The Effectiveness of Activity Schedules in Teaching Individuals with Disabilities to Engage in Leisure Activities: A Review of Literature
Leisure activities are the voluntary use of free time outside of daily routines for purposes other than work. Leisure activities are essential for the successful inclusion of individuals with disabilities in their communities. Such activities provide an opportunity to gain positive self-consciousness, build relationships, and acquire new skills and knowledge. For leisure activities to be meaningful, they should be socially important, fulfilling, and age appropriate to the individual. Leisure activities for individuals with disabilities, however, are often selected by their caretakers. This study reviewed studies that used activity schedules—a nonintrusive antecedent behavioral intervention to help individuals with autism and intellectual disabilities independently complete leisure activities. Studies published from 1998 to 2018 (n = 9) were identified and evaluated using the standards of the What Works Clearinghouse. Findings of the studies indicated that using an activity schedule is an effective intervention in teaching individuals with disabilities to independently complete leisure activities. Implications on the use of activity schedules in teaching leisure activities are discussed.