A Long-Term Leisure Program for Individuals with Intellectual Disability in Residential Care Settings: Research to Practice
Format of Original
Council for Exceptional Children, Division on Autism and Developmental Disabilities
Education and Training in Autism and Developmental Disabilities
We studied the effectiveness of an individually-tailored leisure program implemented by direct care staff in a residential program for 28 adults with severe to profound intellectual disability using a multiple baseline design across two homes over a 1½ year baseline and treatment period followed by another nearly 1½ year maintenance phase. The primary tool to assess program effectiveness was a simple and reliable direct observation measure of the percentage of time staff members were meaningfully engaged in leisure activities with the individuals with disability. After program effectiveness was established in the two experimental homes, it was expanded to nine new homes with 106 children and adults with disabilities. The outcome data for the expanded homes was similar to the original experimental homes. The challenges of implementing and maintaining a long-term leisure program in a residential setting are discussed.