Caring for Children with Neurodevelopmental Disabilities and Their Families: An Innovative Approach to Interdisciplinary Practice

Caring for Children with Neurodevelopmental Disabilities and Their Families: An Innovative Approach to Interdisciplinary Practice

Caring for Children with Neurodevelopmental Disabilities and Their Families: An Innovative Approach to Interdisciplinary Practice

Caring for Children with Neurodevelopmental Disabilities and Their Families: An Innovative Approach to Interdisciplinary Practice

Synopsis

Children with neurodevelopmental developmental disabilities such as mental retardation or autism present multiple challenges to their families, health care providers, and teachers. Professionals consulted by desperate parents often see the problems from their own angle only and diagnosis and intervention efforts wind up fragmented and ineffective. This book presents a model multidisciplinary approach to care--family-centered and collaborative--that has proven effective in practice. A pillar of the approach is recognition of the importance of performing culturally competent assessment and adjusting service delivery so that is responsive to cultural differences. Detailed case stories illuminate the ways in which the approach can help children with different backgrounds and different disabilities. Most chapters include study questions, lists of resources, and glossaries to facilitate easy comprehension by professionals with different backgrounds--in special education, communication sciences, and disorders, clinical and counseling psychology, neuropsychology and psychiatry, social work, pediatrics--and program administrators as well as students, trainees and educated parents. Caring for Children with Neurodevelopmental Disabilities and Their Families constitutes a crucial new resource for all those professionally and personally concerned with these children.

Excerpt

The annals of medicine, anthropology, and history are filled with horrific stories of the inhumane treatment of persons with disabilities. Even the most advanced societies have skeletons in the closet: maltreatment, abuse, and, yes, evenexperimentation, asduringtheHolocaust. Although institutionalization was advanced to provide a safe place for persons with disabilities who, until then, were imprisoned in jails, this too, was recognized as cruel for children who were condemned to an isolated life from family and community. Yet, de-institutionalization is a recent phenomenon even in the state of Vermont, where we write, and institutionalization continues to be practiced in other states and in other countries. Nationally, parents of children with disabilities, inspired by the Civil Rights movement of the 1950s and 1960s, came to realize that their children were also victims of segregation.

The field of disabilities has evolved in leap and bounds in the last 30 years in the United States with the passage of Public Law 94-142 in 1975 and the Individuals with Disability Education Act (IDEA). Although much has been accomplished, more remains to be done in this country as well as internationally.

The intent of this book is to demonstrate the importance of interdisciplinary practice in addressing the needs of children with neurodevelopmental disabilities and their families by sharing the experiences and lessons learned from the Vermont Interdisciplinary Leadership Education for Health Professionals (VT–ILEHP) Program, one of the 35 Leadership Education in Neurodevelopmental Disabilities (LEND) programs throughout the country funded by the United States government through the Maternal and Child Health Bureau (MCHB). the mission of the McHb is to train health professionals who will become instrumental, as leaders, in improving the health of children with disabilities. One of the goals in the VT–ILEHP Program is to prepare cur-

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