October 2021
Using the COPM in a Multidisciplinary Pediatric Setting

The newsletter this month is a case study submitted by Cynthia Lennon, OT Reg.(Ont.), who is an Occupational Therapist at KidsAbility Centre for Child Development, in Ontario, Canada. COPM Inc. would be very interested in adding more useful case studies to its website. If you would be interested in presenting one of your cases, please contact us.

Thomas is a bright, engaging 4-year-old boy with a diagnosis of cerebral palsy – quadriplegia. He was seen by a Speech-Language Pathologist and Occupational Therapist in the Augmentative Communication Clinic to assess his communication and technology access skills. After assessment, Thomas was prescribed a high-tech eye-tracking system for communication. Using such a system can be overwhelming for both Thomas and his parents. The team used the COPM to help Thomas’ parents identify the goals that they would like to work on. The COPM allowed his parents to dream about what they would like to see change in Thomas’ life now that he had access to a communication device and prioritize what their immediate goals were.

Thomas’ parents chose to prioritize his ability to greet people and play more interactively with his siblings. Thomas was always so excited to see people, but not everyone could interpret the excitement in his body language, meaning that he was often left out of the conversation. While his siblings were good about including Thomas in play, his parents wanted him to be able to take on a more active role. Thomas agreed with these goals with a huge smile! A final goal was identified, as his parents realized that in order for this to be successful, they would as a family need to work on integrating the new device into their daily lives.

Each team member worked with Thomas and his parents on integrating the new device into their daily lives and helped problem-solve as issues arose. At the one year mark, Thomas’ parents reported that the communication device had become part of their everyday routine. Thomas had several favourite greetings and was learning how to ask follow-up questions to keep conversations going. He was even playing “Simon Says” with his siblings and to guess hiding spots during hide and seek. Everyone was thrilled with the progress so far and were excited to see where Thomas would go next.

Occupational Performance Problem
Time 1 Time 2
Performance Satisfaction Performance Satisfaction
Greet people    2 2 5 8
Active role in play with siblings  4 3 6 7
Integrate the device into their lives 1 1 8 7
Total Scores: 7 6 19 22
Average Scores (Total Scores/number of problems): 2.33 2 6.33 7.33
Change Scores
(Time 2- Time 1):
Performance Satisfaction
+4 +5.33
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