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Social-Emotional Effects of One Session of Drumtastic Ability Beats for Campers with Cognitive Development Disorders

Lyn Litchke, Paige Hutson


Attending residential summer camp has considerable social-emotional benefits for individuals with disabilities. The purpose of this study was to investigate the social-emotional impact of one-time, 1-hr. session of Drumtastic Ability Beats (DAB) on 467 campers with cognitive developmental disorders (CDD; ages 5-49), and to see if one diagnostic sub-group changed more than another. Diagnostic sub-groups used in analysis consisted of autism spectrum disability (ASD; n =144), intellectual developmental disability (IDD; n =96), Down syndrome (DS; n =118), and neuromuscular disorder- cerebral palsy/traumatic brain injury (NMD-CP/TBI; n =39). Pre and post testing revealed significant changes in self-rated fun for camper participants and by counselor observation p <.001. Significant changes in positive and negative mood/behavior emerged for all camper participants was p < .001. Between group differences revealed NMD-CP/TBI, DS, and IDD showed significantly improved positive mood/behavior over ASD (p < .05). NMD-CP/TBI and IDD group participants showed significant improvement in social interaction skills compared to ASD (p < .017) and DS (p < .004). Personal relationship skills were significantly increased for NMD-CP/TBI group versus ASD (p < .003) and DS (p < .016). Significant findings favored females over males for social interaction p < .01, and personal relationships p < .05. Results indicate that a one-time DAB session had a positive impact on social-emotional skills and fun for campers in CDD category, with the most benefit for campers in the NMD-CP/TBI and IDD and female category especially in area of social and personal relationships and positive mood/behavior.

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Intellectual developmental disabilities; social-emotional, drumming; cerebral palsy; brain injury; autism; Down syndrome

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