"Treat me like I've got some kind of ability"
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Interaction with direct support professionals is a primary source of communication for individuals with intellectual disabilities and, therefore, vital to their social integration. Despite growing recognition of the importance of supporters listening to what individuals say about their needs and preferences for services, few researchers have obtained the perspectives of individuals with intellectual disabilities on their communication with direct support professionals. Six focus groups comprising 32 individuals with intellectual disabilities were conducted and their statements about communication were gathered. Analysis of transcripts revealed the following seven themes representing perspectives of focus group participants: Be Friends with Them When You Talk to Them…and Listening; I Would Like Them to Respect Me; You Got to Show Me That You Can be Trusted by the Way You Talk to Me; Some People Get Too Involved Into Your Life Where You Don’t Want Them; Treat Me Like I’ve Got Some Kind of Ability; I Told Myself I Made a Good Choice; and We’re Grown People, We Have the Same Feelings Like They Do.