5 Group activities for adults with intellectual disabilities

Group activities for adults with intellectual disabilities

Most people think of group activities for children when they hear the phrase “intellectual disabilities.” However, many adults with intellectual disabilities can benefit from group activities.

These activities can help improve communication and social skills and provide a sense of belonging and community. Adults with intellectual disabilities can enjoy various group activities, such as art classes, cooking classes, group sports, and book clubs.

Choosing a suitable activity will depend on the interests and abilities of the individual. However, all adults with intellectual disabilities can benefit from participating in group activities.

5 Group Activities for Adults With Intellectual Disabilities

Cheerful teenagers with down syndrome holding fitness mats and sports bottle at home

It can be hard to find stimulating and enjoyable activities for adults with intellectual disabilities.

Even if you’re unsure where to start, we have the perfect solution – our list of 5 group activities for people with intellectual disabilities.

These activities will help keep your loved ones mentally stimulated and entertained while providing a sense of camaraderie and belonging.

The following are a few different types of intellectual and developmental disabilities:

Mindfulness Meditation

Young woman with down syndrome with yoga instructor

The practice of meditation is known to offer several health advantages, including the enhancement of concentration and the development of a more acute sense of self and surroundings. It enhances both motor skills and cognitive skills.

Fatigue, worry, anxiety, and despair are some of the many side effects of living with a disability. Feeling confined to one’s house can also be emotionally draining. It is one of the best physical activities for developmentally disabled adults.

In addition to helping you or a loved one establish healthy and efficient coping mechanisms, mindfulness meditation may also give a sensation of control and freedom. Two distinct types of mindfulness meditation exist:

Meditation with focused attention focuses attention on a single object, idea, sound, or image. Using regulated breathing, an affirmation, or a soothing sound, helps you bring your attention inside and clear your mind of any unnecessary clutter.

Meditation based on “open monitoring” teaches you to pay attention to your internal and exterior locus of control. Consider your whole surrounding, mental state, and identity. Awareness of previously repressed emotions, urges, and ideas can be a part of this process.

Where to Start?

The Miraval Resort and Spa is a tranquil and revitalizing retreat where you may rediscover your true self, push above your limitations, and take a giant leap toward a more joyful and fulfilling future.

The guests’ yoga, meditation, and spiritual practice needs are at the Miraval body mindfulness center. The resort features outdoor activities like hiking, climbing, and even zip lining, one of which will force you to step outside of your comfort zone and test your language’s limits.

Location: 5000 East, E Vía Estancia Miraval, Tucson, AZ 85739

Contact No: (855) 234-1672

Learn A New Language

Happy joyful smiling casual satisfied woman learning and communicates in sign language online using

The effort required to learn a new language is harder for people with intellectual disabilities. Still, the benefits to their growth and sense of inclusivity from doing the work are well worth the effort, with the proper kind of help and encouragement.

However, there are several strategies you may use to make the process of learning or teaching a foreign language to a loved one with a disability more manageable and less stressful.

You or your loved one will benefit greatly from this skill, as it will make it much simpler to decode the sounds used in your foreign language.

The cognitive benefits of learning a foreigIt’snguage are extensive and include, but are not limited to, greater memory, problem-solving and critical thinking abilities, increased attention, the capacity to multitask, and improved hearing.

As a bonus, you or your loved one will gain confidence, open up to new ideas, and strengthen your ties to a foreign culture.

Where to Start?

Touchstone’s objective includes helping its members become as self-sufficient as possible by providing training in the practical skills essential to this aim.

The Language & Learning Center creates a care plan based on the member’s and their family’s strengths to pinpoint problem areas across many areas of development. Professionals from LLC work together with the rest of the family to develop a comprehensive therapeutic approach.

Location: 1430 E Fort Lowell Rd #100, Tucson, AZ 85719

Contact info: (866) 207-3882

Learn Music

Young teenage girl with Down syndrome learning to play the guitar

Music therapy offers a promising new opportunity for alleviating symptoms for certain people with intellectual and developmental problems. Proven benefits include enhanced cognitive, emotional, and bodily growth. Music helps deal with stressful situations, nervousness, and discomfort.

Additionally, it encourages the growth of social skills and language development in children and people with special needs. Music therapy has helped adults with special needs improve their speech, language, mood, and social interactions.

Being actively involved in your kids’ upbringing is another way that you may lend a hand. If your kid is interested in learning clarinet and you play the instrument, you might want to explore teaching them yourself.

A new door might open up if you find that you enjoy sharing your passion for music with youth through instruction. Let’s see where you can start. For adults with disabilities, there are several group music classes.

Where to Start?

Established in 2006, Daniel’s Music Foundation (DMF) is a non-profit organization with the mission of using music to improve the lives of people with intellectual and physical disabilities.

Since then, they’ve significantly expanded their in-person and online programs, allowing them to reach a far wider audience in New York City and beyond.

Location: 1595 Lexington Ave, New York, NY 10029

Contact No: (212) 289-8912


happy friends with disability socializing through internet

People who have intellectual challenges are occasionally misinterpreted as being weak in their interpersonal skills. Because of their limited background in interacting with others, they have significant trouble making friends and maintaining them.

In particular, they suffer psychological and emotional issues, including low self-esteem, worry, and isolation, since they are accustomed to repeatedly failing at social contact. This is because anxiety, phobia, avoidance, and distress all stem from having to engage with other people.

It’s much simpler for persons with disabilities to socialize with staff and other adults who face similar issues when they move into an assisted living complex. Together, you can all learn without feeling like you’re in a lower human category.

Where to Start?

Each year, Keshet provides 600 people with disabilities, and special needs access to various educational, recreational, social, vocational, and residential activities.

Location: 610 Academy Drive, Northbrook, IL 60062

Contact No: 847-205-1234

Community Gardening

Down syndrome adult man watering plants outdoors in vegetable garden, gardening concept

In general, gardening is a fantastic method of stress reduction. Community gardens will improve both intellectual and developmental disability cost-effectively and sustainably.

Those who participate in community gardening tend to do better than their non-gardening neighbors regarding physical health, developmental or intellectual disabilities, and social connections. It is one of the best sensory activities and allows you some physical exercise.

In addition, short research conducted in Spain indicated that urban rooftop gardening improved the quality of life for people with intellectual disabilities or mental health conditions by providing them with a sense of purpose and social inclusion, as well as their emotional and physical health. [1]

Where to Start?

The work readiness program provided by Family Residences and Essential Enterprises, Inc. helps people with intellectual/developmental impairments, mental illness, and traumatic brain injury get ready for work by teaching them practical agricultural skills because it involves major muscle groups.

Individuals participate in the program at FREE’s Oakdale and Middle Island campuses in a greenhouse and the garden as part of the organization’s Program Without Walls, an alternative to center-based day programs. The art of gardening is an excellent method to learn about the agriculture industry while working outside.


When dealing with developmental and intellectual disabilities, it can be challenging to have a positive outlook and a sense of adventure. You may feel restricted from engaging in various leisure pursuits due to concerns about being judged or stigmatized for engaging in them.

Physical and mental health can benefit from stepping out of one’s usual routine and accepting that anything is possible.

There is no limit to what people with intellectual or developmental disabilities may do in the comfort of their own homes, whether it be mastering a new skill, tending to a garden, or producing an original work of art.


  1. https://www.cdc.gov/pcd/issues/2020/20_0087.htm