July 01, 2015

OT Faculty Member Receives HRSA Grant

Teal Benevides, MS, OTR/L, Assistant Professor, Department of Occupational Therapy in Jefferson College of Health Professions, Thomas Jefferson University, recently received a one-year grant (R40 MC 26194-01-00) to investigate access to therapy services for children with autism spectrum disorders in two existing population-based datasets.  The project is funded by the Maternal and Child Health Research Program, Maternal and Child Health Bureau (Title V, Social Security Act), Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA), Department of Health and Human Services.

The study will explore children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and their experience accessing therapy services.  Many children with ASD receive services such as occupational therapy, physical therapy and speech therapy, but minimal research has been conducted to identify whether children are able to access these needed services.

“In this study, I aim to identify whether access to therapy services differs between children with ASD and other children with special healthcare needs,” said Benevides. “Additionally, I will examine factors that contribute to reduced access to therapy services for children with ASD. I hope that the study will provide insight into mutable factors that can be addressed in future studies to improve access for children with ASD.”

From her findings, Benevides will develop recommendations to inform policy, service delivery and training for therapy service providers.

For more information, contact Sienna Choi, 215-503-1918, sienna.choi@jefferson.edu.