At Pathways, we wholeheartedly believe that adults with I/DD (Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities) possess the mental capacity to continue learning throughout their lifetime, despite the common myth that they do not. We are constantly asked why continued education is an essential part of our program, and the answer is simple – it is integral to enhancing the quality of life for our students.
Our students defy this myth every single day at Pathways, and we are proud to provide a unique Christian program that supports their continued education. Each and every one of our students is capable of amazing things, and we are committed to helping them reach their fullest potential.
Here are seven reasons why continued education is so important to us:
1. Retention – our students have spent years learning, and continued education helps them retain what they have learned.
2. Optimal Time to Learn – research has shown that the optimal time for education for individuals with I/DD is in their late teens and early 20s. This age range is a critical period for further education due to the delay in development.
3. Life Skills for New Stages of Life – as our students enter new stages in life, they require new skills. Primary and secondary education only provides some of the necessary skills for adulthood. Our students need to learn new skills like hygiene, money management, and socializing with other adults. They must also learn to navigate adult relationships like new friends, potential romantic relationships, and families.
4. Right and Left Brain Development – delayed development is a characteristic of I/DD; using both the right and left sides of the brain is vital for brain development.
5. Brain Health – life spans for adults with I/DD have increased in the past decade. Continuing to learn and exercise the brain helps it stay healthier for longer.
6. Provides Opportunities for Individual Choice – the power to make decisions for oneself is extremely important, and continued education provides opportunities for individuals to make informed choices, even if those choices are small, like what to eat or how to spend an afternoon.
7. Helps Each Individual Reach Their Fullest Potential – no one knows the limit of the brain, and continued education helps our students grow and reach their fullest potential. God made the brain the most complex and mysterious thing in all creation. Who are we to set a limit to its ability?
We are proud to offer continued education as a key part of our program at Pathways. We believe that there is no limit to anyone’s capacity to learn, and we are excited to help each and every one of our students unlock their full potential.