The Acquisitional frame of reference emphasizes the use of teaching-learning process and activities analysis, to achieve the goal which is the acquisition of specific skills or appropriate behaviors required for optimal performance within an environment. It also emphasizes on the context of the environment, functional behaviors, and learned skills. Behaviors are viewed as a response to the environment. People learn new skills during interactions with the environment and therefore, the role of environment in eliciting adaptive response is the main reinforcer in this frame of reference. Functional behaviors are required for children to be succeed in participation in an environment. For example, grasping skill for participation in activities of daily living. Learned skills are required for children to perform in the specific environment. Optimally, both standardized and non-standardized assessments are used for evaluation. Therapists analyze the activity and understand the components to determine how these components interfere with the performance of the task. In a focused observation, therapists identify the positive and negative reinforcers of the environment, the strength of the child, and components with difficulty of the child. The quality of performance is usually not the main concern at the early stage of intervention. To reinforce the target skill/behavior, the individual will be required to work in an authentic and naturalistic environment. The child gets reinforcement for attempting and performing components of the skill, in the process, shaping the skill or behavior. As self-care is the primary area of concern in children, activities of daily living are often being intervened using this frame of reference. The mastery of skill will provide intrinsic reinforcement in motivating the child to generalize the learned skill or behavior.
Frame of reference
Domain of occupation
A behavior approach is applied in this frame of reference. Reinforcements are mainly used to shape the skill/behavior.
Luebben, A. J., & Royeen, C. B. (2010). An acquisitional frame of reference. In P. Kramer & J. Hinojosa (Eds.), Frames of reference for pediatric occupational therapy (3rd ed., pp. 461-488). Philadelphia: Lippincott Williams & Wilkins.
The behavioral frame of reference (FOR) emphasizes on the use of behavioral modification to shape behaviors, which purports to increase the tendency of adaptive behaviors or to decrease the probability of maladaptive learned behaviors. The key concepts in this FOR include:
Acquiring motor skill is a process that requires practices, feedback, and involvement of the learner. This frame of reference employs several principles from learning theory. It focuses on the child’s ability, characteristics of the task, skills required, environment, and regulatory conditions. Regulatory conditions are aspects of the environment that determine movement specifics, which are described in a continuum between closed and open tasks.
This frame of reference adapts a top-down approach to identify visual perceptual factors that limit an individual’s daily participation, and adaptive and compensation approaches are used to facilitate engagement in meaningful occupation. It uses theories from cognition, developmental psychology, education, and Warren’s developmental hierarchy of visual perceptual skills. Visual Perceptual skill development is viewed to be developed from a hierarchy, starting from oculomotor control, visual fields, visual acuity.
This framework aims to guide clinical reasoning with respect to describing, analyzing, and selecting a potential strategy for a client’s unique performance problem. It identifies seven general attributes that can be used to describe and organize cognitive strategies. They are:
The four-quadrant model of facilitated learning (4QM) is used by teachers and practitioners in selecting effective learning strategies based on changing needs of the learners during acquisition of new skills. When occupational therapists use skill acquisition as intervention strategy, the 4QM provides a way of understanding, planning, and organizing the use of learning strategies. Through acquiring occupational performance components, the goal is for improve performance in the targeted occupation.