Individualized assessments are used to answer specific questions, such as those about a person's diagnosis, intellectual level, and/or adaptive behavior. This may be helpful if there are concerns about self-guardianship, or the possible onset of Dementia. Evaluations may also be designed to help answer questions about maladaptive behavior, most appropriate teaching strategies and expectations, and eligibility for various services or funding services.
It is often difficult for families and other caregivers to interpret and ensure follow through of the psychologist's recommendations. Every effort will be made to support caregivers in obtaining recommended services and instructions, as well as those that are mandated by state and federal laws protecting the rights of individuals with disabilities.
People with developmental disabilities can have trouble managing stress just like everyone else. Therapy can be useful in developing positive coping skills. Some common issues that can be addressed in therapy include social interaction challenges, anger management, issues of sexuality (including sex abuse prevention), understanding and managing diagnoses, depression, and bereavement. Caregiver participation in therapy is an essential component of helping clients apply newly acquired skills to their lives outside the office. Therapy can be provided in Individual or Group formats.
Managing the daily physical and emotional demands of a family member with a developmental disability can create tension between household members. Some family relationships are further complicated by individual feelings of guilt, shame and uncertainty about the future. Family therapy can be helpful in the restructuring of relationships and home environments to lesson tension and support individual members. Special groups for siblings may also be provided.
Training for caregivers (laypersons, professionals, and paraprofessionals) is designed according to need. Some common training topics include: Behavior Management, Psychological Testing, Designing Treatment Plans, Providing Sex Education,Supporting Positive Social Skills, Addressing Anger, and more. Disability specific training is available, e.g. Autism Spectrum Disorders, Downs Syndrome, Prader-Willi Syndrome, DD and Dementia.