Horticultural therapy program in Kerala improves the emotional intelligence of school going children with autism spectrum disorder

G.K. Beela, H. Thankappan
Autism spectrum disorder is a developmental disorder diagnosed on the basis of early-emerging social and communication impairments with rigid as well as repetitive patterns of behavior and interests. Several studies provide evidence that there are severe impairments in emotional functioning and emotional development among children with autism spectrum disorder. Horticultural therapy integrates horticulture with behavioral science for human development and a state wide horticultural therapy programme was implemented in Kerala for the school going children with autism by the Kerala Agricultural University. The aim of this study is to investigate the impact of the horticultural therapy programme on the emotional intelligence of children with autism spectrum disorder. A total of 44 children with autism aged 10 to 15 years from government and private schools participated in the one-year horticultural activity programme. The horticultural therapy programme included indoor and outdoor plant based activities. The results of the study showed that the horticultural therapy programme improved the emotional intelligence of the students with autism spectrum disorder.
Beela, G.K. and Thankappan, H. (2021). Horticultural therapy program in Kerala improves the emotional intelligence of school going children with autism spectrum disorder. Acta Hortic. 1330, 11-18
DOI: 10.17660/ActaHortic.2021.1330.2
https://doi.org/10.17660/ActaHortic.2021.1330.2
developmental disorder, horticultural activity, horticultural program, socio-horticulture, special education, horticulture, modified emotional intelligence scale
English

Acta Horticulturae