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Supported living arrangements for persons with ID

How would you address the problem of supported living arrangements for persons with ID in your neighborhood?

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With the appropriate over sight by family and community, there is no reason why an individual with ID could not live an independent life, living in their own home and making their own day to day choices. The first problem which presents itself is determining if the person is intellectually capable of functioning in this capacity. For example, a low functioning Downs syndrome family member would find it hard pressed to live independently, but a more highly functional person with a higher IQ, basically around 70-80, would be capable of this with the right support and help.

I have personally taught Special ed classes to clients in a private school in Rockville, Maryland, on a one to one basis. I had one such individual, - a high functioning Downs syndrome young lady of 19 years of age. She came from a fairly affluent and professional family, so independent living arrangements were not a financial problem for her family to arrange. In many other instances, this is not a possible choice because there would not be enough funds available in a typical middle class family in order to support independent living in the true sense of the word. In the case of my personal student, a live-in 'room mate' was hired to help her with the daily chores of cleaning, shopping and planning her meals. She was made to feel as if she was on an equal footing with this person, when in fact, they were hired by her parents to look over her in a gentle, friendly way. This worked out ideally. Moreover, she did not have to spend the night alone. The 'guardian' was actually able to hold another part time job because this student was quite able to spend some hours of the day on her own. However, she did provide a safe and secure environment for her client/friend to feel at home with. This was a wonderful, ideal situation for my student and she actually progressed ...

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