Developmental and Cognitive Disabilities Essay
This paper looks at people with developmental and cognitive disabilities who have been assimilated back into the society, and have a substance abuse problem. It first looks at some of the characteristics that make them stand out from other people for example sub-average intellectual functioning and scoring below mean in a standardized intelligence test. It also looks at how the process of having them back in the society began, and some of the challenges experienced which include lack of adequate resources. The biggest problem is that people cannot identify people with intellectual disability who are substance abusers since they assume that they are all slow.
People with developmental and cognitive disabilities have a few characteristics that make them stand out from other people. They have a significantly sub-average intellectual functioning, which usually means scoring two standard deviations below mean on a standardized intelligence test. When compared to people of an individual’s age in his or her cultural group, they have deficits in adaptive functioning in at least two of the following areas, self-direction, self-care, communication, social/interpersonal skills, work, and leisure among others. Also, onset in the developmental period which is usually defined as before 18 years of age. Developmental and Cognitive Disabilities Essay
In 1950’s an important social experiment was carried out which led to people with mental illness and developmental and cognitive disorders to be assimilated back into the society. The good thing is that they were given an opportunity to lead normal lives and participate in the day to day activities with other people. However, a couple of things were not considered. The support system these people needed to fit in were often insufficient, unavailable or inaccessible. And without the required support, they were expected to fit into the neighbor’s daily routines, which was nearly impossible. The exposure to normal life including habits and behavior, however, did introduce them to an aspect they were previously protected from, substance use and inevitably abuse. Developmental and Cognitive Disabilities Essay
These people with intellectual disabilities who are substance abusers have some things in common. Compared to their peers without intellectual disability, they tend to begin drinking alcohol a couple of years later. They are also less likely to be Caucasian. Rarely will they seek help for their problem and even if they did, the resources available to the general public fall short of meeting their needs. What’s worse is they are at a greater risk of complications from drinking since the prescribed medications for other conditions like seizures and metabolic disorders might negatively interact with alcohol and drugs. Taking an example with autism spectrum disorder, people also assume that they are slow in thinking and actions, so it’s hard to pick out a person with a serious drug problem. They are also not the best when it comes to communication.
Adequate research in this area might be lagging, but all is not lost. It’s okay for these people to be integrated into the community and experience life amongst other people. However, what is required is enough support by people who understand them and can pick out things like normal symptoms or alcohol and substance abuse. A small group of clinicians is already taking up the challenge and tirelessly working with Alcoholics Anonymous and Narcotics Anonymous to offer treatment and the community level, even as more institutions are closed down by the state and integrate residents back into society. Developmental and Cognitive Disabilities Essay
Krahn, G., Farrell, N., Gabriel, R., & Deck, D. (2006). Access barriers to substance abuse treatment for persons with disabilities: An exploratory study. Journal of Substance Abuse Treatment, 31(4), 375-384. doi:10.1016/j.jsat.2006.05.011
Mccrystal, P., Percy, A., & Higgins, K. (2007). Substance Use Behaviors of Young People with a Moderate Learning Disability: A Longitudinal Analysis. The American Journal of Drug and Alcohol Abuse, 33(1), 155-161. doi:10.1080/00952990601091143
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