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 individual sessions. 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 others to form relationships (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 18 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 Wellbeing Assistant and overseen by Occupational Therapist. Duration of program: 1 x session per week for 8 weeks Duration and number of sessions: 8 x 2-hour sessions
All sessions begin and end with wilderness mindfulness activity/exercise
Example of Sessions
Introduction: ‘Getting to know each other & farm orientation’ including goal setting
Nature Hunt during bush walk
Sowing seeds, Seedings, Transplanting for the Garden and growing vegetables.
Horticulture skills - weeding swales and gardens, mulching, trimming trees
Succulents and terrariums
Meal plan, harvest from the garden, cook with harvested produce
Program delivered 1:1 [2hrs] Total 8 week program service booking $tbc
Participant Transport & Travel Costs are billed to NDIS on top of the above costs If you require assistance with getting to and back from the farm. We can quote for the travel time and the transport costs.