Intellectually Disabled

Intellectually Disabled


Human communities are involved with individuals making up the society in need of a vast demand for services, resources, and needs. The desire to satisfy all the different groups have prompted special groups to organize themselves in groupings that can help them lobby for their needs. Individuals living with disabilities are a special focus group whose needs surpass those of individuals living a normal life. Organizing life for such people requires a dedicated approach that ensures that no one will be left behind. The main issues affecting people with intellectual disorders is all about providing that they live their lives comfortably without denying them a chance to live a life that they desire. Human services are essential in facilitating positive growth for these individuals. According to the American Medical Association, all individuals with special needs require human services in the name of self-care, social relations, education, empathy, tolerance, and attention. Offering the individuals with these services is prerequisite in empowering them and helping them accept the situations they are in.

In most cases, the burden to take care of the intellectually challenged individuals is often left to their immediate families. To the families, this means that they must have enough financial resources, as well as the space to accommodate them. In most cases, financial resources are required for accessing medical care, therapy, guidance and counseling, rehabilitation, advocacy, mentorship, special education training, and support, as well as physical support (Friedman & Spassiani, 2017).

Services like speech therapy are expensive, time-consuming and require caretakers who are committed to helping. Most of these services might not be accessible especially if the individual’s family does not have ample resources. The situation becomes desperate, and they might feel forgotten and unappreciated.  The government has been in the forefront in providing these services however service delivery has been marred by hitches and challenges emanating from weak networks, unreliable partners, lack of goodwill and difficulties in resources mobilization (Haymes et al., 2015).  Non-goverbnmental organizations also offer these services; however, these services do not reach the majority due to the enormous challenges. Creating a robust support system for individuals who are intellectually disabled is the first important step in building an all-inclusive society that does not discriminate, short change or forget the members. The principle is to ensure that no one is left behind in matters of health, progress, and support (Havercamp & Scott, 2015).

Needs of the Population

Populations with intellectually challenged individuals require enough care to enable them to live a normal life or that which allows them to with other members of the community. In most cases, extra care must be taken o ensure that they are not disadvantaged or treated in a way that will make them feel less worthy of themselves (Bouras, 2018). Depending on the nature of the conditions that they are experiencing or affecting them, the individuals require different levels of commitment and resources allocation.  Successfully examining the intensity of the support needs that they expect to live a comfortable and fully integrated life requires measurement by the use of the Supports Intensity Scale  and at the same time create a mechanism by which to understand co-occurring autism, mental health problems,  and physical limitations that arise as a result of intellectual;l disability (Friedman & Spassiani, 2017). Technology can be used to minimize the challenges faced by groups of people. According to the American Association on Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities, the most basic way to help and assist individuals with intellectual disabilities is by providing the technology that would enable them to have a greater control of their lives, while empowering them to contribute to productive activities in their homes, school and work environments, minimize the challenges when integrating with the non disabled and at the same time be in the best position to benefit from opportunities (Havercamp & Scott, 2015).

Advocacy is the first and the most critical need for individuals with intellectual disability. In most cases, these individuals are not treated with dignity or respect and most of their rights are not respected. Advocacy for individuals with mental needs will mean that the group loses no more single opportunity. Support will boost how these groups of individuals communicate, articulate themselves and bargain for their rights (Bouras, 2018).   Since degrees of intellectual disability matter, it is vital to ensure that the individuals are protected and that they are also stakeholders in the affairs of the community. Advocacy for individuals with intellectual disabilities will mean that they can get specialized care, attention, assistance because they are exposed to many vulnerabilities. Creating a robust framework to ensure that the individuals are not left behind in policy formulation is not only essential but ethical (Segatto et al., 2017).

