Activities for Adults With Severe Developmental Disabilities

Activities for adults with severe developmental disabilities can range from community participation to one-on-one learning 2. For the severely disabled, aspects of normalcy in daily living need to also address quality of life. Activities such as working and socializing help to achieve that goal. For the developmentally disabled person, it is vital that the community and his caregiver work together to meet developmental goals 2.

What is considered severe development disability?

Mental retardation or a below average IQ diagnosis is categorized as a severe developmental disability. The process of evaluation is usually conducted through cognitive testing, medical evaluation and the social history of the client.

Community Options

Daycare facilities are day treatment places that determine individualized care programs for severely disabled adults. These programs offer either half-day or daylong activities that are well tailored to the needs of the developmentally disabled.

Within your community, there are industries that hire the disabled. Industries acknowledge that it might take longer in training, but have found that severely disabled people are determined to work and always show up.

Recreation centers offer programs for the developmentally disabled as a way to foster friendships and camaraderie 2. Parties and dances are one way for the developmentally disabled to participate in seemingly normal ways 2.

Seeing and Touching Activities

Reviewing photos is a way to reinforce family ties. Describe each person in the photo and talk about that person.

Make your own picture book. Use black and white squares for the disabled person to look at, then take those pictures and make them into a picture book.

Find a magnifying glass and look at different objects. Try looking through a kaleidoscope. Look to see the reaction to different shapes and colors 2.

In a container, mix together rice, beans and pasta with hidden objects 2. Have the disabled person find the objects.

Have the client look at herself in a full-length mirror. Talk about what she sees.

Try hanging a kite or windsock and watch the wind as it blows the sock. Talk about it.

Fill a plastic bag with ice cubes. Place it on different parts of his body. Talk about hot and cold.

Find some toys that can squeezed, such as rubber or flexible toys. Help the client to squeeze each toy.

A dog or pet is a great way to keep reintroducing gentleness and caring 2.

Using a footbath, place the client’s feet into the whirlpool. Now turn on the jets.

Using a remote control, place the client's fingers to the on and off positions.

Make a book of everyday items such as paper, cotton balls, sandpaper, and a zipper. By gluing these items into a book form, it can be an everyday reminder of uses.

Warm up some massage oil, and gently massage your client’s arms, allowing him to get used to being touched.