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Mindfulness-based interventions teach participants how to go within oneself, engage in inner transformation through mindfulness meditation and other informal mindfulness activities, and learn how to respond to daily life events in a calm, accepting, and nonjudgmental manner. By focusing on what one can do by being present helps the development and strengthening of human social functioning regardless of one’s current personal circumstances, such as disease, disorder, dysfunction, or disabilities. In this sense, mindfulness and positive psychology provide similar pathways for developing human potential. This chapter presents a comprehensive, but not exhaustive, narrative review of the applications of mindfulness-based interventions in the field of intellectual and developmental disabilities. The chapter covers procedures and practices that have been used to instill mindfulness in children, adolescents, and adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities and their support providers, including family members, direct support staff, and teachers. Although most of the mindfulness research in this field is in the early stages, data from several studies indicate that mindfulness-based interventions may have immediate and long-term benefits for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities and their support providers.


Institute for Learning Sciences and Teacher Education

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Book Chapter

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