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Chapter 12

Ch. 12: Severe and Multiple Disabilities

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Stuart Kamenetsky

Ch 12 Severe and Multiple DisabilitiesDefinitionsthe needs of people with severe and multiple disabilities cannot be met by one professional the nature of their disabilities extends equally into the fields of education medicine psychology and social services Historical Descriptions of Severe Disabilitiesthroughout history terminology associated with severe disabilities has communicated a sense of hopelessness and despair 1976 Justen proposed a definition that moved away from negative terminology to descriptions of the individuals developmental characteristicsthen it became more and more about education TASH and the people it servesTASH formerly the Association for Severe Handicaps us an association of people with disabilities their family members other advocates and professionals who promote full inclusion into family school and community life a primary belief of this organization is that every individual has the right to direct his or her own lifeTASH works on the behalf of people with intellectual disabilities autism cerebral palsy physical disabilities and other conditions that make full integration a challenge TASH focuses on the relationship of the individual with the environment adaptive fit the need to include people of all ages and ongoing support in life activities the adaptive fit between the person and the environment is a 2 way street1 it is important to determine the capability of the individual to cope with the requirement of family school and community environment s2 the extent to which these various environments recognize and accommodate the need of the person with severe disabilities is vital this model requires continuous adjustment TASH definition suggests that an adaptive fit can be created only when there is ongoing support formal andor natural for each person as he or she moves through various life activities including social interactions taking care of personal needs and making choices about life style working and moving from place to placeThe IDEA definitions of severe and multiple disabilitiesindividuals with severe disabilities may be subsumed under any one of IDEAs categories such as intellectual disabilities autism serious emotional disturbance speech and language impairments and so on multiple disabilities is in IDEAMultiple Disabilitiesmultiple impairment the combination of which causes such severe educational needs that they cannot be accommodated in special education programs solely for one of the impairments Dual diagnosis identification of both serious emotional problems and intellectual disabilities in the same individual why do people with intellectual disabilities and other developmental disabilitieshave higher rates of challenging behaviorsthese individuals are more likely to live in situations that are restrictive prejudicial limit their independence and result in victimization
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