chapter  9
Strengths-Based Theory and Practice: Perspectives and Strategies that Enhance Growth, Hope, and Resilience for People Living with Chronic Illness and Disability
ByMichelle Marmé
Pages 24

As the 21st century reaches its adolescent years, people with chronic illness and disability are more likely than ever before to be participants in classrooms, in employment settings, and in counselor offices seeking assistance in working toward meaningful lives. Many factors contribute to the increasing numbers of people with chronic illness and disability (CID) finding themselves in the mainstream of life. People are able to survive injuries, such as spinal cord and acquired brain injuries, HIV/ AIDs and cancers that were life-ending previously. Advances in medicine, health care, and technology allow people with CID to manage symptoms and complications, allowing them to engage more fully in the world. Enhanced awareness, identification, and supports for children with sensory processing issues, autism spectrum disorders, and nontraditional learning requirements afford children more meaningful participation and success in academic settings. By succeeding in primary and secondary schools, these young adults are then able to participate successfully in postsecondary education and work environments. Legislation supporting increased physical and programmatic accessibility in schools, governmental, commercial, recreational settings, and places of worship has paved the way for fuller participation of people with chronic illness and disabilities in the mainstream of life (Welch & Palames, 2015; American Association of Persons with Disabilities, 2015; Bruyere & Reiter, 2012; Jenkins, Patterson, & Szymanski, 1992).