What are supports, and what do they involve for people with intellectual disability?
The definition given by the AAMR in 2002 defines supports as resources and strategies to promote the development, education, interests and wellbeing of a person, which, in turn, improve individual functioning. These services are a kind of support provided by professionals and institutions. Individual functioning is the result of the interaction of these supports with the following aspects:
- Intellectual skills.
- Adaptive behaviour.
- Interaction and social roles.
- Health and context.
The concept of supports is essential to understanding the 2002 system. It is not a new concept, but it has evolved in the belief that the careful tailoring of supports can improve the functional skills of people with intellectual disability. The importance of supports lies in the fact that they provide a natural, efficient, ongoing basis on which to optimize personal results.