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Self-Determination: A Story

On paper Jay Turnbull is a 37-year-old man with a severe intellectual disability (mental retardation), autism, a bi-polar disorder, and physical health issues. But to those who know him, “J.T.” (as he likes to be called – naming is part of self-determination) is an active, independent adult who knows what he wants and how to get it …with a little help from his reliable allies.

What matters to J.T. is being physically and behaviorally well, having fun with friends and family, enjoying music, following a routine, and making his own choices. J.T. is lucky: what he values most in life IS his life. How many 37-year-olds with so many and such significant disabilities can say the same?


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