The group is usually faced by challenges in learning, cognition, and intellectual functioning. In this regards the individuals require educational services and facilities they are dedicated and committed to boosting memory, learning and solving problems (Friedman & Spassiani, 2017). It is also essential to ensure that they can learn fast, process information quickly and solve problems in the right way. The advantage of this is that it enables them to improve their intellectual abilities. Special learning centers for the intellectually disabled individuals require enough resources, dedicated personnel and even an up to date mechanism that can be used to track the progress of the individuals. In case they are in society and the workplace. It is essential to ensure that they have facilities that make them productive and fully integrated with the rest of the community members (Havercamp & Scott, 2015).

Depending on the nature of the individuals in question, it is also essential to ensure that they are given individualized supports especially if the disabilities are different. Individuals with autism would require different resources, support, care and attention from an individual who is affected by Downs Syndrome or X syndrome (Haymes et al., 2015).  Research and studies have revealed that one single way of ensuring that the individuals overcome the barriers in the environment is by offering individualized care and attention. Creating families or support groups for such individuals is also a need that the individuals desire to have for themselves (Friedman & Spassiani, 2017). Ensuring that the individuals in question can enjoy their rights without discrimination is important and valuable. Creating a community for them reduces challenges of integration while at the same time makes it easy for them to comprehend the social rules, build up empathy, and ease of communicating (Segatto et al., 2017). The single fact that individuals living with intellectual disabilities are human is proof that the needs of any human being are what they need. Although, depending on the nature of their limitations, these groups of people require more attention, specialized care, focused policies, more empathy, and an elaborate structure does not limit their abilities. In a bid to access government services and other services with ease it is also essential to ensure that special consideration is given to them at all times (Friedman & Spassiani, 2017). Lastly giving hope is essential as it is the only way to encourage confidence, self-acceptance, build self-advocacy and empower the individuals. It is the role of the society to ensure that these needs are not overlooked as the truth of the matter is, individuals with intellectual disabilities are part of the global community (Havercamp & Scott, 2015).

Services Meeting Needs of the Population

Meeting the needs of the community is not a natural process as it involves coordination to be able to ascertain what is affecting the individuals. In some cases, a single service might meet all their needs while in other cases, meeting the requirements will require multiple services. The American Association on Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities sets it that meeting the needs of the group is one sure way of promoting inclusivity and embracing one another. Health centers that focus on their well being and development is a valuable service that would be significant in providing not only the health assessment but also mentorship and guidance (Bouras, 2018). Learning centers that have attention on the individuals is also another vital service that in one way would make life smooth for the majority of these individuals. Learning centres, in this case, would be crucial in further developing the individuals, enabling them to mix with other individuals who are also affected by the same disabilities. The school would also serve as an essential bridge for them to take opportunities that might be in the offering (Segatto et al., 2017). The needs of intellectually challenged individuals are not in any way different from those of healthy individuals, in a transparent way, the individuals are also in need of social services, support services, and other services to enable them to live their lives comfortably and with ease (Havercamp & Scott, 2015). It is, however, essential to note that although most of these disorders cannot be cured, managing them is the most critical prerequisite as it improves the overall situation and condition of the individuals. Creating a central government agency in each state or local area would serve as a significant asset that would significantly enhance the way these individuals receive their support and services (Friedman & Spassiani, 2017). Agencies like these would also be the point of reference in matters in matters of providing data on individuals with intellectual disability, their progress, and remedies taken to improve their situations.  American Association on Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities is not only focused on improving the lives of these groups of people but is also focused on making the situation manageable for them. Building a framework to asses the position, research on how to improve the situation and in future work to minimize the cases of intellectual disability is an important gesture that would restore hope to the individuals with intellectual disabilities (Havercamp & Scott, 2015).   Lastly, focusing on self-development for these individuals would reduce the overall impact of the limitations on their lives and at least make it enjoyable and bearable for them to live. During the early years after a baby is born, early intervention services could be used. The sole aim of the early intervention is to create and develop an Individualised Family Services Plan (IFSP). The Individualised Family Service Plan describes the needs of a child as well as the services to offer to address those needs. School-aged children, on the other hand, require special education and related services. The staff work one on one with the parents and the individuals to develop an Individualized Education Program (IEP) (Bouras, 2018).

