Keeping track of time : Daily time management, participation, and time-related interventions for children, adolescents, and young adults with neurodevelopmental disorders

Sammanfattning: The overall aim of this thesis was to investigate daily time management (DTM) and time-related interventions aiming to enhance participation in everyday activities among school-age children and young adults with neurodevelopmental disorders.In study I, experiences of participation when using time assistive devices (TADs) in daily activities were investigated from the perspective of young adults (aged 17–37) with intellectual disabilities (ID) (n = 9), using semi structured interviews. In studies II and IV, a new multimodal time-related intervention consisting of psychoeducation, compensation with TADs and time-skills training, was investigated in children aged 9–15 with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). Study II was a randomized controlled trial (RCT) with an intervention group (n = 19) and a control group (n = 19). The aim of study III was to describe DTM, time processing ability (TPA) and self-rated autonomy in children aged 9–15 with ADHD (n = 47), compared to children with ID (n = 47) and typically developing (TD) children (n = 47). In study IV, occupational performance and satisfaction were evaluated (n = 27). In studies II, III and IV, a source for data collection included assessment, proxy report and self-reports.Using TADs (study I) increased participation in activities in all areas of daily life: self-care, activities at work or school and leisure time activities. A feeling of having more control led to health benefits. Participants described participation restrictions related to attitudes from their social network towards participation and attitudes towards the use of TADs from the individuals themselves. Study II showed that the children in the intervention group increased their TPA significantly more compared to the control group, mostly in terms of time orientation. The parents in the intervention group rated their children’s DTM as significantly more improved compared to the parents of the children in the control group. However, according to the children themselves, there was no statistically significant improvement in their DTM. The psychoeducation for parents and school staff did not increase children’s TPA and DTM on its own. The majority of parents and children (study IV) rated the children’s occupational performance and satisfaction significantly higher at follow-up than at baseline. In general, children rated their occupational performance and satisfaction higher than their parents did. Most goals decided by the children and their parents involved daily routines and time orientation. Study III showed that children with ADHD and children with ID had significantly lower TPA, DTM and autonomy compared to TD children. Children with ADHD showed higher levels of self-rated autonomy compared to children with ID, but the reverse was found in DTM. However, there was significant diversity among children with ADHD and children with ID, which was not explained by age. Some children had difficulties at every level of TPA, while others were skilled at every level. The level of self-rated autonomy followed the level of TPA.In conclusion, this thesis revealed that children with ADHD and ID have the same overall pattern of TPA but may have a delayed TPA, which affects their DTM and autonomy, and thereby also influences their participation in daily activities. The results show that a multimodal time-related intervention using TADs and time-skills training could increase TPA and DTM in children with ADHD aged 9–15 years with time deficits. Experiences from young adults with ID also show increased participation in daily activities and health benefits using TADs. It is recommended that TPA and DTM should be measured to identify difficulties in TPA and DTM in children with ADHD and to offer tailored time-related interventions in addition to medication.

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