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Study: Postsecondary programs help intellectually disabled

Parents of children with intellectual disabilities often worry about what will happen to their children when they become adults. Will they be able to support themselves? Will they be able to find a job? These are just a couple of the questions that keep parents of children with intellectual disabilities up at night, especially when the children are reaching adulthood.

Employment prospects can be especially of concern for children with intellectual disabilities as they enter adulthood because as we have discussed in a past post, many people who receive Supplement Security Income as children end up losing the financial assistance as adults.

According to a new study, one way to improve the likelihood of a child with intellectual disabilities finding success in the job market once he or she reaches adulthood after high school graduation is by participating in a postsecondary program.

Disability Scoop reported that individuals with intellectual disabilities reported higher rates of being employed after completing high school.

The study, which was recently published online in the Journal of Intellectual Disabilities, examined 34 individuals with intellectual disabilities who graduated from one of two postsecondary programs. One of the programs was aimed at allowing the students to participate in typical college classes while the other program was catered to individuals with disabilities.

The researchers followed up with the individuals who completed postsecondary programs and compared their experiences to the post-high school experiences of individuals with intellectual disabilities who did not participate in postsecondary programs. The outcomes for the individuals who completed postsecondary programs were much more favorable.

Ultimately, the researchers concluded that the postsecondary programs “are highly effective as a means to increase employment rates” for individuals with intellectual disabilities. This may be valuable information to parents of children with intellectual disabilities who are nearing adulthood. 

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