Chapter 10: The Adult Years
- Early adulthood generally marks a time of transition from relative dependence to increasing independence and responsibility—
however adults with intellectual disabilities are unable to completely independent in most situations
- Adults with intellectual disabilities may face significant challenges in accomplishing life goals—i.e. may be unable to find or
hold a job, or are not paid enough to live on their own
- Adults with intellectual disabilities need lifelong support from family, friends, neighbors and coworkers
- Successful adult living may be defined as:
a. Earning a living
b. Having access to further education when desired and appropriate
c. Personal autonomy and independence
d. Interaction with friends and community participation
e. Ongoing involvement within the life of the family
- Making Adult Choices: Competence and Self-Determination
Everyone is considered mentally competent—able to make rationed and reasoned choices about their lives—at the age
of majority unless legally determined otherwise
An adult can be deemed incompetent through a process known as adjudication –this is where evidence must be
provided that the person does not have the capacity to make rational choices
Parents must make the decision whether or not their child has the right to self-determination
Self determination is an extension of a concept called ―the principle of normalization‖, which means people with
intellectual disabilities have access to the conditions of everyday life that are as close as possible to those of people
without disabilities in the mainstream society
Social role valorization (SRV) gives values to individuals with intellectual disabilities –people‘s welfare depends on the
social roles that they occupy
Self-determination takes the view that people with intellectual disabilities should be able to make decisions and choices
about their quality of life without interference. This type of decision can be hard when dealing with people with
Self-determination can be determined by factors including: optimal challenge and empowerment, autonomy,
competence, involvement, acknowledgment of individual feelings, self-regulation.
This can be hard to determine in people with intellectual disabilities. It is important that people with intellectual
disabilities to learn and apply self-determination skills in work and community life.
- The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA)
This act mandates that barriers of discrimination against people with disabilities in private-sector employment be
It requires businesses that serve the public to remove architectural barriers—such as curbs on sidewalks or narrow
Businesses community must provide ‗reasonable accommodations‘ to people with disabilities in hiring or promotion
practices—in restructuring jobs and modifying equipment.
All types of transportation must be accessible. Public accommodations like restaurants must also be accessible to people
The ADA‘s purpose is to provide people with disabilities an ‗equal playing field‘—as they seek the same opportunities
afforded those who are not disabled.
- Supported Residential Living
Community supports for people with intellectual disabilities should promote personal autonomy, social inclusion, and
choice of lifestyle.
Supported living is the most appropriate residential arrangement.
Emphasis on living and not programming.
Forms include: group homes, semi-independent homes and apartments, foster family care, and sheltered villages.
- Living with Parents and Siblings
Some people with intellectual disabilities live with their family for their entire life.
Parents of children with intellectual disabilities have lower rates of employment, larger families and lower rates of social
Respite care and in-home assistance: provides relief for parents, provides families with the opportunity to engage in
social and recreational activities. Grandparents and other extended family members are a critical resource for families
with children who have intellectual disabilities.
Counseling and training: families may receive counseling services and training to help them cope with the daily stress of
coping with stress of caring for an adult with an intellectual disability.
Sibling roles: siblings engage in a lot of emotional support for those with intellectual disabilities. Sisters tend to score
higher on care giving of siblings with intellectual disabilities than brothers.
Early adulthood generally marks a time of transition from relative dependence to increasing independence and responsibility however adults with intellectual disabilities are unable to completely independent in most situations. Adults with intellectual disabilities may face significant challenges in accomplishing life goals i. e. may be unable to find or hold a job, or are not paid enough to live on their own. Adults with intellectual disabilities need lifelong support from family, friends, neighbors and coworkers. Successful adult living may be defined as: earning a living, having access to further education when desired and appropriate, personal autonomy and independence, ongoing involvement within the life of the family. Everyone is considered mentally competent able to make rationed and reasoned choices about their lives at the age of majority unless legally determined otherwise. An adult can be deemed incompetent through a process known as adjudication this is where evidence must be provided that the person does not have the capacity to make rational choices.