Intervention in time-processing ability, daily time management and autonomy in children with intellectual disabilities aged 10-17 years - A cluster randomised trial

Aust Occup Ther J. 2019 Feb;66(1):110-120. doi: 10.1111/1440-1630.12547. Epub 2018 Dec 11.


Background/aim: Difficulties with management of time are frequently observed in children and youth with intellectual disabilities (IDs). The aim of this study was to evaluate a new intervention programme 'My Time' to improve time-processing ability (TPA) in children with IDs aged 10-17 years (n = 61).

Methods: Cluster randomised and waiting-list control group design was used. Data collection included the Kit for assessment of TPA, the Time-Parent scale and a self-rating of autonomy to assess occupational performance in daily life. The method was implemented over an 8-week period. Effect size (ES) was calculated and an analysis of covariance on the individual level and a two-stage process on the cluster level.

Results: The estimated mean improvement in the KaTid-Child score from baseline (t1) to t2 was significantly higher in the intervention group compared to the waiting-list group, ES Cohen's d = 0.64.

Conclusion: The results present first evidence of the effectiveness of a new occupational therapy intervention programme ('My Time') to facilitate TPA in children with mild to moderate IDs. Children with IDs aged 10-17 years could improve their TPA at a measurable pace when given intervention. The method could complement interventions using time-assistive devices. Children with IDs should be identified to guide intervention. Further research is necessary to establish whether using the intervention programme can facilitate the development of TPA in younger children.

Keywords: child; intellectual disability; intervention study; time management; time perception.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Child
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Intellectual Disability / rehabilitation*
  • Male
  • Occupational Therapy / methods*
  • Perception
  • Personal Autonomy
  • Severity of Illness Index
  • Time Factors
  • Time Management / methods*