Brown Bag Lecture: Aging Adults with Autism and Intellectual Disabilities: Hearing Their Voices

You're invited to a brown bag lecture by Dr. Karen Kent on Friday, March 3 at Noon in Room 002 Upham Hall. Scripps Gerontology Center will offer one Social Work CEU for this educational event.

The life expectancy for persons with Intellectual Disabilities (ID) continues to increase and many of them will live as long as the general population. The effects of advancing age on this segment of adults have only recently become a major topic of interest within the field of social sciences and developmental disabilities, which has been historically focused on promoting successful development during childhood and adolescence. While that emphasis remains, there is growing concern about the lifespan effects for those with intellectual disabilities. There is a great need for the development of new and improved methodologies in research for people with intellectual disabilities (ID). The focus of Dr. Kent's research is

The focus of Dr. Kent's research is aging adults with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) and Intellectual Disabilities. ASDs are among the most common of the severe developmental disabilities, yet little is known about older adults with ASDs.  As this population continues to expand, with more advanced screening and diagnosis, we must be cognizant of ways to "hear their voice". In this session, techniques for improving research participation of people with ID will be explored. In addition, we will consider methods to mitigate some of the difficulties that arise in conducting ID research, and discuss possible methods to facilitate communication with participants and intermediaries during recruitment and fieldwork. Choosing the appropriate method is not only a methodological concern, but an ethical concern when interviewing people with special needs and their caregivers. The population of aging adults with intellectual disabilities is under studied and in need of better understanding through participation in research studies.