Decision making by youth with and without intellectual disabilities: a comparison of perceptions
Melnychuk, Barbara J.
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This qualitative study includes a comparison of the perceptions of students with and without intellectual disabilities regarding the opportunities they have to make decisions during the school day and school year. The data from the student groups were shared with adults in the school who then explored their perspectives regarding reasons for any similarities or differences in the perceptions of the student groups. Within-case and cross-case analysis of the data obtained from the three student focus groups, one teacher focus group, one educational assistant focus group and an interview with an administrator resulted in the identification of three major themes: structure of the system, role of adults and safety. Various ways that each of these can facilitate or limit opportunities for students with and without intellectual disabilities to make decisions during the school day and school year are discussed