It was hypothesized in the literature that belonging, social inclusion, daily occupation, and social support are issues for people with intellectual disability and it is just as important for them to experience and participate in all of them (Pedersen, Patil, Berget, Ihlebæk, & Gonzalez, 2016). Furthermore, attainment in or value of social interaction is fundamental to a person’s level of involvement in the many activities in which they engage in each day (Beresford, Tozer, Rabiee, & Sloper, 2007). Social participation moreover is a substantial predictor of quality of life (Dijkers, Whiteneck, & El-Jaroudi, 2000; Simmons, 2005). One’s achievement in social interaction, consequently, is essential to success in the performance of tasks that include each area of occupation.
The term ‘care farming’ is well developed and increasing in many European countries (Pedersen et al., 2016). Pedersen et al. (2016) reports over the past few years, intervention studies have investigated possible health effects including physical and mental and clients’ experiences when they are involved and participate in the care farm.
The efficacy of a horticultural program is acknowledged throughout the literature, as having a positive effect on wellbeing, group cohesiveness and meaning to its participants (Gonzalez, Hartig, Patil, Martinsen, & Kirkevold, 2011).
Objectives At the completion of the 8-week program, participants will be able to: 1. Engage in social interaction with other group participants. This will be achieved through weekly participation in the group with other participants. This will be measured through the administration of the Evaluation of Social Interaction [ESI] (Fisher & Griswold, 2010) to be conducted at baseline and at the conclusion of the 8 week period. 2. Socially interact with peers to form friendships (quality of life - QOL components). This will be measured through the administration of the Evaluation of Social Interaction [ESI] (Fisher & Griswold, 2010) to be conducted at baseline and at the conclusion of the 8 week period.
Participants: The program is designed for individuals aged 16 to 45 years old who have been diagnosed with a mild to moderate intellectual disability, mental health and/or ASD. To participate in each program session, independent mobilisation will also be a requirement.
The program is underpinned by Bandura’s social cognitive theory (Bandura, 2011). Social cognitive theory (SCT), describes human behaviour as a dynamic reciprocal model where the three factors of personal, environmental influences, and behaviour constantly interact. Participants thus learn through their own experiences of the program, but also by observing the actions and experiences of the other group members (Luszczynska & Schwarzer, 2005). The core concepts of goal setting and self-monitoring are useful components of SCT and are readily applied and are congruent with occupational therapy practice, intersecting with the underpinning application of the KAWA model and assists participating clients in the program to be able to achieve the goals they have set out to achieve. The key construct of the SCT approach uses reciprocal determinism, allowing the client to be their own agent for change or a responder to change. Changes in the environment, group members and their interactions will both reinforce and can be used to promote healthier behaviour (Bandura, 1989).
Program Delivered by Occupational Therapist. Duration of program: 1 x group session per week for 8 weeks. Duration and number of sessions: 8 x 3-hour group sessions Participants do not have to sign up for all sessions over the 8 weeks, but book in how ever many sessions they want.
All session begin and end with wilderness mindfulness activity/exercise
Example of Sessions
Introduction: ‘Getting to know each other & farm orientation’ including goal setting
Sowing seeds, Seedings, Transplanting for the Garden and growing vegetables.
Part 1: Gifts from the Garden – bath salts, teas and soaps.
Part 2: Lip Balms and Salves from Beeswax fresh from our honeybee hives.
Succulents and terrariums
Meal plan, harvest from the garden, cook with harvested produce and share meal as a group
Program delivered 1:4 [3hrs] Group therapy 15_044_0128_1_3 Provision of interventions in a group session towards the participants agreed goals. UOM: Hour Rate: $58.53 Claimed each 3hr session $175.59; total 8 week program service booking $1404.72
Program delivered 1:1 [1.5hrs] Individual assessment, therapy and/or training 15_048_0128_1_3 Assessment, therapy, training, fitting and any approved travel to deliver support. UOM: Hour Rate: $175.57 Claimed each session $263.35; total 8 week program service booking $2106.85
Travel Costs [by arrangement] If you require assistance with getting to and back from the farm. We will provide a couple of pick up/drop off points for each program. This is billed separately.