Parent Perceptions of an Early Participation Experience in Young Children with Disabilities: Aquatics vs Land
Keywords:aquatics, parent perceptions, early intervention, physical activity
Early participation in community-based activities provides children with disabilities an opportunity for physical activity and social interaction. The purpose of this study was to analyze parent perceptions of an aquatic and land activity program as an early participation opportunity. Participants enrolled in Early Intervention were recruited for a 1x/week exercise program for 8 weeks. The first four weeks were held in a pool, followed by four weeks on land. Parent perceptions were measured through semi-structured interviews. The IRP-15 was also utilized to measure social validity. Ten children, aged 15 months to 4 years, participated. Scores of the IRP-15 were above the cut-score for an acceptable intervention for both programs; however, the results of this study suggested that parents of children with disabilities preferred aquatic exercise to traditional land-based activity. The community-based activities described provided the young children with disabilities and their families a way to engage in activities with peers of similar abilities as well as gain separation from their families, which is fundamental for their growth and independence.
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