Giving and receiving care, support and guidance are part of every day life. It is the foundation of a lively interaction between people, enriching society, and adding value to the quality of life. It establishes a relationship of responsibility between all individuals, with or without special needs. Care and support should be an integral part of the life of the individual, because it enhances his or her quality of life.
'Mainstreaming' expresses the basic idea of comparing our society with a river. 'Normal' life is found in the broad flow of the river, confronting all the different opportunities and risks life has to offer providing human dignity and a meaningful life for everyone. 'Into the mainstream' has become prominent as a goal to be achieved for both children and adults with special needs. This mainstreaming movement is a great step forward for people with disabilities. However, the flow of life in the mainstream can be too strong and competition too extreme for some children and adults with special needs. In a natural river there are lots of calm places where the same water flows calmly, though connected with the mainstream. These calmer places can do a wonderful job in giving support and orientation and can also provide a meaningful and dignified life for the people who are mentally and physically incapable of swimming in the deep waters of the mainstream.