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Community Participation for Transition- Aged Youth with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities: A Systematic Review

Tania Santiago Perez, Brandi M. Crowe


All people, including individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD) deserve to actively participate in the community in which they live. For transition aged-youth (TAY) with IDD, attaining successful community participation can be difficult. The purpose of this systematic review was to identify and synthesize the literature specific to recreational therapy interventions in the U.S. aimed at improving community participation among TAY with IDD. Literature specific to two domains of community participation were explored: a) interpersonal life; and b) community, civic and social life. Eight studies were reviewed using a thematic synthesis approach to identify common themes across studies. Findings revealed three themes: 1) programs with collaboration and community supports, 2) leisure education, and 3) social skills training. Facilitators, barriers, and promising approaches regarding community participation of TAY with IDD are described. Implications and limitations of the current literature are also addressed.

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Community participation; developmental disability; intellectual disability; recreational therapy; transition-aged youth

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