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The Meaning of Natural Environments for Parents and Professionals

Campbell, Philippa H.; Sawyer, L. Brook; Muhlenhaupt, Mary

doi: 10.1097/IYC.0b013e3181bc4dd4

A total of 75 individuals participated in 1 of either 5 parent or 4 early intervention therapist focus groups. Groups were held regionally in a large mid-Atlantic state to explore the ways in which each group interpreted the concept of natural environments and to identify any differences in perspectives among parents and therapists. Transcribed audiotapes of the groups were analyzed qualitatively. Seven major themes emerged from the comments of both groups: definition, descriptions of services, what children learn, therapist as teacher, collaboration, sensitivity and respect, and expectations and logistics. From the 7 themes emerged 24 subthemes identified by one or both of the groups. Just under a third of the subthemes were identified by both groups, although the meaning of same-labeled subthemes may have been understood differently by each group.

Thomas Jefferson University, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

Corresponding Author: Philippa H. Campbell, 130 S 9th St, Ste 500, Philadelphia, PA 19107 (

©2009Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.