What is an Intellectual Disability (ID)

This is a short video put out by The American Association for Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities.  It helps to clarify what these terms mean.   I have tried to communicate for years – IQ cannot be the only determining factor in seeing how a person is able to function.  This multidimensional definition is much more in tune with reality.

The highlights of the information are:

There can be HUGE differences between someone with a developmental disability and one with an intellectual disability – a person with a DD does not necessarily have an ID. I would venture to say that every person who lives in the  Residential Habilitation Center (RHC)  has an ID of significant support needs.

Also with these new definitions they are looking more holistically and in a multidimensional view of human function.

These are:

1. Intellectual

2. Adaptive behavior

3. Health

4. Participation

5. Context (cultural aspect)

The definition of ID must include the individual’s assessed supports needs. The person’s level of function is directly related to the supports they receive. When you look at the potential with appropriate supports then you have a complete system.

The supports must be sustainable in order to maintain functioning of the system.

We have the appropriate support systems in place for our residents who live in the RHC – and it has taken a lot of work to get to this point, we have oversight, we have trained staff, we have community, we have health care – we want others to have these same critical supports and this is why we advocate so strongly for a continuum of care.

Removing these supports from those who need them to function is not in the best interest of ANYONE.

Interesting Comments From The Arc of Snohomish County

This goes back to my own (non-scientific but easy and useful) assessment of function and needed supports for RHC communities:

1.  Can the person independently cross the street

2.  Can the person independently go to a familiar grocery store, pick out one familiar item, stand in line and pay for the item?

3.  Can the person independently and appropriately manage their own personal care needs?

My guess would be that for people who need supports to do all 3 of the above tasks, their support needs are quite high.  It would be extremely difficult and expensive to safely care for this person in an independent living home.  For people who have this high of support needs and for those who choose to live in an RHC community, the RHC community is the safest, least restrictive  and most cost effective environment for them.  This is where they will consistently receive the needed supports from trained and knowledgable staff in order to function at their optimal level.

This is not everyone’s choice but for those who do choose this environment,

why are they being denied that human and civil right?

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s