Some people may be born with or possess an intellectual disability, and that person could be in your own family or circle of friends. If you happen to be the guardian and/or provider for a disabled individual, you might be wondering if you should enroll that loved one into an intellectual disability program.

The truth is, your loved one might need more care than you’re able to provide. If so, it pays to check out intellectual disability programs to see which ones are suitable for your disabled loved one.

But first…

What Is An Intellectual Disability?

To understand what an intellectual disability is, it’s important to note what a disability is exactly. When you say someone is disabled, it means that there are restrictions to some parts of that individual’s life functions. For instance, that person may be unable to do the following tasks:

  • Read a book
  • Feed themselves
  • Walk without assistance

A person is considered to be “intellectually disabled” if they have a condition that limits their intellectual functions as well as adaptive behaviors. Intellectual functions include a person’s ability to learn, reason, and solve problems, while adaptive behaviors may include social and practical skills. These limitations may mean that an individual with an intellectual disability may also have a difficult time obtaining gainful employment. Thus, it may be necessary to enroll that person into an intellectual disability program. You can visit this site for more information about the scope of such programs and how much they would cost.

Why Is An Intellectual Disability Program Necessary?

1. A Person With An Intellectual Disability Needs Help To Function

A person with an intellectual disability may have difficulty picking up knowledge and knowing how to apply that knowledge in day-to-day situations. They may also lack adaptive behavior or skills that will help them socialize better or function without the assistance of others. This means that an intellectual disability program can help accommodate individuals facing these difficulties so they can cope better.

Some people may display these difficulties even from infancy or early childhood. Others may be candidates for inclusion in intellectual disability programs due to severe trauma or a highly stressful event, such as those experienced by war veterans. An intellectual disability program is then necessary so that they will learn how to survive and function well in society.

2. They May Lack A Strong Support System

Unfortunately, not all people who have an intellectual disability has a strong familial or social support system in place. For instance, an intellectually disabled individual may also be an orphan if both parents have passed on. That person might not have siblings or cousins who can serve as their support system. Distant relatives might not always be willing to play this part either.

You as a well-meaning friend or relative might not have the adequate resources to care for your loved one. In this case, an intellectual disability program may be the only support system that can pitch in.

3. The Individual May Need More Help Than What Relatives Or Friends Can Supply

Sometimes, even when family and friends have the best of intentions, the level of care they offer may be substandard or inconsistent. One reason is that family members may also be struggling with their own problems, including finding employment. Another is that not everyone can understand how to care for a person with an intellectual disability. This may derail any progress of the disabled individual in becoming as independent as can be reasonably sought after.

Ideally, a disabled individual would need minimal supervision and support from their social contacts. However, there are those who may need more help because of their condition. For instance, an intellectually disabled person might lack skills in self-care, thus necessitating a full-time nurse or caregiver to assist in bathing, putting on clean clothes, and feeding them meals. The services of a nurse or caregiver can be paid for through government assistance depending on the program you applied for. This is a good option for families who may need financial assistance in caring for a disabled loved one.

Considering these factors, it may simply be better to enroll the loved one into an intellectual disability program. This way, the disabled person will have access to a superior level of care and may even flourish there.

4. The Disabled Individual May Have A Worsening Disability

There’s a good chance that a disabled individual could gain or regain their ability to function independently. However, that’s not always the case. Despite full-time care, some individuals with a disability might not show signs of improvement and may even display worsening symptoms. This often happens to war veterans.

In this case, the person’s family and relatives may feel that an intellectual disability program is the best option, considering everyone’s current situation. If there are insufficient resources amongst family members, that would be the time to enroll their loved one into an intellectual disability program.

5. The Disabled Individual May Gain Some Independence Eventually

Through an intellectual disability program, your loved one may be able to learn enough skills to eventually qualify for an assisted living program. This means that they will be able to live with others in the same assisted living home and contribute to their self-care. They might only need assistance with some parts of the program, such as going to school to learn skills.

If a disabled individual has sufficient skills, this may mean qualifying for a form of employment as well. The individual may be compensated as their efforts in trying to gain a degree of independence through the program are recognized.

Final Takeaway

If you have a loved one with an intellectual disability and you need help with their education, daily care, and possibly their part-time or full-time employment, the answer may be to enroll them in an intellectual disability program. Some of these programs are offered by private institutions while others may be provided by the government.

It’s important to enroll your loved one into such a program so that they may be able to learn the necessary skills to become independent and thus feel a sense of accomplishment and self-respect. Through these programs, they may also learn valuable skills that can help them with gainful employment, which can boost their self-esteem. It’s important to always remember that the goal here is to let your loved one have a chance at being independent, enough that they can live their life to the fullest.