International Handbook of Community Services for the Mentally Retarded

International Handbook of Community Services for the Mentally Retarded

International Handbook of Community Services for the Mentally Retarded

International Handbook of Community Services for the Mentally Retarded

Synopsis

This handbook provides the reader with the applied knowledge essential for initiating, building, and continuing community service programs for the mentally retarded. Applied to specific populations, and to both urban and rural settings, the model also offers a blueprint for establishing successful service systems.

Excerpt

In this chapter we trace the underlying issues for parents and professionals who are moving toward the development of community-based programs and services for mentally retarded persons. the development of community- based programs requires significant social change. This change starts with a small group of parents and professionals raising their consciousness of the needs of mentally retarded persons in the community, and typically is achieved through a parent association. We offer some examples from around the world of parents and professionals initiating significant social change. Whether parents are struggling in the United States, the Third World countries, or Europe makes no difference if there is a solidarity between parents and professionals. Finally, in this chapter we outline the basic planning factors that parent associations need to deal with as they plan for comprehensive, integrated, community-based programs.

The trends analyzed in this book raise a number of challenges for parents, professionals, and society itself. Indeed, the resolution of one challenge often gives birth to several new ones. the major challenge confronting parents and professionals is how to move toward decent, loving, and integrative options for the mentally retarded and their families. This challenge is evolving existentially in various communities throughout the world -- in some communities we see vibrant examples of integrated pre-schools and schools; in other communities we see severely mentally retarded adults working side by side with non-handicapped adults; and in some communities we see little change, indeed, at times we see the replication of old institutional models that have long proved valueless.

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