Agencies Providing Services

Provision of services to the intellectually disabled individuals is not an easy task as it means individualizing the services breaking them to the extent that the individuals can consume them. It is also important to understand that these services need to be broken down depending on how the individual’s progress (Brown et al., 2017).  Another one cannot substitute the role of each agency although unique as each plays an important role in the welfare of the individuals. In a bid to ensure that service delivery is done in the right way and that it reaches the intended individuals (Bouras, 2018, Havercamp & Scott, 2015).  The success of these programs depends on the scope, the nature of the services and the auxiliary supporting agencies. Working with grassroots agencies and organizations is also important as it lessens the burden of the agencies and enables them to reach individuals even in the remotest areas of the country (Haymes et al., 2015). The Arc of the United States is an important organization that provides effective advocacy and human services for individuals who are intellectually disabled. The organization enjoys extensive outreach since they partner with most local organizations and are experienced in providing services to intellectually disabled individuals (Friedman & Spassiani, 2017). Over the years they have developed structured community wellness programs that focus on intellectual disabilkity, and this has ensured their high success rates.  The presence of the Arc is felt in almost every state, while their services are well defined to the citizens and members of the community (Brown et al., 2017).  The Arc of the United States partners with the American Association on Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities (AAIDD) to give educational opportunities to the intellectually disabled, hold annual conferences, webinars and other materials that might be important to the individuals, their communities or their parents. The American Association on Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities is another important agency in providing services for the intellectually disabled (Bouras, 2018). The agency provides a wide range of services, but the mostly the agency is tasked with providing information on intellectual disability, best practices and guidelines, and on how to develop a support system for people living with intellectual disabilities. The activities of the AAIDD are felt in the whole country as it is the most committed outfit on matters of intellectual disability. Over the years, the agency has widened its scope by linking intellectually disabled individuals with the local organization that offers support and guidance (Friedman & Spassiani, 2017). The Division on Developmental Disabilities (DDD) on the other hand is the agency tasked with offering publications and journals for professionals dealing with intellectual disabilities. The main aim of the Division on Developmental Disabilities is to continually update the available knowledge of intellectual disabilities and thus provide a strong information base for professionals. It is believed that the management of intellectual disabilities can be improved once the existing knowledge is made relevant and updated (Bouras, 2018).  The Division on Developmental Disabilities works hand in hand with the American Association on Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities to help them classify the intellectual disabilities. The Division on Autism and Developmental Disabilities is another relevant agency that works to improve the wellbeing of intellectually disabled individuals. Their focus is to advance educational and life outcomes of individuals with autism and intellectual and developmental disabilities while at the same time creating a framework for consultation and resources sharing (Friedman & Spassiani, 2017, Brown et al., 2017).  eIn tan To ensure that the services required by intellectually disabled individuals reach the grassroots, there are various faith-based organizations like the Mosaic that aim to offer the much-needed services to people affiliated to its religion. Friendship Circle International is also another agency that supports and helps children with intellectual disabilities from Jewish communities. They offer services like sibling support, home visits, life skills and holiday programs (Bouras, 2018).  Parents Helping Parents is a body of parents whose children are intellectually disabled. The organization aims to provide family and community services, crisis support, assistive technology services, and early intervention. The agency was developed out of the need to equip parents with skills that are required to handle children who are intellectually disabled (Friedman & Spassiani, 2017). The  Federation of Children with Special Needs is a vital agency that aims to offer special education for parents, offer family support, health advocacy, parent to parent support and parent-professional leadership. The agency partners with other institutions to provide care, health and education in an in-depth way across the country (Haymes et al., 2015). Agencies like Easter Seal offer resources for autism, brain health, and medical rehabilitation. Children and adults with intellectual disabilities and learning needs are also supported by therapists, and health professionals (Bouras, 2018).  Special Olympics are also organized to promote building communities, youth activities, healthy lifestyles, and research. It is believed that through the power of sports individuals can discover new strengths, abilities, skills, and success. The main aim is to boost the confidence of the Intellectually disabled individuals and help them in their cognitive development (Brown et al., 2017).  The United Cerebral Palsy is another important agency in the promotion of the affairs of individuals who are intellectually challenged. The United Cerebral Palsy aims to create a limitless life from people with intellectual disabilities. They are focused on advocacy, education, and providing guidance and support services for individuals and families for people with learning disabilities (Friedman & Spassiani, 2017).

