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Hortitherapy improves the social and communication skills of youths with moderate mental deficiency

The passive appreciation of the nature, as well as the active participation in the garden, influences positively emotions, health and people behavior. Hortitherapy is a technique that allows mental and physical welfare by cultivating plants and through the contact with nature. The activities of Hortitherapy can be applied to people with mental and physical deficiencies, geriatric patients and individuals under risk, as drugs and alcohol dependents, influencing positively the health, emotion and behavior of these individuals. The goal of this research was to evaluate the social abilities and the communication of young individuals with mental deficiency, submitted to a Program of Hortitherapy. This Program was applied in the Ecumenical Foundation of Protection of Excepcionals (FEPE), for 24 young men and women (with 20 to 25 years old) with moderate mental deficiency. They had been organized in three groups of eight participants each one, and each group was submitted to a Program of Hortitherapy with duration of one hour per week during 20 weeks. Before and after the activities of Hortitherapy the participants were submitted to a test (ALVES and ESTEVES, 2004) that allows the evaluation of the organization capacity, emotion, depression and impulsiveness. During the Program they had been evaluated as to social ability, visual possible to verify an improvement in at least one variable of the evaluation criteria, and frequently other variables were simultaneously improved.

ISSN: 2447-536X

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