In this article, Barbara Wilhite, Gregory Biren, and Leslie Spencer (2012) examine the impact of a fitness intervention on people with developmental and intellectual disabilities. This intervention is described as a recreational activity. The authors pay attention to the experiences of caregivers during their participation in this program.
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The scholars rely on such a method as the semi-structured interview. Yet, one can also speak about the use of surveys containing multiple choice questions (Wilhite et al., 2012, p. 253). The results of this study indicate that the participants were able to derive such benefits as lower level of stress, improved muscle tone, or decreased weight (Wilhite et al., 2012, p. 257).
More importantly, the participants learned to interact with people who might not be closely familiar to them (Wilhite et al., 2012, p. 260). This is one of the issues that should be singled out. Apart from that, one should speak about caregivers such as the relatives of people with disabilities. These people have to struggle with increased levels of stress (Wilhite et al., 2012). In turn, the participation of this program can help them cope with this problem.
The authors acknowledge the limitations of their study. In particular, they mention that it did not have a comparison or control group (Wilhite et al., 2012, p. 263). Nevertheless, they believe that physical activity can be a good recreational opportunity for people with disabilities. These are the main issues that the scholars discuss in this research article.
This article can be useful for discussing the topic of this paper. First of all, the scholars show that one should consider the needs of people with disabilities and their caregivers since these individuals closely interact with one another. In many cases, caregivers require some respite in order to cope with their duties more effectively. This is one of the issues that should be considered.
Furthermore, it is vital to take into account the health risks to which people with disabilities can be exposed. As a rule, they represent a physically inactive group. One should pay attention to such characteristics of a person as cardiovascular endurance or muscular strength (Wilhite et al., 2012, p. 250).
This information is important for the development of physical exercises that can best suit the needs of these individuals. Additionally, recreational activities of people with disabilities should help them socialize with others. In many cases, they do not have opportunities to communicate with others, and this problem should be addressed.
Apart from that, people, who organize recreational programs, should emphasize the need for physical activities. To a great extent, medical workers need to raise the awareness of these people about the benefits of a healthy lifestyle. During recreational programs, one should focus on the dietary habits of people with disabilities since very often they cannot choose the food which is most beneficial for them. These are the main aspects that can be distinguished.
On the whole, one can argue that this article can throw light on the organization of recreational activities for people who have a disability. The authors show what characteristics should be considered by medical workers and caregivers. This article demonstrates that recreational activities have to serve multiple purposes such as socialization, respite, and adoption of healthy lifestyles. This is the main point that can be made.
Wilhite, B., Biren, G., & Spencer, L. (2012). Fitness intervention for adults with developmental disabilities and their caregivers. Therapeutic Recreation Journal, 46(4), 245-267.