Oftentimes, it has been observed that individuals who have intellectual and/or developmental disabilities experience pain, not necessarily from their disability, but from depression, anxiety, or relationship issues in response to their disability. While there are outstanding resources for the ID/DD population to assist them with challenges faced because of their disability, my goal is to address mental health issues often experienced apart from the disability. This is the purpose for incorporating Cognitive Behavior Therapy as part of the treatment plan .
- A group of disorders characterized by a limited mental capacity and difficulty with adaptive behaviors such as managing money, schedules and routines, or social interactions.
- Originates before the age of 18 and may result from physical causes, such as autism or cerebral palsy, or from nonphysical causes, such as lack of stimulation and adult responsiveness.
- Severe, long term disability that can affect cognitive ability, physical functioning, or both.
- Appears before age 22 and are likely to be life-long.
- The term “developmental disability” encompasses intellectual disability but also includes physical disabilities.
- Some developmental disabilities may be solely physical, such as blindness from birth. Others involve both physical and intellectual disabilities stemming from genetic or other causes, such as Down syndrome and fetal alcohol syndrome for example.
Goal of Counseling:
- To assist clients in developing a sense of self-empowerment in practical, emotional and social areas.
- Coordination of care and networking with client’s various support systems because most of us know it takes a team!
We as a society have come a long way thanks to the Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA) passed by Congress in 1990, however, individuals with “Different Abilities” often continue to face challenges and are misunderstood by society.
As a parent of a daughter born with Spina bifida who is now 30 years old. I am thankful to have personally developed a sense of awareness in regards to individuals with disabilities by witnessing struggles she has faced, as well as various other individuals we have interacted with throughout the years.
The “language” of therapists is also an important factor to consider when seeking counseling for individuals with ID/DD and their families. For example, we often continue to hear the term “wheelchair bound” even among some professionals. Individuals who use wheelchairs would rather be referred to as just that. Someone who “uses a wheelchair” is a much more acceptable term and defines a person as an independent individual rather than being “bound” to an object. This is just one example of the importance of choosing a therapist who is multiculturally sensitive to the needs of individuals with “different abilities”.
Feel free to contact me today to schedule a session.