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Community and Independent Living for Adults with Down Syndrome - Printed Edition



This book discusses community and independent living for adults with Down syndrome.

In many ways it follows on and links to a previous book in this series, Families of adults with Down syndrome. It describes the ways adults have moved from family home to community residential living, and in so doing discusses the development of an independent home life integrated with the local community.

We have provided examples of people, who vary in their ability levels, along with the successes and challenges they have faced. In some cases, little or no support is required after an initial period of moving home, but we have described the types of resources that are required, and provided some suggestions on how parents can get involved in guiding the process and consulting with professional people in the field.

A central point is that the person with Down syndrome must, as far as possible, be placed in the driver's seat and given the types of support to attain their goals. This includes the attainment of skills in home management and community contact. This requires learning and adaptation, but it also involves consultation, discussion and advice. We indicate how change in situations and development alters the support required, and also discuss the types of social learning that need to take place for success. The need to recognise the huge range of variability amongst people with Down syndrome is stressed, indicating how, with increasing age, new situations arise both for the individual and their family.

The challenges and questions that arise in enabling a young adult to continue relating to their family are described, along with the importance of the adult selecting their own choices. There are challenges, not only for individual families in relation to policy and funding issues, but in helping adults to select appropriate places to live.

This book provides some suggestions for consideration by parents and professionals. It also looks at the professional training required for frontline personnel, along with the types of behaviours that parents might look for in considering an individual's placement in the community.

One of the challenges in writing this book is that we live at a time when there are adults with Down syndrome still living in institutions who are moving out into the community, while there are young people growing up in their family homes now looking at ways to gain as normal a life as possible in their community. We have attempted to deal with this by providing some history as a background to understanding issues that are now arising, as well as practical means of addressing them.


Roy Brown, Patricia Brown, Patrick McGinley and Rino Takahasi
Publication date June, 2007
ISBN 978-1-903806-67-8