How to Interact With Someone With an Intellectual Disability

Опубликовал Admin
24-09-2016, 03:55
There are many people in the world; millions you don't know, and billions you'd like to meet. When meeting a new person at work or school, you may feel that there is something about them you can't put your finger on. You may find out they have an intellectual disability. You want to be friends, but you don't know what to do. This article ought to help you interact with someone who has a mental or intellectual disability.


  1. Walk up to them with a warm, friendly countenance and introduce yourself. They may not be able to respond, or they may just walk away, but this is okay. It's important to not lose hope if at first you can't establish a connection (as is the same with other people you may meet), however, if they act particularly frightened or are made uncomfortable, don't pressure them to respond to you. Perhaps try a different approach.
  2. When trying to establish a connection, see if you have anything in common with them, and if they would like to share that interest with you. Reach out by eating lunch or speaking with them. Again, do not pressure them into doing things. This should help them to get comfortable with you.
  3. If they are having trouble at work, know your boundaries. Even if it may seem like a good idea to be helpful with their job, keep in mind that your boss / their boss may not appreciate you detracting from your own work to assist them with theirs. Also know that the disabled person in question may feel that they are being put down by your altruistic efforts, or drawing attention to their disability.
  4. If you invite them to any events, let them know that they are welcome to bring their caretaker or family member or friend with them. Many people with disabilities will not feel comfortable in social situations.
  5. If they make a mistake, don't laugh at them. Instead, tell them "it's okay!" and help them correct it. After all they need someone who can understand them.
  6. Allow them to handle themselves. They are capable adults, and even if they have some learning or mental disabilities, they should be treated as adults.
  7. Always be mindful and give the disabled person patience. Don't take away their work or learning experiences unless they explicitly ask you for help. Don't treat them like they are incompetent. They can hear everything you say, they just have a different way of talking or being, because of their disorder.


  • They get treated differently and laughed at a lot. Be kind to them. If they're telling you something, act interested. Ask questions.
  • If they ignore you, that's OK. It may take some time for them to get used to you, or you to get used to them.
  • Remember, patience and kindness is the key in order to win their trust in you.
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