Determining the Effects of Mutual Interaction in Horticultural Activity on Acceptance of Children toward Children with Disabilities and Improvement of Language Capability for Children with Disabilities

Monday, July 22, 2013
Desert Ballroom: Salons 7-8 (Desert Springs J.W Marriott Resort )
Sin-Ae Park , Konkuk University, Seoul, Korea, Republic of (South)
Kyung-Ui Lee , Konkuk University, Seoul, Korea, Republic of (South)
Ju-Hee Kim , Konkuk University, Seoul, Korea, Republic of (South)
KiCheol Son , Konkuk University, Seoul, Korea, Republic of (South)
The impact of horticultural therapy regarding linguistic development of children with disabilities and the acceptance attitude of children without disabilities was examined in this research. For this research, sixteen children aged either six or seven participated from City I, Northern Jeonlla Province in South Korea. Eight children with disabilities (from the M center for children with disabilities) and eight children without disabilities (from a child care center) participated. The horticultural program was composed of a total of fifteen sessions.  For ten sessions, participants were engaged in outdoor gardening activities (preparing a kitchen garden, sowing, seedling, harvesting, etc.) while for five sessions they carried out activities indoors (panting, water cultivation, etc.) The sessions were specifically geared toward engendering a positive impact on children with disabilities through horticultural activities where their linguistic development could be stimulated by the acceptance of children without disabilities. During the session, pairs composed of a child with disabilities and a child without disabilities worked together in the horticultural activities.  The acceptance of children without disabilities toward children with disabilities was examined using an "adjective scale-disability acceptance attitude test." In addition, an acceptance language & expression language development scale was used before and after each session to examine the improvements in language capacity of children with disabilities. In all areas of perception, activity, and acceptance, significant improvements took place based on the result of the research.  Furthermore, there were meaningful improvements in acceptance and expressive language after the horticultural therapy program. In conclusion, the horticultural therapy program focused on interaction of children with and without disabilities through horticultural activities is effective in enhancing acceptance of children with disabilities by other children and improving language capability of children with disabilities.