Separation anxiety among intellectually disabled (ID) persons with comorbid visual impairment could be rooted in a weak sense of person permanence. Technology-assisted Therapy for Separation Anxiety (TTSA) was used to address this problem.
The primary aim was to determine whether technology alone or including caregivers was the best option, and whether TTSA decreased separation anxiety and challenging behaviour. Also, how the caregivers and the client experienced TTSA.
Methods and procedures
A pre-experimental, quantitative approach (AB1C1B2C2D) was used for this single-subject study. The frequency of the client's text messages was recorded daily. The variables were monitored with standardised instruments and caregivers rated the intensity and frequency of the client's anxious and challenging behaviour. The social validity was evaluated by means of questionnaires.
Outcomes and results
There was a significant decrease in the anxious and angry messages sent, and in anxious and challenging behaviour, in the phase in which the caregivers were included, compared with the phase in which technology alone was used. The client and the caregivers were positive about TTSA.
Conclusion and implication
Technology and the caregivers reactions reduces the anxiety and challenging behaviour. It might also aid the acquisition of the concept of person permanence.