I recall when I was working in an intermediate care facility in the 1970's. It was at the time of deinstitutionalization. I had developed a friendship with a senior woman who liked to watch "The Guiding Light" every day. Some days I would watch with her. Because I was responsible for carrying out occupational therapy services designed by an OT, I had access to her chart. It indicated that her IQ was 27. I don't know what mental age that would translate to, but this was a woman whom I would discuss a soap opera with..."do you think Sarah's child is from Bob?" It is just not helpful. If you want a graphic example of this, view the Marc Gold video I have a link to in this blogsite.
But in my research meeting that I had the other day, I saw it again. We are to treat persons with intellectual disabilities as children. My response to that is that those people do not know people with intellectual disabilities. They let their socially constructed notions of who they are determine their actions towards them rather than attempt to find out the truth. It was fascinating, although discouraging, to me that the social constructions I was proposing to research were actually being acted out in front of me by those who were evaluating the research. Of course they were clueless to this fact and only saw themselves protecting my subjects.
Personally, I am constantly on the look out for those wrong notions of who disabled people are in myself. I really bugs me when I find one and wonder how I allowed that to exist in my psyche. People think they are protecting when in reality they are contributing to further wounding of devalued people. Revisit Wolfensberger's wounds in this blogsite. Ask God to help you see how you contribute to the wounding of others. It doesn't matter too much either whether or not you are well intentioned. I need to evaluate my best intentions in the light of what is true and if my intentions take me to a place where people are devalued, then I need to have the intellectual honesty to grow up and quit saying "I didn't mean it". If you keep doing something when there is the possibility that you can change through knowledge but you resist knowledge, then independent of your intentions, you should be blamed.
Adults with intellectual disabilities are adults.
If YOU treat them like children, YOU are wrong.If you treat them like adults, they will rise to your expectations and drive you to repentence for the contribution you made to their wounding.