Open Access Open Access  Restricted Access Subscription or Fee Access

Development and evaluation of a family recreation intervention for families with an adolescent with an autism spectrum disorder

Jasmine Townsend, PhD, CTRS, Marieke Van Puymbroeck, PhD, CTRS

Abstract


Families with an adolescent with an autism spectrum disorder (ASD) face a variety of barriers in their attempts to participate in recreation activities in their communities, including the fact that few family recreation programs exist for these families. The purpose of this article is to describe the development and evaluation of a family recreation program for families with an adolescent with an ASD. Families participated in an overnight camp experience centered on outdoor recreation activities such as canoeing, fishing, archery, and a challenge course. Parents participated in two leisure education sessions aimed at developing their understanding of family recreation. Results from an importance-performance analysis indicated that parents evaluated the program positively—rating clean facilities, having a fun and relaxing experience, and having a peaceful outdoor experience as highly important aspects of the program that also performed well. Areas for concentration included staff training, specialized instruction, flexibility in programming, and variety in activities, among others. Implications for practice stem from the results of the evaluation and indicate that, as designed, this camp provided an enjoyable family recreation experience for these families, yet areas for improvement remain.

Keywords


family recreation program development, program evaluation, family recreation involvement, recreational therapy, core and balance framework, autism spectrum disorders

Full Text:

PDF

References


Autism Speaks: What is Autism? 2011. Available at http://www.autismspeaks.org/whatisit/index.php. Accessed March 22, 2011.

American Psychiatric Association: Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders: DSM-IV-TR. Arlington, VA: American Psychiatric Association, 2000.

Poliakova N, Palkhivala A, Johnson J: Social impairments in children with autism spectrum disorder. Abilities. 2008; spring: 2.

Hudson J, Coffin AB: Out and About: Preparing Children with Autism Spectrum Disorders to Participate in Their Communities. Shawnee Mission, KS: Autism Asperger Publishing Company, 2007.

Lerner-Baron S: Family vacations and leisure time. In Gabriels R, Hill D (eds.): Growing Up with Autism: Working with School-Age Children and Adolescents. New York: Guildord Press, 2007: 183-202.

Smith R, Van Puymbroeck M, Frey G: Active participation and social integration service delivery model for youth with autism spectrum disorders. Am J Recreat Ther. 2011; 10(3): 5-16.

Orthner D: Strengthening today’s families: A challenge to parks and recreation. Parks Recreation. 1998; 33(3): 87-98.

Mactavish JB, Schleien SJ: Re-injecting spontaneity and balance in family life: Parents perspectives on recreation in families that include children with developmental disability. J Intellect Disabil Res. 2004; 48(2): 123-141.

Mactavish JB, Schleien S, Tabourne C: Patterns of family recreation in families that include children with a developmental disability. J Leisure Res. 1997; 29(1): 21-46.

Mactavish JB, Schleien S: Playing together growing together: Parents’ perspectives on the benefits of family recreation in families that include children with a developmental disability. Ther Recreat J. 1998; 32(3): 207-230.

Scholl K, McAvoy L, Rynders J, et al.: The influence of an inclusive outdoor recreation experience on families that have a child with a disability. Ther Recreat J. 2003; 37(1): 38-57.

Wilderness Inquiry: Wilderness inquiry: Family trips. 2012. Available at http://www.wildernessinquiry.org/tripinfo/family.php. Accessed March 2, 2012.

Sanders JL, Morgan SB: Family stress and adjustment as perceived by parents of children with autism or down syndrome: Implications for intervention. Child Fam Behav Ther. 1997; 19: 15-32.

Thornock H: A Proposal for Creating a Recreation Guide for People with Disabilities and Their Families. Logan, UT: Utah State University, 2003: 1-36.

Gray DE: ‘Everybody just freezes. Everybody is just embarrassed’: Felt and enacted stigma among parents of children with high functioning autism. Sociol Health Illn. 2002; 24(6): 734-749.

Zabriskie R, McCormick B: The influences of family leisure patterns on perceptions of family functioning. Fam Relat. 2001; 50(3): 281-289.

Dodd D, Zabriskie R, Widmer M, et al.: Contributions of family leisure to family functioning among families that include children with developmental disabilities. J Leisure Res. 2009; 41(2): 261-286.

Townsend J, Zabriskie R: Family leisure among families with a child in mental health treatment: Therapeutic recreation implications. Ther Recreat J. 2010; 44(1): 11-34.

Freeman P, Zabriskie R: Leisure and family functioning in adoptive families: Implications for therapeutic recreation. Ther Recreat J. 2003; 37(1): 73-93.

Zabriskie R, Freeman P: Contributions of family leisure to family functioning among transracial adoptive families. Adopt Q. 2004; 7(3): 49-77.

Townsend J, Van Puymbroeck M: Needs Assessment of and Preferences for Family Recreation Services at the National Ability Center. Park City, UT, 2010.

Sivan A, Stebbins R: Leisure education: Definition, aims, advocacy, and practices - are we talking about the same thing(s)? World Leisure J. 2011; 53(1): 27-41.

Scholl K, Glanz A, Davison A: Importance-performance analysis of supportive recreation inclusion services: Community agency perspective. J Park Recreat Admin. 2006; 24(2): 102-124.

Kennedy D: Importance-performance analysis in marketing and evaluating therapeutic recreation services. Ther Recreat J. 1986; 20(3): 30-36.

Covey C: A Consumer-Based Evaluation of a Family Camp. Provo, UT: Brigham Young University, 2010.

Martilla J, James J: Importance-performance analysis. J Mark. 1977; 41(1): 77-79.

Guadagnolo F: The importance-performance analysis: An evaluation and marketing tool. J Park Recreat Admin. 1985; 3(2): 13-22.

McCormick B, Lee Y, Van Puymbroeck M: Research into practice: Building knowledge through empirical practice. In Stumbo NJ (ed.): Professional Issues in Therapeutic Recreation: On Competence and Outcomes. 2nd ed. Champaign, IL: Sagamore, 2009.




DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.5055/ajrt.2012.0032

Refbacks

  • There are currently no refbacks.
This site uses cookies to maintain session information critical to the user's experience and environment on this system. Click "Accept Cookies" to continue.
For more details please visit our privacy statement at: Privacy & GDPR