Chapter 6: Students with intellectual disabilities
Talking about death, dying, and grief
“I did my best to support Jon. We talked a little but the crafts we did also really helped him. I think it was a good use of our one on one time”. - Teacher
Students with an intellectual disability have the same need and right as your other students to know about death, dying, and grief. Although using ‘teachable moments’ to model talking about these topics is an important and useful tool for all students, it is an even more essential tool for students with intellectual disabilities.
Key points you can include
Roll your mouse over each box to view a different point.
View Point #1
When someone dies their body stops working.
View Point #2
Everything that is alive will die.
View Point #3
A person who dies will not come back; but we continue to have memories and feelings about them.
View Point #4
Some questions have no easy answers.
Effective communication requires that you have a level of comfort, both with the topics of death, dying, and grief, and with the student’s intellectual disability. If you recognize that you don’t have this, reach out to someone who is more comfortable to help you support the student.