There are people in the world who set lower expectations for people with developmental disabilities. Because of this, there are people with developmental disabilities who don’t have high expectations for themselves either. However, there are people who use negative thoughts to motivate them to break away from an unwanted stigma, and achieve more than people may realize was possible. Working with people who have developmental disabilities can be more rewarding than people think. They are capable of more than people expect, and it all starts with how people approach them. Here are five tips you should use when you’re working with people who have developmental disabilities.
Be A Mirror
Help people with developmental disabilities see how they relate to the world around them and how they function in the world. If they are treated as a part of the larger community, rather than individuals isolated from others, it helps them to feel empowered. With the feeling of empowerment, people with disabilities can start paving the way towards making independent choices. By relying on themselves rather than others, they can respond to society’s dissuasion by saying, “I can do it.” rather than feel helpless and weak.
Never Assume You Know If Someone Has A Disability
It is never good to assume you know if someone has a developmental disability. If you think it’s appropriate, try to ask as politely and respectfully as possible to the person regarding whether they have a developmental disability. There are plenty of disabilities, such as autism, deafness, and epilepsy, that can’t be seen on the surface. It’s difficult for people with these invisible disabilities because they usually have to validate their disabilities to other people while also trying not to be discriminated against because of them.
You’re going to need to put aside any prejudice you have against people with developmental disabilities, and instead, really try to get to know them on a deeper level. Often, people who have disabilities are defined by them by the community. But getting to know people with these disabilities will help you understand that they have their unique personalities. If you know the disability of a person with whom you’re communicating, there is information you can find regarding how to interact with people who have specific disabilities.
Progress towards acceptance is being made constantly as people are having their perspectives changed on people with developmental disabilities. We see this in cases such as community inclusion, and consideration for accessibility of the world. Always do your best not to offend someone with ignorance and keep up-to-date with all of the politically-correct procedures.
Contact Family Service Foundation
Family Service Foundation provides mental health and social support services that encourage growth in our clients, change their lives for the better, and enrich the community. We provide world-class mental health and community social services to individuals throughout the state of Maryland, bettering their lives and enabling them to reach their highest potential.