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A phenomenological study on the play experiences among selected parents of children with disabilities in Mandaue City Central School.


Marie Kriezle  T. Bejerano,
Mary Rose T. Po,
Genecio M. Woo

Related Institution

College of Rehabilitative Sciences - Department of Occupational Therapy - Cebu Doctors' University

Publication Information

Publication Type
Thesis Degree
Occupational Therapy
Publication Date
March 2016


     The study aimed to explore the play experiences of parents with children with disabilities in Mandaue City Central School.  The researchers wanted to determine the common themes associated with their play experiences with their children. This study utilized a qualitative research design specifically phenomenological approach as a method in gathering the nature of the experience of the respondents in playing with their children. Individual voice-recorded interviews between the researchers and participants were utilized for obtainment and elaboration of data. A client-centered approach was used to understand the lived experience of the respondents, and a written account of the study was made. The study was conducted in Mandaue City Central School, a public school with Special Education classes recognized by the Department of Education, Mandaue Chapter.  The respondents were mothers and fathers of children with disabilities from levels 1-5 and have observed play experiences. Eleven parents of children with disabilities from levels one to nine participated in the study. The parents' ages ranged from late 20s to early 50s, with 10 of them being mothers and one being a father. These are parents of children with intellectual disorder, speech delay, autism spectrum disorder, seizure disorder and down syndrome, all claiming they had lived the play experience with their children with disabilities through this written account.

     Eleven (11) respondents participated in the study and three (3) major themes were found. First, parents of children with disabilities have the motive to let their children participate in play due to the benefits that they believe their children acquire from it, as well as seeing the improvements of their children. These include learning through fun activities freely-chosen by the child and acquire skills that are needed in real life. Second, the presence of various roles played by the parent in the family can directly affect their child's participation in play. Third, that existing feelings of stigma due to the lack of understanding from society and feelings of isolation that is self-imposed by the parent with a child with disability is still apparent and greatly affect the participation in the occupation of play. Feeling of frustration towards child's uncontrollable behaviors was also found to limit the parent to fully share the occupation of play with his or her child.

     Based on the results of the study, the themes of the parents' play experiences with their children with disabilities include realizing what is best for their children, the interplay of different existing roles and the feelings that impact participation It is recommended that the respondents engage in this parent-child occupation that is deemed meaningful to them, and be fully aware on the importance of play with their child despite the barriers that may be present. Occupational therapy administrators, students and faculty members could use the results of the study as basis in providing academic programs for students and in advocating the existing stigma in families with disability.  Occupational therapy practitioners could use the study as basis for establishing client-centered goals and interventions especially in community-based settings addressing the barriers to participation.


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Physical Location

LocationLocation CodeAvailable FormatAvailability
Cebu Doctors' University - Main Library U6 B397 2016 Fulltext Print Format

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