Working with athletes with intellectual disabilities

Authored by: Melanie Gregg

Routledge Handbook of Applied Sport Psychology

Print publication date:  October  2010
Online publication date:  October  2010

Print ISBN: 9780415484633
eBook ISBN: 9780203851043
Adobe ISBN: 9781136966675


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Intellectual disabilities are “characterized by significant limitations both in intellectual functioning and adaptive behavior as expressed in conceptual, social, and practical adaptive skills” (American Association on Mental Retardation, 2002, p. 6). Individuals with intellectual disabilities are generally described using ten adaptive skill areas – for example: social, communication, and employment (Conyers, Martin, Martin, & Yu, 2002). For the applied sport psychology practitioner, familiarity with these adaptive skills is more relevant than the classification of the degree of intellectual disability. Understanding the needs and abilities of athletes, both those with and without intellectual disabilities, is necessary for effective service delivery.

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