Family Support Interventions for Families of Adults with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities

Did you know? As many as almost 200 million people across the globe are suffering from intellectual disabilities. Additionally, some suffer from mild intellectual disabilities. The figures are huge, and handling the situation involves many responsibilities. 

The disability means that the person will need more time to process the things being taught and also learn new things. Today, we discuss a few key steps that will help you empower yourself as a parent and help them achieve their full potential. 

What Could A Family Do To Support A Child With An Intellectual Disability?

Family can help the child in the following ways:

  • Encourage Independence: You should always motivate them to try new things and also encourage them to complete the tasks by themselves. Offer them the required guidance and praise them when they do something well. This will help them become independent and learn things by themselves. 
  • Educate Yourself: As a family member who has to support a child with an intellectual disability, you should better understand their condition. Research the child's struggle and maintain a list of all possible outcomes. When you know their challenges, you can easily support them in their growth. 
  • Involve Them In Social Activities: Getting them enrolled in some social activities like athletic or art classes and even some group play will help build social skills in them. Furthermore, they will have the confidence to help them achieve certain development milestones. 

How Can You Work With Families And Parents Of Children And Youth With Special Needs?

When working with families who have children with special needs, you need to establish meaningful relationships with them. Also, watch your communication. It should be clear for them to understand better. Know that some parents will get their children to you because they are aware of the disability, whereas you will encounter some who are completely unaware. They will know the disability after enrolling in your program. 

  • Honor and respect the diversity of families with special children. 
  • Recognize their strength and some special approaches that will be beneficial for the family to cope with the situation. 
  • Encourage networking and family-to-family support. 

What Challenges Do Parents Face With Intellectually Challenged Children?

Having a child with an intellectual disability puts an emotional burden on the parents and other family members. Additionally, they also face some social, physical, and economic problems. Families with such a child usually suffer from deep sadness, higher levels of depression, anger, anxiety, loneliness, etc. 

Families also may not have detailed information about their children's condition and the knowledge of dealing with it. They may also not have the accessibility to fulfill their child's special needs. When taking them to get indulged in social activities, their children may get bullied by other children present there and similar difficulties. 


How Important Is Family Involvement In Working With Students With Special Educational Needs?

The involvement of parents or the family is much more important than you think when working with a child with an intellectual disability. No denying the fact that no one can understand the needs of a child better than the parents. They will be able to understand their special needs and cater to them. Parents are therefore regarded as the best advocates who ascertain their children's rights and make decisions for them. 

Parents of special children may not be educators, but they will bring their experience with the child before the professional. The involvement of families in the education of specially-abled children will help make the education for them successful. 

How Can I Help A Family With A Child With Special Needs? 

You can do many things to help parents or families of children with special needs. You can seek help from friends or family if required. Talk to your counselor or therapist to understand their situation and seek advice from them that would benefit the parents. 

You can volunteer such children in school or after school. Help them with the required supplies and other similar help, so the journey becomes easy. 

Emotional struggles are another challenge faced by parents of children with special needs. It can be difficult for parents to cope with the demands of caring for their child and the fear that the child won’t reach the same milestones and successes as their peers. 

Parents may also struggle with feeling isolated and alone, as they may not be able to relate to other parents who don’t have similar experiences. Educational concerns are a major challenge for parents of children with special needs. 


Parenting children with special needs is one of the most challenging tasks. Also, it is full of sacrifices where a parent often seems lost with what would be the next step. Several unimaginable challenges are faced, but help from the experts makes things manageable for them. 

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