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Caregiver expectations influence outcomes of youth with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD) as they seek more independence transitioning from adolescence to adulthood. The purpose of this program development capstone project is to promote realistic expectations of caregivers of youth by improving caregiver youth relationships and facilitating activities. Strategies of current and evidence-based programs that support caregivers of youth with IDD, such as Maximizing Adolescent Post-Secondary Success and TrASDition training. The American Occupational Therapy Association Vision 2025 aligns with the program as it aims to provide caregivers equal opportunity, access to care, and expands an individual’s capacity to advocate for caregivers. Program participants met inclusion criteria: youth 14 to 24 year’s old, caregivers and youth speak and understand English, and have an electronic device to access the virtual program. Flyers were handed out to identified pairs as candidates most receptive and those who would gain the most benefit from the 6-week program. Ensuring caregivers had unrealistic expectations rather than realistic expectations and lack of clinical experience working with caregivers and youth with IDD were challenges for the project. Site staff knowledge of current skills and preferences of caregivers and youth, local resources to direct caregivers to, and mentorship during development of program were supports for the project. The Model of Human Occupation takes a holistic approach on viewing meaningful activities and relationships of caregivers in their environment and was used in the program to look at how caregivers organize their thoughts, roles, and choose tasks to participate in.

Publication Date



University of St. Augustine for Health Sciences


caregivers, youth with intellectual and developmental disabilities, community participation

Medical Subject Headings

Caregivers, Disabled Children, Intellectual Disability, Developmental Disabilities, Adolescent, Occupational Therapy, Program Development


Mental and Social Health | Occupational Therapy


Poster presented at the Virtual OTD Capstone Symposium, held online at the University of St. Augustine for Health Sciences April 12-14, 2022.

Fostering Community Participation for Youth with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities: An Occupation-Based Program for Caregivers