There are plenty of effective ways to encourage independence in children with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDDs) while they live at home. Doing so in age- and ability-appropriate ways is always important. In some cases, you’re preparing your kid to live in a supported independent living environment when they reach adulthood. And, when this is possible, it’s often a good idea, as there are many benefits of independent living for people with IDDs.
If you have a child with an intellectual or developmental disability, you may struggle with the decision of whether they should live somewhere other than with you. Of course, there’s no one-size-fits-all answer to whether it’s the right move. So many individual factors affect the decision, which must be made by your family as a whole—including your son or daughter—in consultation with your healthcare providers.
If you are leaning toward it, below are some of the many benefits of independent living for people with IDDs. Understanding them can help make the decision a little easier when everyone is at least in agreement that it’s possible.
And, when the time approaches, here’s some advice for preparing your child for independent living.
Benefits of Independent Living for Individuals with Disabilities
Residing in a supported independent living environment:
- Offers greater opportunity for making choices and self-determination
- Provides a strong sense of normalcy, which people with IDDs often crave
- Contributes to a sense of purpose
- Boosts self-confidence, self-esteem, and personal pride
- Pushes people to thrive in new ways
- Promotes socialization, facilitates making new friends, and offers chances to build other positive relationships
- Shifts perspective from caring for to empowerment of individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities
- Helps dispel the widespread misconception that all people with IDDs can’t live on their own or practice meaningful self-determination