Self-determination is deciding or determining what happens in your life and what is important for you.
A number of people with disabilities are not given the chance to make decisions about things in their lives. Things like where they live and who with, where they work, and even what their diet is are decided by other people. People with disabilities of all sorts, including autistic people, are not given a chance to make these and other choices about their lives.
When someone is self-determined, they are making the choices about their lives. They may or may not decide to have people help them understand things, find supports, or other help. In the end, though, it is the person themselves who makes the final decision about the things in their lives.
-List of related media/links
- Center for Self-Determination
- Council for Exceptional Children: Self-Determination and the Education of Students with Disabilities
- Essay by The Arc: Self-Determination and Individuals With Significant Disabilities: Examining Meanings and Misinterpretations
- UIC Center on Mental Health Services: Self-Determination Tools
-List of concrete examples
Case example: A person with a disability hires and fires their own staff.
Case example: A person with a disability decides to stay up late one night, just because they want to.
Case example: A person with a disability gets to decide where they work, where they live, what they do during the day, what they do with their free time, and who they spend time with.