Skip to comments.More intellectually disabled youths go to college
Posted on 10/17/2010 2:34:47 PM PDT by bruinbirdman
Zach Neff is all high-fives as he walks through his college campus in western Missouri. The 27-year-old with Down syndrome hugs most everybody, repeatedly. He tells teachers he loves them.
"I told Zach we are putting him on a hug diet - one to say hello and one to say goodbye," said Joyce Downing, who helped start a new program at the University of Central Missouri that serves students with disabilities.
The hope is that polishing up on social skills, like cutting back on the hugs, living in residence halls and going to classes with non-disabled classmates will help students like Neff be more independent and get better jobs.
In years past, college life was largely off-limits for students with such disabilities, but that's no longer the case. Students with Down syndrome, autism and other conditions that can result in intellectual disabilities are leaving high school more academically prepared than ever and ready for the next step: college.
Eight years ago, disability advocates were able to find only four programs on university campuses that allowed students with intellectual disabilities to experience college life with extra help from mentors and tutors. As of last year, there were more than 250 spread across more than three dozen states and two Canadian provinces, said Debra Hart, head of Think College at the Institute for Community Inclusion at the University of Massachusetts Boston, which provides services to people with disabilities. . .
(Excerpt) Read more at seattletimes.nwsource.com ...
What jobs? Someone isn't paying attention to Barry's "new norm".
Wrong title. “Intellectually Disabled” is the term that applies to how most students come out of college these days.
This, and they take up space in public universities that should go to others.
This says more about the (lack of) value of a modern college education than anything else.
There was an intern Electrical Engineer at the close of her junior year, in my company and couldn’t grasp transmission and receive. What the hell.........
Barky wen t to college in the 1980s. Barky is the very definition of intelectually disabled.
College and University for too many is mostly or all socialization rather than academeic education.
academic (duh, did I go to college ;-)
Downs? He should get a full ride for a degree in Poli-Sci.
Great, they want to turn college educations into what high school educations have become. Worthless.
Pretty much what I thought when I read this. I mean, I am all for giving help to the disadvantaged, disabled, etc., within reason, but this is just way too silly.
Universities used to be serious places. Of course, in many parts of the world, they still are. But much less so in America these days.
Self esteem trumps all, it seems.
I have would have no problem with limited tax payer funding of student education, say for doctors, etc--but those students upon graduation need to give back. In a new doctor's case, serve rural and under served communities. Tain't nothing free folks.
As for the intellectually disabled. I see no use in taxpayer money to fund such education, except that it makes us "feel good" In the end, what will this citizen contribute? Its a tough question and not a nice one to ask--But in these difficult economic times, they must be asked.
Now if the family, or the intellectually disabled person themselves wished to pay for their education--then of course--no problem. I just don't see scholarships and what not being granted to these students.
Its crass, I know, but in the end, its takes more than hugs to contribute to society. That's why I see this on the more local community college level.
As the mother of three mentally/developmentally disabled boys I have to disagree with this. Seriously, my boys are not and will not be cut out for college or ‘white collar’ jobs. The mentally disabled CAN work and CAN hold descent jobs but to try to ‘mainstream’ my boys would be cruel to them. They are wonderful individuals that have many skills that can benefit themselves and society but to try to make them into something they are not is wrong. They are not ‘normal’ in the most accepted sense of the word but they are exactly what God wanted them to be.
American universities were among the best in the world. However, such a position required a focus on education and achievement by merit; these are anathema to the left. This is the end result of the “All children are winners!” mentality that has become entrenched in many of our educational institutions from elementary school to university.
These kids should be encouraged to learn trades if they are able. Putting them into situations that they are not mentally capable of handling is cruel.
Yes, they already have. University study should be for the very bright who are going deeply into a field of study. It should NOT be for everyone. After high school, everyone, including kids with Down Syndrome, should be learning a skill, a trade, something that will help them have the best life possible. Studying literature, languages, science, or math should be left to people who wish to do this for a living OR who can afford such study because they desire it, at any age.
Yep. I am a college teacher and I get official missives all the time from counselors requesting that I extend examination times, assignments content and change presentation methods to accommodate the learning disabilities (ADD, dyslexia etc) of specific students. Athough it is an adminstrative nightmare to do so, I comply to provide a good faith learning experience for all students. Having said that, I do have to wonder at the logic that “college is for everybody.”
I can see the lawsuits now. “Your honor, my client lost the promotion because he’s intellectually disabled. In fact, only 14% of XYZ Corporation’s executive officers have Downs Syndrome. A blatant example of intelligence discrimination”
It's not about learning, it's about the "experience".
I agree. The other factor is that these children are likely to be exposed to people who shall, indeed, be cruel to them. Think of what can happen to these kids at the hands of the average drunken fraternity.
“That’s why I see this on the more local community college level.”
Hug U ?
