Time Spent Meaningfully by Young Adults with Pervasive Support Needs

Most young adults experience pressure trying to figure out what to do after K-12 schooling in the areas of post-secondary education, employment, and adult living.  This presentation shares results from a qualitative study examining how parents of young adults with pervasive support needs and limited functional communication define meaningfulness in relation to their children’s activities. Strategies and supports for adult living are included.


a) Summarize the importance and complexities of focusing on meaningful post-school outcomes for young adults with pervasive support needs and limited functional communication (i.e., those with the most significant support needs).  Research on post-school outcomes for students who received special education services indicates low rates of post-secondary school attendance, employment, and independent living, especially for those with the most significant needs (Blackorby & Wagner, 1996; Bouck, 2012; Grigal, Hart, & Migliore, 2011; Newman, Wagner, Cameto, & Knokey, 2009; Verdonschot, de Witte, Reichrath, Buntinx, & Curfs, 2009b).  Moreover, some individuals with the most significant needs may not engage in integrated, full-time, paid employment, and families lack knowledge about the adult system and perceive limited funding and options available to them (Chambers, Hughes, & Carter, 2004; Freedman & Boyer, 2000; Roush, Fresher-Samways, Stolgitis, Rabbitt, & Cardinal, 2007).  b) Recognize the core elements of definitions of meaningfulness cited by parents in the study.  The thematic categories making up the framework for time spent meaningfully included: a) community participation, b) individual indicators (displayed by the young adult), and c) key characteristics of the activities that made up his or her schedule.   c) Identify the formal and informal supports and services utilized by families and young adults in the study to live self-determined and inclusive lives.  Supports and services will be presented as part of systematically chosen case studies (based on the parent interviews) to highlight major themes and from the study.  d) Identify the common elements of case studies of “time spent meaningfully” and discuss how they may apply locally (i.e., in their own lives).

  • DAY 1. The Thursday Poster Presentation SessionThursday, December 4, at 4:30 to 6:30 PM. Grand Ballroom North B.(Set Up will be 1:30-4:30 PM)
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