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How to make a mentally retarded person handle his things independently?

Q: One of our family friends is mentally retarded. He has an IQ of 32, which classifies him as severely retarded. He was diagnosed with this at a very early age of 1 year. He has been in a special school for 18 years and has been continuing to visit to schools where they care for the mentally challenged people and train them on basic vocational skills. He is 32 years old now. He has a very caring family, but unfortunately there has not been much concentration on exploring the feasibility of an independent existence for him. We are currently exploring the choices and options of making him run a small shop, which keeps basic fixed price items or any such similar things. What are the preliminary steps that we need to carry out? Our objective is to create a basic profile of his illness, like trying to know his mental age. He is capable of having basic conversations over the phone, wherein the conversations are reasonably coherent and logical. He can clearly distinguish that the caller is making a call not from his residence, if he is told that I am calling from a different locality other than my residence. We want to figure out his potential for carrying out an independent life, like earn his livelihood and handle his own things. Please advise.

A:Since the only information about the candidate is his IQ i.e. 32 and age 32 years, he falls within the severe-profound range of intellectual difficulties. To plan strategies to train him for an independent existence, it is essential for us to know the following: -Communication and comprehension levels. For example, word level, sentence level and situational comprehension. -The details of vocational skills that he has been trained for during his years of special schooling. -Independence in Mobility. For example, can he move around independently in a structured set up? -What is the level of fundamental and functional academics? For example, time, money and value concepts etc. However, with the limited information that we have been given, we can suggest that he could be trained to work as an assistant in a small shop. He would have to be trained in activities like stacking products on shelves, packing products for the customers etc. These activities will have to be repeatedly practiced over a long period of time monotonously for concrete learning. Besides this vocational training, he will need an individualized program to train him in activities of daily living. An individualized detailed plan can be worked out only after assessment and observation of the candidate.


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