Journal of Therapeutic Horticulture 6 - 1991


Designing Stage-specific Horticultural Therapy Intervention for Patients with Alzheimer’s Disease
Susan Ebel, PT, HTR

Determining the most effective strategies and intervention for presenting horticultural activities to cognitively impaired patients remains a challenge. A behavioral approach begins with the assessment of the person's remaining abilities. Both cognitive strengths and cognitive deficits must be addressed in an effort to present truly therapeutic activities. Further research is needed in the area of designing horticultural therapy interventions for the Alzheimer's patients that are stage-specific.

Horticulture for Special Populations in China
Wuzhong Zhou, and Diane Relf, PhD, HTM

In China, there are more than 50 million individuals with disabilities and 89 million people over 60 years of age. Despite the belief that these individuals should share the same quality of life as all people, before 1988 there were no gardens specifically designed and built for people with disabilities or older individuals. In addition, there are no hospitals, rehabilitation facilities or other institutions focusing on therapy and rehabilitation through horticulture. However, according to the editorial board of Disability in China (1990), horticultural therapy has been recognized as a new course of study and application in China.

Plant Material Arrangements in Therapy
Nili Sneh, MEd, and John Tristan, MS, HTR

An innovative method of therapy is described in which flower and plant material arrangements are used as a form of communication between client and therapist. A theme arrangement allows for the expression of personal subject matter in a unique and creative way. Open discussion and thoughtful interpretation can then lead to problem resolution and/or reinforce desired personality traits.

Teaching Horticulture Skills to Adults with Autism: A Replicated Case Study
Stuart J. Schleien, PhD, John E. Rynders, PhD, Theresa Mustonen, Linda A. Heyne, and Sharyl J. Kaase 

Systematic instruction in horticulture skills as a means to enhance the employment potential of adults with developmental disabilities has been addressed in the literature; the acquisition of horticulture skills to meet lifelong leisure needs has not been addressed. In this study, three adults with autism were taught three lifelong horticulture skills in a greenhouse environment: planting seeds, transplanting seedlings, and repotting plants. Maintenance and generalization of two of the skills, planting seeds and transplanting seedlings, were conducted in an adjacent farm environment. Using an A-B case study design, instruction was provided via an environmental analysis inventory, an error correction procedure, and a continuous social reinforcement strategy. Significant increases in skill acquisition occurred across all three participants. The potential of horticulture activities to meet lifelong leisure needs of individuals with developmental disabilities is discussed. 

Enclave Employment of Individuals with Disabilities in a University Grounds Maintenance Department: A Case Report
Gerald S. Dobbs and Diane Relf, PhD, HTM 

In 1986, Virginia Polytechnic lnstitute and State University (Virginia Tech) contracted with the New River Valley Workshop, Inc. (NRVWS) for a pilot project to determine the effectiveness of "enclave placement" in its landscape maintenance program. An enclave of five developmentally disabled adults and one work supervisor was employed 10 assist Virginia Tech's Grounds Department by working as a crew in litter removal, weeding, raking leaves and shoveling snow. 

The members of the enclave were enthusiastic, dedicated and had low absenteeism, thereby setting a standard for salaried employees. The enclave's participation in the Virginia Tech grounds maintenance program enabled many of the salaried employees 10 dedicate their time to more complex or skilled tasks. 

The pilot project led 10 a contract that has been effective for five (since 1986) years, documenting that developmentally disabled adults can June/ion together as a team and, at the same time, be an integral part of a large grounds maintenance program.