People with profound intellectual and multiple disabilities1 are among the most disabled individuals in our community. They have a profound intellectual disability, which means that their intelligence quotient is estimated to be under 20 and therefore that they have severely limited understanding2. In addition, they have multiple disabilities, which may include impairments of vision, hearing and movement as well as other problems like epilepsy and autism.
Most people in this group are unable to walk unaided and many people have complex health needs requiring extensive help. People with profound intellectual and multiple disabilities have great difficulty communicating; they typically have very limited understanding and express themselves through non-verbal means, or at most through using a few words or symbols. They often show limited evidence of intention. Some people have, in addition, problems of challenging behaviour such as self-injury.
This means that people with profound intellectual and multiple disabilities need high levels of support from others with most aspects of daily living: help to eat, to wash, to dress, to use the toilet, to move about and to participate in any aspect of everyday life.
Despite such serious impairments, people with profound intellectual and multiple disabilities can form relationships, make choices and enjoy activities. The people who love and care for them can often understand their personality, their mood and their preferences.
Raising Our Sights, Professor Jim Mansell
Sutton Support Services
Wylde Green Community Hall
Tel: +44 0121 377 7507+44 0121 377 7507