It starts in grade school. I homeschool all of my kids and the boys have already progressed farther than we had ever hoped for. At one point I was advised to put my 8 yo in an institution because he would never speak/potty/care for himself ect. He still has to wear a pull up but he CAN speak and he can READ! He is wonderfully gentle with animals and his younger siblings, he is also physically very strong. I could see him doing some type of work with animals....maybe on a farm, maybe construction or something along those lines. I cannot see him sitting in a college dorm being tormented if he had an accident or is socially immature. What kind of parent would put their child through that just to be able to say ‘My kid is retarded but I still made him go to college!’
My friend and I have a theory it all goes back to dropping required pencil and paper drafting requirements. He and I had the most difficult drafting teacher in high school when we both wanted to be architects. I never could get the stupid pencil widths right (I have the brains, but no manual dexterity), so I gave it up. Now, we look around at the idiot engineers in their 20s who have never had to pick up a pencil and hand-draw anything.
I could see making allowances for students who, while needing more time to grasp/express things, could demonstrate some superior ability to successfully use the knowledge. Not making allowances for someone who merely wants the credits or a degree.
I am in complete agreement with you. My son is in the same boat, and I had a heck of a time dealing with some helpful "planners" who wanted me to get some goals down for him based on something my son was talking about. It was not realistic for his abilities, and they were looking at me like I was a monster for not jumping on their ideas. Luckily, his teacher agreed with me, and we came up with more realistic career planning after the planners left.
“What kind of parent would put their child through that just to be able to say My kid is retarded but I still made him go to college!”
That kind of parent is not thinking about their children.
The biggest problem is that is puts a higher liability on universities, opening them up to all sorts of lawsuits. I remmeber that this gifted girl, named Emily, was fifteen and went away to university. She could have communted an hour to and from a local college, but wanted to go to university. So the school let her in and then she ended up becoming sexually promiscuous and her parents sued the university, stating that Emily should have been properly looked after by the university. Apparantly Emily was sleeping with the athletes.
Basically the parents thought that Emily would be looked after. She was also very innocent. This is a landmine waiting to happen. Disabled kids cannot be parented by professors and universities and there are too many people at these schools to ensure the safety of these. Professors should not have to spend time properly socializing these disabled people.
What next? Scholarships and special admissions programs for one-armed violinists?
this is the all inclusive educational endeavour. a person whom is higher functioning due to having a dvelopmental disability may be able to attend college. so the person is able to socialize more. I worked for a time in a program that allowed people with developmental disabilities being employed in a supported employment setting, many of the jobs were placements in state jobs whereby the person would work in a non challenging positioning shredding documents, opening mail, discarding unused license plates and various other non challenging jobs. One problem was the socialization issue - they wanted to talk to others. a client thought it was appropriate to strip naked at the end of her shift each and every day, what a disaster.
I hated the job because having a disability myself when I asked for a reasonable accommodation the employer stated that it was not possible. I thought it was ironic - working with people with developmental disabilities accommodated when a person whom was capable of doing the job with a reasonable accommodation the employer stated it was not possible.
There is a double standard - people with developmental disabilities will be hired to do employment at no more than 600.00 a month for socialization. but a person with a disability whom is capable of employemnt with a reasonable accommodation (not being placed in the print shop for the supported employee) in turn was basically discharged from employment because the employer refused to change the work setting for one person, but the supported employee was reasonably accommodated for his position, so I filed a civil rights complaint and when getting to court the business was deemed discriminatory and paid plenty for its own stupidity. I cannot go into the details other than kind of a general sense.
I served my time in the military, injured, for a time in a wheelchair, usage of canes to get around, lungs damaged from the dust from bombing in Lebanon.
it is my desire to always work and so forth. after this i used the proceeds to go back to college get a masters degree in counseling with the proceeds from the settlement
Wrong. They go in intellectually disabled and emerge invincibly ignorant ;-)
That’s a shame because “horizon lines” are always needed in a draft and any engineer should know that.
There is no need to utilize the resources of Universities for such programs. In fact I think a majority of the students don't even deserve a higher education. In the old days one had to qualify through scores and high school class choice, etc.... There was no "right" top go to college. It was a privilege.
I personally think that the biggest problem is that so many parents don’t want to deal with their kids, but instead want someone else to do it and for the sake of their self image they prefer not to be the one who has to be the ‘bad guy.’
Exactly. Slow certain things down, but don’t damage the demands of a curriculum for students with very little future.
It seems to me that anyone who can cope with college is not, by definition, intellectually disabled.
At least they will be smarter than most of the athletes.
Introducing your new Obama’s CommieCare surgical corpse...
Very nice. Later, Mr. Neff will be able to go into politics, or possibly become a bank loan officer.
Sure, why not? Everyone else goes to college. Having a college degree at one time was a prestigious possession. Today, it’s equivalent to a high school diploma.
From there they seem to go on to take positions in Congress, the White House, and other leadership positions in the United States.
This says more about the flaws in Americans With Disabilities Act and taxpayer subsidies to higher education.