Parents face many decisions when their child with an intellectual disability reaches adulthood. The social and ethical decisions that the parents of these children must make is monumental. Even the society in which we live must pay attention to the care that these individuals receive throughout their life. Before a child with an intellectual disability can become a successful adult, those around them need to stop, step back, and make honest decisions about the future. Of course hoping for the best for an individual with an intellectual disability and continuing to push all individuals farther is ideal, but there also needs to be a realistic perspective of the situation.
Here are some things to consider in helping their child with an intellectual disability find success in adulthood:
1) Is the child is ready?
2) Do they have the skills to take on the responsibility of adulthood?
3) Where will they live? How much support will they need in this environment?
4) Will they work? If so, where?
5) How will they receive the support necessary to live a fulfilling and safe adulthood?
These questions may lead the parent to feeling overly protective and/or all alone. As a teacher and friend, it is important to provide support for families as they go through this transition. If you are a professional, it is also important to give a realistic evaluation of the child and direct the family to the appropriate services. Throughout the transition for childhood to adulthood, it is important to work as a team to find the best solutions and strategies to support the individual with the intellectual disability to find success in adulthood.
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