Oseretsky Test of Motor Proficiency, Second Edition (BOT-2) (subtests: Body Coordination, and, Strength and Agility) and the Movement Assessment Battery for Children, Second Edition (MABC-2) (subtest: Aiming and Catching). Standard scores and percentile rankings were used for statistical analysis. A total of 82 children with dyslexia were recruited for this study, consisted of younger (n = 57) and older groups of children (n = 25). The younger children were found to have a significantly lower performance in gross motor skills in Body Coordination (Mdn = 48, IQR = 26-63), compared to the older children, (Mdn = 54, IQR = 30-77), with a small effect size (r = -.25). There were no significant different for other findings. The older children were found to demonstrate the highest level of gross motor skills. This study may suggest the need for an early intervention program for young age children with dyslexia. Future studies that assess gross motor skills using longitudinal design are recommended to investigate the changes in gross motor performance over time.
The development of writing ability is not only important in building a child’s self-esteem, but also essential for academic success in school. Handwriting is an important skill that could affect students’ performance in most academic areas. This study aimed to review the effect of occupational therapy intervention in improving handwriting skills among preschool children. Relevant studies were systematically searched by using standardized keywords across three databases. The initial search identified 1,386 references. Of these studies, there were five quantitative studies that met the inclusion criteria and were methodologically appraised using the McMaster Critical Review Form–Quantitative Studies. All studies reported that preschool children with or without disabilities showed significant improvements in handwriting skills after receiving occupational therapy intervention. One study involved collaboration between teachers and occupational therapists in implementing intervention program to preschool students. Collaboration between teachers and occupational therapists was able to provide teachers with tools and skills that they can use to help students, with or without direct presence of occupational therapists. Overall, findings of this review indicated that preschool children could gain improvement in handwriting skills regardless of their conditions after receiving occupational therapy intervention programs.
Older adults residing in community, as well as those who are residing in institutional or care home may experience various cognitive, health and physical impairments that may affect their independence. Continuous supports are needed to manage most of their personal care activities which are usually managed by their family members, often without proper training or guidance. To date, there is no personal care module that can be used as a guideline by family members and paid caretakers. Therefore, this study aims to develop and validate a personal care module as a guideline in assisting older adults with more significant disabilities. This study was a three-phase study, involving (1) development of the personal care module, (2) focus group discussion with healthcare experts and (3) face and content validity by the expert reviewers. A total of 10 older adults participated in semi structured interview in phase one and 13 occupational therapists were involved as experts in evaluating the module in phase two and three, having between 5 to 25 years of working experiences. The finding reported a high content validity in the developed module ranging from 0.88 to 1.00 on six domains of personal hygiene, bathing, dressing, feeding, bed mobility and stairs climbing. This study provides a preliminary support for the developed personal care module as a valid instrument to be used as a guideline in managing personal care activities of older adults with more significant disabilities.
Inappropriate responses towards sensory input received from the environment, also known as sensory processing difficulties (SPD) may affect daily living activities of the children with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). Sensory Processing Measure Home Form (SPM Home Form) as a parent report measure for SPD is available in English and other foreign languages. To enhance the applicability and meaningfulness of SPM Home Form for the Malay speaking population, a study that focuses on translating, adapting, and validating the SPM Home Form into the Malay language was conducted. The development of the Malay version of the SPM Home Form (SPM-MV Home Form) involved three steps: 1) Item evaluation, 2) Forward and backward translation, and 3) Expert review and content validity. The process of translation and adaptation of the form was performed according to standard guidelines. No item was excluded from the original SPM Home Form as all the items were considered by the expert panel as appropriate and relevance to evaluate the activity and social participation among children in Malaysia. Content validity as measured by 10 experts in occupational therapy is high. The mean of sub-scales I-CVI is between 0.96 and 1.00. The total S-CVI of the form is 0.95 with sub-scales S-CVI range between 0.82 and 1.00. Cronbach’s alpha for internal consistency was reported at 0.80 and ICC for test-retest reliability ranged from 0.80 to 0.97. The SPM-MV Home Form has high potential to be used for assessing SPD among children ages 5-12 years in Malaysia.