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MOST PARENTS PLEASED WITH EFFORTS TO MOVE DISABLED KIDS FROM CENTER

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Most parents of disabled children removed from the state Developmental Center in American Fork and put into group homes are satisfied with the effort to move the children into the general community, a survey shows.

The survey, conducted by Brent Laughlin of the Utah Division of Services for People With Disabilities, shows 83 percent of the parents or guardians and 87 percent of the children are happy with leaving the developmental center.The survey covered 46 people who left the center during an 18-month period ending in mid-1992.

Fifty-six percent of parents acknowledged that their fears the children could not cope outside the center did not materialize, according to the survey.

Six parents - 17 percent - questioned the level of care available from community facilities.

Safety of the children, staff turnover and expectations, age of the houses, visiting times and communication with the staff also were seen as concerns.

Utah has been part of a nationwide push to improve the quality of life for people with disabilities by moving them from institutions to community residential programs, Laughlin said.

The developmental center, long known as American Fork Training School, now houses 384 people, down from a peak of 975 in 1963.