Gifty Abraham, O.T.D., OTR/L

Assistant Professor
Downers Grove, IL

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Dr. Abraham graduated with a Master of Science degree in occupational therapy and a Doctor of Occupational Therapy degree at the University of Illinois at Chicago. Dr. Abraham’s doctoral work focused on increasing awareness and confidence among practitioners to use occupation-centered model and assessments that systematically look at a child’s volition. The long term vision of her doctoral project was to increase the active engagement of children with disabilities in more meaningful occupations of choice, and in turn, increase participation and outcomes in occupations of development, learning and play.   

Dr. Abraham’s experience working with the pediatric population includes evaluating and treating children with a variety of conditions. She has conducted in-services that teach practitioners about the importance of evaluating and utilizing their client’s volitional information in outpatient settings. In an effort to serve the community, she continues to practice as a clinician in an outpatient setting.

She currently teaches pediatric courses, and mentors student research groups at Midwestern University.  She hopes to support and mentor future practitioners who will make an impact on the lives of many individuals and families.


Assistant Professor

Downers Grove, IL

College of Health Sciences - IL

Occupational Therapy

Occupational Therapy

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University of Illinois at Chicago | 2012 | O.T.D.
University of Illinois at Chicago | 2011 | M.S.
University of Illinois at Chicago | 2009 | B.S.

Courses Taught

OTHED 1545 OT Process: Children

OTHED 1645 OT Practice: Children 

OTHED 1777 Sensory Processing


Research shows that an effective way to improve a child's participation in everyday life is through active parental involvement. In my experience working with parents of children with disabilities, I have found that often parents feel inadequate and/or demonstrate poor self-efficacy. When parents of a child with disabilities have improved sense of competency, the overall intervention is noted to be effective and results in better outcomes. My research interests are about facilitating parental involvement during the OT process and developing measures of outcomes that document parental changes in self-efficacy and competence after OT interventions. 

Literature shows that large percentage of Americans identify spirituality as an important part of their life. According to our practice framework, spirituality and religious activities and expression are well within our realm of practice. In my personal and professional experience, faith-based organizations such as churches and community based programs geared for children often lack knowledge and strategies to support children with disabilities.  My research interests are about understanding how spirituality is currently addressed within OT practice, increasing awareness and confidence among leaders and volunteers in various faith-based settings to include children with disabilities, facilitate client- and family-centered practice by allowing family participation in meaningful activities such as religious observance. 


Mahoney, W., Villacrusis, M., Iwanski, B., Charman, A., Sompolski, M., & Abraham, G. (2019). Healthcare providers’ perceptions of hospital care with children with autism spectrum disorders [abstract]. Journal of Intellectual Disability Research, 63(7), 660. doi: 10.1111/jir.12652


Illinois Occupational Therapy Association

American Occupational Therapy Association 


University of Illinois at Chicago 5-Year Service Award