The development of autonomy among adolescents with Down syndrome based on the pedagogy of Paulo Freire

Cien Saude Colet. 2021 Aug;26(8):3019-3030. doi: 10.1590/1413-81232021268.09322020. Epub 2020 Jun 9.


Autonomy is a process that enables us to understand and act on the environment and on ourselves. During adolescence, transformations result in the development of autonomy. Adolescents with Down syndrome (ADS) have perceptual-cognitive limitations and few opportunities to acquire autonomy. The development of autonomy in an occupational therapy group, with dyads of ADS and their main caregivers was analyzed. The evaluation of the materials produced in the therapeutic process pointed to four categories of analysis: self-perception, perception of the other, shared experience and change of attitude. The results show symbiotic relationships between the dyad, which hamper the individuation process and limit the opportunities to carry out activities independently. The therapeutic process based on Paulo Freire’s pedagogy raised the level from an ingenuous to a critical awareness, resulting in changes in the attitudes of caregivers in relation to the identification of potential and acceptance of their own limitations and the ADS under care. This symbiosis complicates the individuation process and the access to experiences necessary for the development of autonomy. The therapeutic process can modify the attitudes of caregivers and foster continuity in development and autonomy.

PMID:34378694 | DOI:10.1590/1413-81232021268.09322020

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