Guest Author - Celestine A. Jones
The needs and desires met for an individual determines the quality of life. Individuals with Intellectual Disabilities can lead a quality life with proper supports, life skills and self-determination. The feelings of value, dignity and respect can be achieved by every individual with appropriate preparation.
Poverty has a direct impact on the quality of life. Poverty can be summed up in three words: lack of resources. There are two types of poverty. They are situational and generational. The cause of situational poverty is based on circumstances; whereas generational poverty carries on for two or more generations. Individuals often get in the habit of focusing on the things that are lacking and becoming content with the way things are. Self-determination can break the barrier of poverty and improve the quality of life.
Self-determination is the inner-strength that exists within each individual. It utilizes the self-confidence and courage that is needed to overcome conditional thinking. Individuals with self-determination overcome barriers and lead a higher quality of life than individuals that do not.
Self-determination can be built by focusing on the positive aspect of every situation. It also helps to understand that failure does happen all of the time. The key is to learn from it and move on. Negative thoughts will attempt to overtake the positives. It is important to block these negative thoughts.
Role models can also help by providing inspiration. It is essential to communicate with positive people. The goal is to find solutions to problems and overcome them. The quality of life consists of three domains that bring satisfaction. They are being, belonging, and becoming.
It is important to understand who you are physically, psychological, and spiritually. The subjective view of the quality of life involves personal feelings about self and the amount of satisfaction felt. The objective view involves the fulfillment of society and cultural demands in terms of wealth, status, and physical wellness.
Education and training can provide preparation for independent living. Proper transition education can improve the quality of life by providing information on community services, life skills, housing, and education. Knowledge and self-determination can lead to positive outcomes for each individual.