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The purpose of the study was to analyze parents’ perceptions of their participation in a university-directed, parent-implemented, home-based pediatric strength intervention program as (a) one approach to evaluating the effectiveness of a program conducted over a 4-year period with families of infants and toddlers with Down syndrome and (b) a means of deriving guidelines for future early intervention programs. Participants were 22 parents from 11 families of children with Down syndrome; the children ranged in age from 6 to 42 months. Participatory evaluation research, semistructured audio recorded home interviews, and qualitative content analysis were used. The results indicated that the parents (a) perceived themselves as being empowered to implement the program, (b) perceived their expectations about improved motor development of their children had been met, and (c) perceived the program was worthwhile. The parents’ perceptions provided meaningful evaluation data that enabled the development of guidelines for future pediatric strength intervention programs.
Kristi Sayers is with the Department of Human Studies, University of Alabama, Birmingham, 35294-1250. E-mail <firstname.lastname@example.org>. Jo E. Cowden is with the Department of Human Performance and Health Promotion at the University of New Orleans, LA. Claudine Sherrill is with the Department of Kinesiology at Texas Woman’s University in Denton, TX.