BACKGROUND : Participation in daily activities is expressed as a human right. Full participation of children with disabilities in daily activities creates optimal opportunities for learning and development. Previous studies have focused primarily on proxy ratings of participation of children with intellectual disabilities in daily activities. However, little is known about how the children rate barriers and facilitators to their participation in everyday activities.
OBJECTIVES : To identify barriers to and facilitators for everyday activities as experienced by children with intellectual disabilities from low- and middle-income countries and high-income countries. The research questions were as follows: ‘what barriers to participation do children with disabilities experience in everyday activities?’ and ‘what facilitators to participation do children with disabilities experience in everyday activities?’
METHOD : A qualitative content analyses was used in this study, and individual interviews were conducted with 49 children with intellectual disabilities. The interviews were performed using pictures. The children also selected the most important activities and described in their own words the facilitators and barriers relevant to being able to perform the activities.
RESULTS : The most important activities were organised leisure activities, formal learning at school, taking care of other family members and family mealtimes. Self-reported barriers identified were personal functioning, social exclusion and lack of resources. The identified facilitators included satisfaction, personal capability, being included and having access to resources.
CONCLUSION : These findings provide important knowledge about the factors to consider in the development of interventions, aimed at improving the participation of children with intellectual disabilities.