A descriptive design can be used to chart a population and therefore a descriptive design with a quantitative approach has been used to collect information (Kristensson, 2014). The descriptive design has been chosen to provide a quantitative description of the children’s opinion on their participation in everyday activities. The data have been collected using the interview instrument “Picture my participation,” which is under development in association with UNICEF (Willis, Imms, Granlund, Bornman & Elliott, 2015). The study design has been chosen as “Picture my participation” was considered appropriate to use to answer the aim and questions of the thesis. “Picture my participation” is an instrument that gathers quantitative data.
The participants have been gathered using non-probability consecutive sampling, meaning that the first undecided numbers of participants who coincided with the criteria was recruited (Kristensson, 2014). The sampling was made at a center for children with intellectual disabilities in a big city in Ethiopia. The center offers services such as early intervention, education and vocational training. The purposes of the services are, inter alia, to enable children with intellectual disabilities to be integrated in the society, and to provide them with the opportunity to develop their personalities and abilities (A. Mekonnen, personal communication, February 29, 2016). Inclusion criteria were that the child had to be between eight to twelve years of age, have an intellectual disability, and be able to understand and follow instructions in Amharic, the “working” language in Ethiopia (Ethiopia, 2015).
The sample was gathered in several steps. First, the coordinator of the center was informed of the purpose and process in an information letter, see Appendix 1, and gave approval to conduct the project. The coordinator gave the authors the advice to assemble children from different classes. Each class with children between eight and twelve were visited by the authors. The teachers were informed about the interviews and asked to recommend some children to participate, based on the inclusion criteria. In total, 16 names were collected and given to the coordinator. The coordinator asked the teachers to call the caregivers and ask them to come to the school to get information and, if they agreed to their child’s participation, sign the consent form. The information was given verbally and in writing. The number of caregivers and children who signed the consent form were 16. After being signed, the consent forms were collected and kept safe.
Three cases of non-response were existent. One child was not able to answer any of the questions, one interview was disrupted after prioritizing the three most important activities and the third child answered the first nine questions about frequency of involvement. None of the three children were able to talk. The mean age of the participants were 11 years old and there were four male and eleven female participants.
The children had limitations in differing degrees regarding intellectual functioning and adaptive behaviors. Examples of the limitations were learning, problem-solving, interacting with other people, self-care and communication. Despite having the limitations the children were able to communicate with others on their own level, some using words and others using pictures as support. These limitations were due to a slower development compared to other children of the same age. A common diagnosis at the center was Down’s syndrome (A. Mekonnen, personal communication, December 6, 2015).
Ethiopia and other low and middle income countries .
Activity and participation
Material and method
Instrument for data collection
Validity and reliability
Which activities do the children participate in and which activities do they not participate in?
Which activities do the children score as most important?
How involved are the children in the activities they score as most important on a group level?
Which factors hinder or facilitate participation in activities?
Result discussion .
Importance for Occupational Therapy
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Children with intellectual disabilities’ perceptions of their participation in activities in everyday life – a pilot study