A comparison of support for two groups of young adults with mild intellectual disability

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Young adults with mild to borderline intellectual disability (MBID) have varying profiles of cognitive, adaptive and behavioural functioning. There is also variability in their educational and therapeutic needs. This study compares recommended and actual provision of support for two groups of young adults with MBID and looks at young adults’ satisfaction with their support. Participants’ clinical files were analysed and a satisfaction interview was administered. Descriptive statistics were used to characterise the groups, and t-tests or chi-square tests were used to explore similarities and differences between the groups. A combined, supported independent living setting, a structuring and regulating support style and psychotherapy were recommended for the young adults in group 1 (MBID with externalising behavioural problems), whilst independent living with access to community support services and a meeting house, and skills training was recommended for group 2 (MBID with internalising behavioural problems). Both groups were considered capable of standard employment with support from a job coach. We found mismatches between recommended and actual provision of support. The findings suggest that service providers do not focus enough on the educational support needs, but therapeutic needs are generally more often met.

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