Helping Individuals With Developmental Disabilities (IN: Living With Grief: who we are, how we Grieve, edited by K J Doka & J D Davidson)
This chapter discusses grief among individuals with developmental disabilities. It opens with a definition of the term “developmental disability” & then discusses some specific disabilities including mental retardation, autism, cerebral palsy, neurological impairments, & epilepsy. Factors which may affect the ability to cope with illness & death in this population are described & include: limited experience, overprotection, disenfranchisement, cognitive factors, restricted support networks, & limited communication. Strategies for developing coping skills & suggestions for caregivers conclude this chapter.