The role of support systems for the independence of individuals with intellectual disabilities

Ioanna Dimitriadou, Lefkothea Kartasidou

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


The American Association on Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities places great importance on support systems for the individual, the individual's community functioning, and on adaptive behavior. Thus, some areas of great importance are the independence of individuals with Intellectual Disabilities (ID), their relations, social interaction, participation in the school and the community, and their personal well-being. Adaptive behavior-which is defined as the sum of perceptual, social, and practical skills required for an individual to function in daily life-is highly emphasized. Limitations in adaptive behavior affect both daily life and the ability to respond to life changes and environmental demands. Support systems are psychological structures by means of which the individual is enabled to participate in activities related to typical human functionality. The family and the school are the two main factors that provide support to individuals with ID. The present study reveals the opinion of individuals with ID on support systems in Greece. The questionnaire used for this research examined the concept of independent living (IL) for individuals with ID, their opinions about/on obstacles, factors that influence IL, IL skills, and IL structures. The sample was consisted of 124 individuals with ID, twelve to thirty-five years old. The aim of this article is to present the role that support systems play in IL and their relation to individuals' level of independence.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)39-48
Number of pages10
JournalInternational Journal of Pedagogy and Curriculum
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2017


  • Independence
  • Independent living
  • Intellectual disabilities
  • Support systems

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