Lived Experiences in Decision making Among Parents with Intellectually Disabled Adults

  • La Shaunda Reese-Kay Walden University
  • Richard J Cicchetti Walden University
  • G.Mihalyi Szirony Walden University
  • Craig R. Blum Walden University


Parents may face difficult decisions as their children with intellectual disabilities reach adulthood.  The purpose of this study was to explore the lived experiences of parents of individuals with Intellectual Disabilities placing their child in adult home settings.  Results of the study were intended to inform counselors of the struggles parents experience when confronting challenges of placing their grown children into alternative living arrangements.  Counselors are not always well-informed about this topic due in large part to a lack of existing literature.  Based on a study by Kay (2017), this hermeneutic qualitative analysis examined the lived experiences of 10 parents who have had to make difficult decisions of placing their adult children with intellectual disabilities in group home settings.  Results of a thematic analysis produced variables of best option, physical aggression, death, caregiver medical conditions, and more.  Results, outcome themes, and recommendations for future research are discussed in terms of clinician intervention when working with parents of adult or grown children with intellectual disabilities.  

Author Biographies

La Shaunda Reese-Kay, Walden University

LaShaunda has extensive experience working with people with disabilities seeking quality of life in everyday experiences.

Richard J Cicchetti, Walden University

Dr. Rick is currently a Core faculty member in the Masters Level Clinical Mental Health Counseling Program at Walden University. Rick has also worked in private practice with those experiencing discomforts from addictions, anxieties, phobias, and general everyday maladies associated with everyday life.

G.Mihalyi Szirony, Walden University
G. Mihalyi Szirony completed his Masters and Doctorate degrees at Kent State University. Dr. Z has had extensive classroom and distance education experience at Kent State, Ohio University and Penn State Universities in CACREP, CORE and APA accredited counseling programs, and is currently a core faculty member in the Clinical Mental Health Program at Walden University.
Craig R. Blum, Walden University
Dr. Blum is currently a core faculty member in the Clinical Mental Health Counseling program at Walden University. He has been providing consultation to various behavioral healthcare programs, organizations, state governments, Native American Tribal programs and governments, and the federal government serving or overseeing programs for those with mental health, substance abuse, and developmental/intellectual disabilities across the United States since 1996. From 1997 to 2004, he was a part-time surveyor for the Joint Commission and reviewed over 350 programs. He worked in a private counseling practice between 1988-1996. Before that he worked in a variety of hospital-based and other community organizations providing outpatient and inpatient counseling, crisis intervention, rehabilitation, and career counseling. He has taught in a variety of undergraduate through doctoral programs in human services and counseling programs at both traditional ground-based and online universities for a total of more than 20 years. He has published a number of peer-reviewed articles, and has been active in local and national professional organizations.