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Viltis is an organization from Lithuania.

They made a research about young persons with intellectual disabilities
who are becoming adults.

They interviewed young persons with intellectual disabilities and
their families.

Young adults with intellectual disabilities want to find a job and live
on their own.

But they find it difficult to make friends when they live on their own.
They often feel lonely.

Families of young adults with intellectual disabilities are also worried.

Young adults with intellectual disabilities like summer camps and day
centers because they can have fun with other people.

Services for young adults with intellectual disabilities need to include
the family of the young adult with intellectual disability.

Then, young adults with intellectual disabilities will be able to be
independent and find support.
 

 

Viltis, Inclusion Europe member from Lithuania, coordinated the project “Young Adults with Intellectual Disability: a European Learning Partnership for a new approach to the family system” (YAID). They released a report on the outcomes of the research operated in the framework of the project in Croatia, Italy, Lithuania and Scotland.

Transition to adulthood is a critical period influencing the quality of life of persons with intellectual disabilities and their families. This period often leads to a progressive social isolation of young adults with intellectual disabilities. The YAID project aims at filling the gap created by the lack of services provided during the transition to adulthood by identifying the main problems faced by young adults with intellectual disabilities and their families.

Most young adults with intellectual disabilities wish to become more independent and to no longer rely on the care and assistance of their parents. They want to get a job, have their own place and later start their own family. Just like anybody else of that age, young adults with intellectual disabilities want to live independently and stop depending on their family members.

In each of the four countries involved in the research, 15 young adults with intellectual disabilities have been interviewed individually and with their families. Indeed, the report stresses the importance of considering each member of the family of the person with intellectual disability.

Everyone in the family is affected by the changes appearing in the behavior of a young adult with intellectual disabilities transitioning to adulthood, including the siblings. That is why families point out the importance of the relationship between them and care service providers and ask for more orientation and support from public services. Also, families would like to be more involved in the services offered at day centers in order to make them more specifically adapted to the needs of the whole family.

Young adults with intellectual disabilities find it difficult to make friends and often feel isolated. Summer camps and day centers seem to be the option preferred by them to avoid exclusion and loneliness. There, they can have fun and socialize with other members of their community while their relatives can find support from professionals.

The YAID project partners hope that this report will help to improve services targeted to young adults with intellectual disabilities. By making them more flexible and oriented towards the specific needs of persons with intellectual disabilities transitioning to adulthood and their families, it will help young adults with intellectual disabilities to live their lives independently.