Chapter 2: Grief and people with intellectual disabilities
Unrecognized or unsupported grief or loss
The myth that someone with an intellectual disability doesn't experience all shades of grief and loss leads to misunderstanding and a lack of recognition and support. – Support worker
A person with an intellectual disability may experience a range of feelings, thoughts, and behaviours related to their grief, just as other people do. Roll your mouse over each of the boxes below to view some examples.
Sadness, fear, anger, loneliness
Wondering where the person has gone or why they left
Crying, irritability, impatience, apathy, rebellion, belligerence, disinterest
However, because people with intellectual disabilities are not always seen to be experiencing grief, they may not be given the support that they need. Sometimes their grief may look like “inappropriate behaviour,” and the link between their behaviours and their grief may be unrecognized.
It is important to know and understand that people with intellectual disabilities do feel loss and experience grief. Watch the videos on the right side to learn more.