The participation of secondary students with severe disabilities in school clubs

Alicia R. Pence, Stacy K. Dymond

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The purpose of this study was to examine how secondary students with severe disabilities (i.e., severe intellectual disability or autism, multiple disabilities) participate in extracurricular school clubs. Using a qualitative multiple case design, the experiences of three high school students were examined. Data were collected through interviews, observations, and document reviews. A single-case inductive open-coding strategy was utilized across all data sources in which codes and categories emerged, and a final cross-case thematic evaluation was conducted. The cross-case thematic analysis resulted in the following four overarching themes: (a) going with the flow; (b) social obstacles: on the outside looking in; (c) supports provided: too much, too little, just right; and (d) safety in numbers.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)335-351
Number of pages17
JournalIntellectual and developmental disabilities
Issue number4
StatePublished - Aug 2021


  • Autism
  • Extracurricular activities
  • Intellectual disability
  • Participation
  • Severe disabilities

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Education
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Community and Home Care
  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health


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