People with a severe intellectual disability

In many people with moderate to severe intellectual disability, the attachment never really occurred or the feeling of attachment is lost due to later life experiences. The intellectual disability itself makes it difficult for these people to cope with challenging moments in life. If the intellectual disability goes along with additional problems such as autism, ADHD, epilepsy or susceptibility to psychosis, life becomes even more difficult.


If there is no relationship in which the person feels safe and unconditionally loved, and in which he may feel vulnerable, it is likely that he becomes socially and emotionally isolated. At the time of stress he will lose all contact with the outside world and gets entangled in his emotions. This often manifests itself in various forms of aggression. The tendency of others to want to control the behavior usually has only a negative effect on the relationship and makes the problems worse. There is a pattern of action-reaction that is self-perpetuating, and that leads to ever more far-reaching social and emotional isolation of the person. 


With gentle teaching, this process can be changed. By intentionally focusing on developing a safe and loving relationship, the person learns that he is supported by the care giver instead of being rejected or dominated.

Gentle teaching might not solve any "behavioral" problems. That is not the goal of gentle teaching. The goal of gentle teaching is that both the person and the care giver begin to experience more happiness in their relationship. In this relationship behavior problems lose their importance. 


Beside the focus on the relationship, in a gentle teaching we developed a model to support quality of life. This model gives insight we can use to support the person’s quality of life (or happiness).