Methods and Ways of Self Advocacy

Self-advocacy plays a vital role in ensuring that intellectually disabled individuals are not left behind in matters touching on their well being, education, human rights, democracy, and opportunities. In as much as the government and other agencies are putting so much effort to ensure that these individuals are not left behind in such matters, it is essential for them to establish their advocacy measures. Allowing them to self-advocate means empowering them and encouraging them to lift each other. Indirectly it is a way to make them responsible for their own needs (Bouras, 2018). Self-advocacy can be done in several ways with the major one being allowing the individuals to form self-governing groups that can be led by a patron who is not affected by the disabilities. Creating a lobby group is as important as building information centers for different individual groups. Creating awareness of their rights from an early age informs them and equips them with the courage to handle their situations. Encouraging them to work with the already established lobby groups could be the first step in boosting their confidence levels and create their desire to self-advocate (Brown et al., 2017).




Children living with intellectual disabilities are essential in society as within them lies potential, talents, and abilities that can be tapped to enable them to live their dreams and aspirations. The most important investment that any nation or community can do is to ensure that these individuals are not segregated or denied their chance of enjoying life. The coming together of agencies, organizations should provide hopes for these groups of children and individuals and create in them the desire and hope to live. Overcoming challenges of the intellectually disabled is not an easy process and require patience, resources, goodwill and enough coordination. In as much as the government is doing much in matters of research, it is essential to ensure that the existing agencies are not underresourced as this might hamper their work. Building a bridge that can empower the communities living with intellectual disabilities is one of the most important gestures towards improving mental health for all.


Bouras, N. (2018). Book Review: Diagnostic Manual-Intellectual Disability (DM-ID 2):          Textbook of Diagnosis of Mental Disorders in Persons with Intellectual Disability.         Intellectual and developmental disabilities56(2), 147-150.

Friedman, C., & Spassiani, N. A. (2017). Getting out there: Community support services for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities in Medicaid HCBS         waivers. Inclusion5(1), 33-44.

Havercamp, S. M., & Scott, H. M. (2015). National health surveillance of adults with disabilities,       adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities, and adults with no         limitations. Disability and Health Journal

Brown, I., Percy, M., Fung, W. L., &Shogren, K. A. (2017). A comprehensive guide to intellectual and developmental disabilities. M. L. Wehmeyer (Ed.). Paul H. Brookes Publishing, Company.

Segatto, L. G., Melo, M. C., & Da Silva, G. M. (2017, July). Proposal of an educational game for improvement of cognitive performance of intellectually disabled people. In 2017 IEEE Canada International Humanitarian Technology Conference (IHTC) (pp. 109-112). IEEE.

Haymes, L. K., Storey, K., Maldonado, A., Post, M., & Montgomery, J. (2015). Using applied behavior analysis and smart technology for meeting the health needs of individuals with intellectual disabilities. Developmental neurorehabilitation18(6), 407-419.

Intellectually Disabled Outline

Thesis Statement: Creating a robust support system for individuals who are intellectually disabled is the first important step in building an all-inclusive society that does not discriminate, short change or forget the members. The principle is to ensure that no one is left behind in matters of health, progress, and support

  1. Introduction
  2. Needs of the Population
  • Services Meeting Needs of the Population
  1. Agencies Providing Services
  2. Methods and Ways of Self Advocacy
  3. Conclusion

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