Adventure education programs impact the interpersonal and intrapersonal development of participants through experiences within the natural environment that provide emotional, physical, and social challenge (Ewert, 1989; Priest & Gass, 1997). The premise of such programs is that there is an increased level of self-awareness brought about by the positive change experienced through participation. The purpose of this ethnographic case study was to explore opportunities for interpersonal and intrapersonal experiences for a 13-year-old boy with high functioning autism (HFA) who participated in an inclusive adventure education program. Social Cognitive Theory (Bandura, 1986), particularly social self-efficacy, was used as a lens to guide the design and data analysis of the study. Two themes emerged from the data: a) letting down his guard, and b) Brad as helper. The findings suggest that participation in the 3-day trip provided positive interpersonal and intrapersonal experiences for Brad.
Author Sue Sutherland, Sandra A. Stroot
Volume Vol 43, No 3 (2009)