Before diving into the things you need to consider when choosing an intellectual disability support service, it is important to understand what intellectual disability is in the first place.
Intellectual disability is referred to as having below-average intelligence. People with this type of disability also lack basic life skills making them in need of extra support to get by with their daily lives.
Keep in mind that the degree of severity of mental disability varies from mild to profound. That said, it is also important to note that people with intellectual disabilities are still capable of learning new concepts and ideas. The only difference is that they take a much longer time to acquire these new skills.
An intellectual disability and support site offers programs that can help develop intellectual and physical skills in those with the condition that will help them lead a more positive life. The goal of such support services is to make the individual more independent and leading a higher quality of life.
Let’s now take a look at some of the factors that you need to consider in the ideal intellectual disability support service.
1. The Location
The first thing that you will need to consider is the location. The support service needs to be close to the residence of the affected persons. This makes it possible to take the individual to the service during the agreed time of day.
Also, it is important that the support service is able to offer different types of programs designed to instill different skills such as social, physical, and other life skills.
The programs should also be able to accommodate individuals of different age groups. For instance, a social program could cater for people with intellectual disabilities of ages 5-22. This will help develop important social skills that the affected person may not have.
2. Parenting Programs
These are designed for the parents. They are intended to provide skills that help the parent to be able to deal with the child without the support of an in-house professional. They may also offer useful advice for travelling with intellectually disabled persons.
Many parents of kids with intellectual disabilities are not able to help them with their daily activities. They cannot be blamed for this as kids with intellectual disabilities need specialized care.
By learning the necessary parenting skills, parents will be able to help their children learn essential life skills without rushing the child through the learning process while also offering them the support that they need.
3. Specialized Programs
Other than offering training programs for developing social skills as well as equipping parents with the needed skills to take care of their child with intellectual disability, it is also important that the support service is able to offer tailored programs.
These will be designed after the affected individual is assessed to understand their situation and therefore their needs.
4. Supported Employment
Workers with intellectual disabilities will also require a means of sustaining themselves. A good and reliable intellectual disability program should also include supported employment designed to help the individual earn income.
Often such support services will help find careers within the community in which they live in. The main benefit of such programs is that they are able to turn people with intellectual disabilities into useful members of society that contribute to the growth of society.
5. Parent or Family Reimbursement
This program allows parents of children with intellectual disabilities to apply for reimbursements to help offset the costs of caring for the affected child.
Note that such programs are eligible after all other options have been exhausted and will need to be vetted by the Developmental Disabilities Service Committee.
6. Outreach Program
This type of program often happens after a set duration of time such as during the weekends with a goal of bringing awareness about the intellectually disabled.
It will mainly involve outings, respites, field trips. Another major goal of such outings is to help fight the stigma associated with the developmentally disabled.
7. Other Factors
Others factors that you may need to consider when choosing an intellectual disability support service include things like:
- Supported housing
- Medical care
- Physical therapy
- speech therapy
- adult day care services
- public transportation
When choosing the ideal intellectual disability support service, there are a number of things that you will need to consider such as an outreach program to create awareness to the community about the intellectually disabled, as well as family programs to teach the parents to take care of the affected child.