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Office of School Health
Interdependence and Self-Determination
Are you happy with the results you are getting from utilizing remediation and compensation interventions alone?
Some students with disabilities may have lifelong impairments that would prevent them from completing certain tasks independently even with the best remediation and compensation interventions. Therapists frequently reach this point where no more progress can be expected and think that these students will forever be dependent on others for life. This is the independence framework of rehabilitation! You can either succeed by yourself or not. You are either independent or dependent.
The interdependence framework of rehabilitation, on the other hand, views the world as individuals working together where everyone needs support at certain points in their lives. Under this framework, students with disabilities are taught that assistance is not a deficit, and that knowing how to seek assistance is a positive attribute that would lead toward self-sufficiency as an adult. To be interdependent, students with disabilities need to practice self-determination skills that include, among others, decision-making, goal setting & attainment, self-advocacy and leadership.
Interdependence describes the real world: where co-workers collaborate, where people co-habitate, and where individuals make decisions by consulting others. By incorporating the concepts of interdependence and self-determination into school-based therapy practice, students with disabilities can become adults who are prepared to negotiate this real world. Presentations/Handouts
Promoting Interdependence; Spreading Self-Determination - School In-Service We Are All Interdependent! - For Younger Students
We Are All Interdependent! - For Older Students Elements of Self-Determined Behavior TOTAL Therapy Worksheets
TOTAL Therapy FAQs - Start Here! Modified Self-Determined Learning Model of Instruction
Examples: Fran Marco Stanley Speak-Up! - Self-Advocacy Worksheets Examples: Cristina Jose Carlos Lessons for a Student-Led IEP Meeting What Do I Need to Do to Reach My Goals? - Task Analysis Worksheets Progress Chart
References - list of books, articles and websites
A Parent's Guide to Self-Determined Learning Model for Elementary Students by Palmer, S.B. and Wehmeyer, M.L.
Beach Center on Disability - books and articles on self-determination
I'm Tyler - Ability Awareness video
Virginia DOE Self-Determination Project - self-determination resources
Zarrow's Institute link to Self-Determination Assessments Self-Determination in the News
Read about the lives of people with disabilities who overcome obstacles and share them with your students.
Perseverance Pays Off for Student Manager by Steve Megargee of Rivals.com
Inspirational story of Zach, who was born with spinal deformity and
less than 4 feet tall. He is now on his way to the Kentucky Wildcats
as Student Manager.