The participation of children and youth with disabilities in activities outside of school: A scoping review
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BACKGROUND: Participation in occupations is vital for learning and development. Children with disabilities are at risk for decreased participation. PURPOSE: The purpose of this study is to examine peer-reviewed literature about the participation-based experiences of children and youth with disabilities in activities outside of formal preschool and school academics. METHOD: A scoping review was conducted to examine research studies published between 1990 and 2012. Studies included participants from 2 to 18 years who had at least one physical or intellectual/cognitive disability. FINDINGS: Forty-nine articles discussing 32 studies and three systematic reviews met the inclusion criteria. Perceptions of and influences on participation were important emerging themes about direct impacts on patterns of participation. A child or youth's level of functioning, activity level, level of enjoyment, and contextual factors were found to influence their level of successful participation. IMPLICATIONS: Occupational therapists can use the findings from this review to consider supports and barriers within interventions to enhance participation in meaningful life situations.
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