Perception of improvement in people with disabilities who cultivate plants

T.P. Silva, A.M.S. Araújo
A number of studies have found that plants and related activities provide people with physical and mental disabilities, improved motor functions, stimulate concentration, motivation, relieve stress, and raise self-esteem and prevent disease. Outdoor activities stimulate, in addition to the physical musculature, cerebral musculature, since it exposes the users to the sun, in a different environment, therefore, to new challenges. In view of the above, the objective was to set up a kitchen garden at the Instituto de Ciências Agrárias of Universidade Federal dos Vales do Jequitinhonha e Mucuri with students from the Associação de Pais e Amigos dos Excepcionais (APAE) in Unaí, MG, Brazil. For 1 year, 15 students, with moderate to severe mental impairment, visited at 7:30 to 8:30 am daily, performing daily activities of the kitchen garden. These activities have been shown to have a relevant role in the process of social insertion and rehabilitation of people with some mental disorder. It was reported by teachers of the APAE School, reports of parents and project members, through questioning regarding the behavior and cognitive development of students involved in the project, the evolution of 12 of the 15 students participating in the project. Some of the results obtained with the practitioners: evolution in the development of activities, resourcefulness, reduction of depressive crises, less introspection and more communication, initiatives, improvement of interpersonal relationships. Thus, it is important to point out that the findings of this study indicate a positive result regarding the changes perceived by the practitioners from their insertion in the project, the activities guaranteed for people with disabilities their ability to perform tasks, social inclusion and living in society without prejudices.
Silva, T.P. and Araújo, A.M.S. (2020). Perception of improvement in people with disabilities who cultivate plants. Acta Hortic. 1279, 75-80
DOI: 10.17660/ActaHortic.2020.1279.11
autistic spectrum disorder, horticulture, intellectual disability, plant breeding, quality of life

Acta Horticulturae