Promoting self-management in people with intellectual disabilities.

Promoting self-management in people with intellectual disabilities.


Our research shows that people with an intellectual
disability find it important to be more independent. And this makes them less reliant
on their family or their mentors. This research was carried out together
with the institution Raamwerk. And we’ve founded an academy:
the Academy for Self-Management. Here at the Academy we work with clients
that want to learn something. The goal is to increase their autonomy. The wish to learn must come from within. We do this because we think intrinsic motivation is important. I followed the research participants
for one-and-a-half years… and looked at the extent to which
they achieved their goals. This also applied to Davey. Can you tell us what you’re learning at the Academy? At the moment I’m learning how to deal with money. And uh… Learning to read. I think I’m getting better at it. And that’s what I wanted: to be able to read. Then you have to put in an effort. I see them thrive.
But I also see them doing more things. They are not as passive anymore. They take more action but in a good way. Negative behaviour disappears,
because they feel better. We emphasise how important
it is to promote self-management. We can see from our research results
that they make progress within 3 months. But also that they need less support. Here you go.
– Thanks. From mentors I hear that they have less time nowadays
to guide people towards self-management. But if they’re given time and proper guidance,
people with an intellectual disability can learn a lot. How do you learn best? Sometimes I find it hard so I like it
if there’s someone there to help. But I usually like to learn alone. Because that will benefit me more… Then I’m sure I’ll remember. With Davey, I can see improvement.
He is more likely to initiate conversation. We give him space to enter into dialogue. If he doesn’t manage to achieve something, that’s not a problem, but we propose a solution for next time. So he gets useful tips. Our research shows that it’s important to involve
the people who are close to the client. For instance, one client wanted
to learn how to do the laundry. But his mum had already done it for him. That’s well-intentioned, but it makes it hard
for people to learn these skills themselves. I stick these on the paper. For instance, 1 euro and 19 cents
is rounded to 1 euro and 20 cents. That’s the beauty of this research:
you immediately see the real-life value.

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