• Gohar Hovyan
  • Zaruhi Harutyunyan



inclusive education, learners with special educational needs, school activity, participation, environment, occupational therapy


The aim of this study was to investigate the participation problems in school activities of the learners with special educational needs in order to establish the possible ways of Occupational Therapy intervention in school settings in Armenia. In total 111 learners with special educational needs were observed and their participation in educational and non-educational activities was assessed using the "Occupational Therapy School Skills Assessment'' tool. Since the educational environment considered being crucial for the learners’ participation, the school environment was observed to determine the features facilitating or burdening their involvement in all kinds of school activities.

Quantitative research methodology was used to outline and summarize the participation problems of learners with special educational needs for establishing the possible ways of Occupational Therapy intervention.

The results of this study highlighted that in the inclusive school in Armenia the learners with special educational needs still had participation restriction and their involvement in educational and non-educational activities was limited due to lack of individual skills and abilities, as well as not adapted environmental conditions. Learners with physical dysfunctions (62%) experienced mobility problems and had significant difficulties performing self-care activities, about 65% were not able to take part in outdoor events, permanent support and assistance were required. For the learners with autistic spectrum disorder (50%) communication with peers and staff members was still challenging and participation in the educational process was not effective.     


Agran, M., Blanchard, C., Wehmeyer, M. (2000). Promoting transition goals and self-determination through student-directed learning: The Self-Determined Learning Model of Instruction. Education and Training in Mental Retardation and Developmental Disabilities, 35, pp. 351-364.

Ainscow, M. (1999). Understanding the development of inclusive schools. London: Falmer.

American Occupational Therapy Association. (2014). Occupational therapy practice framework: domain and process (3rd ed.). American Journal of Occupational Therapy, 68(Suppl.1), S1–S48. Doi:

Andreeva, G. (2004). Psychology of social cognition. Tutorial. Art. 94-102.

Armstrong, D. (2012). Examining the evidence for interventions with children with developmental coordination disorder. British Journal of Occupational Therapy, 75(12), pp. 532-540.

Bazyk, S. and Cahill, S. (2015). “School-based occupational therapy,” in Occupational Therapy for Children and Adolescents, J. Case-Smith and J. O’Brien, Eds., pp. 664–703.

Bernal, J. (2009). Creating an Inclusive Society: Practical Strategies to Promote Social Integration, pp 8-11.

Case-Smith, J. (2015). Foundations and practice models for occupational therapy with children. Occupational therapy for children and adolescents, 7th ed., pp. 27-64.

Case-Smith, J., Holland, T., Lane, A., & White, S. (2012). Effect of a co-teaching handwriting program for first graders: One-group pretest–posttest design. American Journal of Occupational Therapy, 66, 396–405. http://dx.

Case-Smith, J., Weaver, L., & Holland, T. (2014). Effects of a classroom-embedded occupational therapist–teacher handwriting program for first-grade students. American Journal of Occupational Therapy, 68, 690–698. http://dx.

Cohn, E., and Lew, C. (2010). Occupational therapy’s perspective on the use of environments and contexts to support health and participation in occupations. American Journal of OT, 64(Suppl.), pp. 57–69.

Durlak, J., Dymnicki, A., Taylor, R. (2011). The impact of enhancing students’ social and emotional learning: A meta-analysis of school-based universal interventions. Child Development 82(1): 405–432.

Fisher, A., and Jones, K. (2014). Assessment of Motor and Process Skills. Vol. 2: User manual (8th ed.).

Harutyunyan, M. (2014). "The experience of schools implementing inclusive education in the Republic of Armenia, the role of the teacher the summary of the existing problems in the system", Problems of Special Education, Scientific-Methodological Journal, pp. 49-53.

Harutyunyan, Z., Hovyan, G. (2013). "Multidisciplinary team work as a precondition for effective organization of inclusive education", Pedagogy Scientific-Methodological Journal, 7, pp. 21-25.

Harutyunyan, M., Hovyan, G., & Harutyunyan, Z. (2018). “Pedagogical and rehabilitation support as a prerequisite for organizing effective inclusive education Priorities of Pedagogy and Modern Education”, Collection of articles of the International Scientific and Practical Conference, 05.03.2018. Penza ICNS "Science and Education", art. 300-303.

