Monday, July 25, 2011

Work and severe disabilities

A study to be published in the August issue of Intellectual & Developmental Disabilities looks at factors associated with paid work during high school for students with severe disabilities. The study is covered in an article on Suite 101.

Some of the findings:

About 28 per cent of 1,510 students had paid work experience.
Of those, 31 per cent had an intellectual disability, 17 per cent had multiple disabilities and 11 per cent had autism.
Odds that students had paid work increased with age.
Students with intellectual disability had almost four times the odds of working than those with autism.
Good communication and independent self-care showed three-fold odds over those with less abilities.
Ability to get to places outside the home was a strong factor for paid work.
Ability to understand others and social skills were not significantly associated with paid work.

Parent expectations are strong predictors of success in finding work for these students. "Students whose parents expected them to eventually become self-supporting had significantly increased odds of having paid work compared to students whose parents did not expect them" to do so. Students who had regular chores were more likely to go on to paid work.

The Suite 101 article includes tips for parents. Louise



Thank you for posting these findings. For, this article demonstrates why parents must try to find a balance between protectionism and helping their kids aquire the necessary skills to live a fulfulling life well into adulthood.

Nonetheless, I will be the first one to admit, "We must learn more about those with severe or multiple disabilities. For, as it stands now, there remains a huge divide between our understanding of mild, moderate, and severe disability. I also believe that parents and children create this division, simply wanting to belong, but the truth is, 'we are the ones pushing others away instead of bringing them together.'"

Matt Kamaratakis

Hi, Thanks so much for sharing my review article. Great job here on Bloom, too. I really enjoyed working on this topic and truly hope that it helps someone. Dr. Carter's enthusiasm was amazing, too. Let me know if there are more research topics of interest. I tend to follow emerging publications but can also make inquiries. I have a call for topics posted on my personal website. Best regards, Melanie Hundley