The Benefits Of Deinstitutionalization

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Society from time immemorial has struggled with how to integrate those persons born with intellectual and developmental disabilities. Often lumped in with those that could be defined as mentally ill, one of the most prevalent solutions for dealing with both categories of people was shutting them away from society, or in other words, permanent or semi-permanent treatment in a mental institution. However, beginning in the mid twentieth century, a new trend entitled ‘deinstitutionalization’ began transitioning the care of thousands of intellectually and developmentally disabled persons out of institutions and into community care programs. Ultimately, this trend has managed to successfully integrate thousands of intellectually and developmentally disabled persons back into society and make a marked improvements on their quality of life. Although, work to integrate this community back into society is far from over. Deinstitutionalization has not proved successful for all intellectually and developmentally disabled persons, and without substantive investment and reform, thousands of those disabled persons may wind up without resources to care for themselves. …show more content…

Deinstitutionalization fundamentally consists of three different components: “the release of persons residing in psychiatric hospitals to alternative facilities in the community, the diversion of potential new admissions to alternative facilities, and the development of special services for the care of a noninstitutionalized mentally ill population.” Here, we expand that definition with the inclusion of intellectually and developmentally disabled persons. As we know, this group was similarly situated as ‘patients’ of institutions, and similarly inherited both the benefits and the problems of

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