Adolescence is the transitional period from puberty to adulthood (approximately ages 10 to 19, according to the World Health Organization). During this time, individuals undergo physical, social, and psychological developmental processes that raise issues of independence, self-concept, and autonomy from parental influence. Peer groups and romantic relationships tend to increase in importance. Although adolescents with intellectual and developmental disabilities (ID/DD) experience physical and psychological changes similar to their peers, limitations in our current understanding of how best to support them in this process often leave these students vulnerable to feelings of frustration, neglect, and exclusion.

Special Concerns Related to Adolescents With ID/DD

Given societal expectations about how and when certain developmental tasks need to take place for a successful transition to adulthood, there are a number of ...

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