Cultural Perspective - OT16

Cultural Perspective

Use of the Kawa Model for Families Raising Children With Disabilities

by Rondalyn Varney Whitney, PhD, OT/L
(4.3 / 78 ratings )

This course is credentialed for:
Occupational Therapy (0.10 AOTA CEU)

Price: $19.00
CE-PRO Price: $9.50


Each culture has its own unique attitudes, beliefs and ideologies that become the foundation of its habits, routines and rituals. In our Western culture, we value independence; we feel the individual is responsible for self and for self-actualization, and we value the capacity to master the environment and control our circumstances. Any barrier to independence is seen as something we need to fix, move or cure. Occupational therapy was created and developed in this Western philosophical tradition; however, looking at the family dynamic through an Eastern lens, perhaps we can reframe our approach and our understanding of wellness. In the case of a child with a disability, the Eastern philosophy proposes the family, then, is ultimately responsible for its own outcomes, and is responsible as a unit to help the family, as well as the child, overcome any challenges together.


The goal of this program on the Kawa Model is to present occupational therapists and other healthcare practitioners with an Eastern philosophy of client and family management, operationalized through an occupational therapy theory in the evaluation and treatment of pediatric psychopathology. After you study the information presented here, you will be able to:
  • Describe the Kawa Model developed by Michael Iwama and the application to occupational therapy practice with children and families
  • Explore systems-oriented concepts in treatment that promote greater and more durable health, wellness and the capacity for resilience
  • Identify treatment strategies that are aligned both with the Kawa Model as well as the Occupational Therapy Practice Framework


Content Level: Intermediate
Instructional Method: Online Course — Narrative
Content Focus
Domain of OT: Client Factors
Domain of OT: Context and Environment


Accreditation Information

This course is intended for occupational therapists. 
OnCourse Learning is an approved provider of continuing education for occupational therapists by the American Occupational Therapy Association. AOTA does not endorse specific course content, products, or clinical procedures.
OnCourse Learning is also accredited by the Florida Board of Occupational Therapy (provider # FBN 50-1489).

Course Originally Released on: 5/28/2012
Date of Most Recent Review: 5/28/2012
Course Termination/Update Date: 5/28/2015

Unless stated above, the planners and authors of this course have declared no relevant conflicts of interest that relate to this educational activity. OnCourse Learning guarantees this educational activity is free from bias.

Please see CE Course Instructions to learn how to earn CE credit for this module.


For Florida professionals:

This course completion will be electronically reported to CE Broker as required per Florida Statute 456.025(7). Click here to view your CE Broker transcript and check the status of your CE requirements with a FREE 7-day CE Broker trial subscription. It may take up to 24 hours for the course to appear on your CE Broker transcript.

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Mark M - Buda, TX  ·  May 22, 2017
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Ronit H - Beverly Hills , CA  ·  Jan 22, 2017
Interesting perspective, well written
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Kimberly J - Otisville, NY  ·  Apr 04, 2016
It was interesting to hear of a different perspective and a way to help the family work together.
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Amy B - Atwood, CO  ·  Feb 03, 2016
Excellent ideas and story
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Lori C - Cornville, AZ  ·  Jan 02, 2016
A great resource for an OT to re-assess his or her approach to the family of a child with a disability.
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Price: $19.00
CE-PRO Price: $9.50