Developmental Disabilities

Developmental disabilities may become apparent before the age of 22 and thus may cause physical or mental limitations. Developmental abilities involve mental retardation, epilepsy, autism, cerebral palsy and other neurological impairments. In the result people may have either limited mobility or limited ability to take care of their physical needs. Nowadays people suffering from developmental abilities, especially in older age, face social challenges, though have the opportunity to enjoy a full and active life.

All they need is understanding, encouragement and readiness of family members to help them to become part of their community. Therefore the project will work out new initiatives and ideas how to expand and strengthen the support system of family. Furthermore, the project will provide better understanding of management and support of family members and will contain relevant materials to share with families. Moreover, the project aims at assisting in future planning, trusts, wills and guardianship.

The study thus will provide unique knowledge about elder people suffering from developmental disabilities. The objectives of the study are to improve family- directed support and to provide technical assistance in defining personal needs, plans as well as implementation of programs and evaluation of the results. Furthermore, the specific goals of the research is to strengthen programs aimed at providing families with abilities and proper knowledge how to take care of elder members suffering from developmental disabilities.

The present project will be assessed through the methods of description, case study and desktop research. A literature search revealed over 150 articles and books on the managing and supporting people with developmental disabilities. Over two-thirds of these were prescriptive and written by practitioners, consultants and journalists. There is also a steady flow of research and ideas on how to improve the quality of family support.

References

Hollins S, Sireling L. (1990). Working Through Loss with People Who Have Learning Disabilities. Windsor: NFER-Nelson.

Kloeppel D, Hollins S. (1989). Mental Retardation and Death in the Family. Death Studies, 13, 31-38.

Stroebe, M., Storebe, W., Hansson, R. (1993). Handbook of Bereavement. Cambridge, England: Cambridge University Press.