Haug, P. (2017). “Understanding inclusive education: ideals and reality,” Scandinavian Journal of Disability Research, vol. 19, no. 3, pp. 206–217.

Hemmingsson, H., Borell, L., Gustavsson, A. (2003). Participation in school: School assistants creating opportunities and obstacles for pupils with disabilities. Occupation, Participation and Health, 23 (3), pp. 88-98.

Howe, T., Roston, K., Sheu, C., & Hinojosa, J. (2013). Assessing handwriting intervention effectiveness in elementary school students: A two-group controlled study. American Journal of Occupational Therapy, 67, 19–26. Doi:

Hoy, M., Egan, M., & Feder, K. (2011). A systematic review of interventions to improve handwriting. Canadian Journal of Occupational Therapy, 78, 13–25. Doi:

Kardos, M., Prudhomme White, B. (2005). The role of the school-based occupational therapist in secondary education transition planning: Pilot survey study. American Journal of OT 59(2), pp. 173-180.

Law, M. (2002). “Participation in the occupations of everyday life,” American Journal of Occupational Therapy, vol. 56, no. 6, pp. 640–649.

Law, M., Haight, M., Willms, D. and et. al. (1999). Environmental factors affecting the occupations of children with physical disabilities, Journal of Occupational Science, Vol. 6, pp. 102-110.

Luria A., and Vygotski, L. (1965). The problem of localization of functions. Neuropsychology- N5.

Mackay, N., McCluskey, A., & Mayes, R. (2010). The Log Handwriting Program improved children’s writing legibility: A pretest–posttest study. American Journal of Occupational Therapy, 64, 30–36. Doi:

Mann, D., et al. (2015). Executive functioning: Relationship with high school student role performance. Open Journal of Occupational Therapy, 3(4).

McKown, C, Gumbiner, L., Russo, N. (2009). Social-emotional learning skill, self-regulation, and social competence in typically developing and clinic-referred children. Journal of Clinical Child & Adolescent Psychology 38(6): 858–871.

“Occupational Therapy School Skills Assessment”: Doi:

O’Conner, R., De Feyter, J., Carr, A. (2017). A review of the literature on social and emotional learning for students ages 3-8: Characteristics of effective social and emotional learning programs (Part 1 of 4). Doi:

Polichino, J. E. (2001). An education-based reasoning model to support best practices for school-based OT under IDEA 97. School System Special Interest Section Quarterly, 8(2), 1–4, 35.

Reid, D., Chiu, T., Sinclair, G., Wehrmann, S., and Naseer, Z. (2006). Outcomes of an occupational therapy school-based consultation service for students with fine motor difficulties. Canadian Journal of Occupational Therapy, 73, 2006, pp. 215-224.

Rens, L., and Joosten, A. (2014). Investigating the experiences in a school-based occupational therapy program to inform community-based pediatric occupational therapy practice. American Journal of Occupational Therapy, 61(3), pp. 148-158.

Resolution of Government of the Republic of Armenia. (2016). "On approving the action plan and schedule for the implementation of the general inclusive education system.", No. 6, February 18,

Saratikyan, L. (2013). "Problems of introduction of inclusive education system, training of specialists", Problems of pedagogy and psychology. Scientific journal of the interuniversity consortium (3), pp. 44-51.

Sayers, B. R. (2008). “Collaboration in school settings: a critical appraisal of the topic,” Journal of Occupational Therapy, Schools, & Early Intervention, vol. 1, no. 2, pp. 170–179.

Schneck, C., and Amundson, S. (2010). Prewriting and handwriting skills. In J. Case-Smith (Ed.), Occupational therapy for children (6th ed.). pp. 555-580.

Starczewska, A., Hodkinson, A., and Adams, G. (2012). Conceptions of inclusion and inclusive education: A critical examination of the perspectives and practices of teachers in Poland. Journal of Research in Special Educational Needs, 12 (3), pp. 162-169.

United Nations, “UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities,” (2006). Doi:

UNESCO. (1994). “The Salamanca statement and framework for action on special needs education”. Doi:

Universal Declaration of Human Rights, United Nations, (1948).

World Federation of Occupational Therapy. (2016). “Position statement. Occupational therapy services in school-based practice for children and youth”.

Yadov, V. (2007). Sociological Research: Methodology Program Methods, p. 102 - 105.



How to Cite





Most read articles by the same author(s)