The Qualitative Report
There is little known about what spirituality means for youth with disability or about the potential relevance of youths’ spirituality in pediatric rehabilitation. This study explored perceptions of spirituality for youth with disabilities. Using a qualitative descriptive methodology, we examined the lived experiences of eighteen youth ages 11-20 years with disabilities including cerebral palsy, central nervous system disorder or autism spectrum disorder. In individual interviews, followed by a focus group, youth identified key spiritual themes – the importance of their beliefs, personal sources of comfort and strength, finding purpose in helping others, significance of personal connections, and strengths-based perspectives on disability. This study makes a unique contribution by informing health care professionals about the relevance of youths’ spirituality in service delivery. Keywords: Spirituality, Religion, Disability, Youth, Adolescent, Quality of Life, Qualitative Descriptive.