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These webinars are offered through our various partners. Each webinar has been vetted to ensure it meets the mission and values of the MHDD National Training Center.
Plain Language Summary: Motivational Interviewing for People with Developmental Disabilities
Motivational Interviewing (MI) is a type of therapy that helps a client (person that a professional helps) increase their motivation and change their behavior. MI doesn’t always have to be used by therapists and can be used by anyone providing a service to someone (professional). People with developmental disabilities (DD) can be helped by MI to make positive changes in their lives and participate in treatments. In addition to helping someone increase their motivation, MI also helps people plan out how to achieve their goals. The way MI does this is through these 4 steps: engaging, focusing, evoking, and planning.
This is the first step of MI. Engaging means to create a trusting and respectful relationship with the client. They should feel comfortable and safe to share their thoughts and feelings. The professional should be genuine, interested in the client, and empathetic to them. They should also keep what the client tells them confidential, and not share the information with anyone else. This step is very important to do before moving on the next ones.
This is the second step of MI. Focusing means helping the client figure out what changes they need to make. It’s important that the professional respects what their client wants. Sometimes people with DD might feel like they don’t have control over their lives. This is because they might need a lot of help with daily tasks and with making decisions. This step of MI can help people with DD have more control over their lives and choices. Goals are always decided on together.
This is the third step of MI. Evoking means helping the client feel motivated to make the change they decided on in the Focusing step. The professional should not tell the client what to do, but help them become motivated on their own. This will help the client want to make the change, and they’ll be more likely to stick with their choice. To do this, the professional will ask the client lots of questions like, “What might be some good things about making this change?”
This is the final step of MI. Planning involves talking about when and how to actually make these changes and reach their goals. Clients will often naturally arrive at this step and professionals should not force someone into the planning stage. It’s important that the client is in control of the planning process. The professional is there to help affirm their choice and guide them if needed.
To learn more, read the MHDD Motivational Interviewing for People with Developmental Disabilities Fact Sheet.
A collaborative project across 5 University Centers for Excellence in Developmental Disabilities (UCEDDs) about how to support individuals with disabilities to be self-determined in their life and health.
Resumen en lenguaje sencillo para navegar por el sistema escolar: educación especial, derechos y recursos para padres
El sistema escolar puede ser complejo. Es posible que los padres de niños con discapacidades no sepan qué servicios están disponibles y cómo calificar para recibir esos servicios. A veces, los conceptos erróneos por parte de las familias afectan el saber/conocer la existencia de servicios y apoyos escolares así como también del uso de los mismos. Un error común es creer que las escuelas les están haciendo un favor a las familias al brindarles apoyo, lo cual no es verdad. La ley requiere que las escuelas identifiquen y evalúen a los estudiantes con sospecha de tener una discapacidad. Esta ley se llama Ley de Educación para Personas con Discapacidades (IDEA). Tanto los padres como las escuelas pueden solicitar una evaluación para determinar las necesidades de educación especial de un estudiante.
Los estudiantes tienen derecho a recibir servicios de educación especial bajo la ley IDEA si 1.) tienen una discapacidad cubierta por las categorías de discapacidad de IDEA, y si 2.) necesitan servicios para progresar en la escuela debido a su discapacidad. Los estudiantes que cumplen con estos criterios pueden obtener un Programa de educación individualizado (IEP). Para los estudiantes que no cumplen con estos criterios, un plan 504 es otra opción. Los planes 504 tienen una gama más amplia de discapacidades que califican. Una vez que se determina la elegibilidad, hay una reunión para discutir cuales servicios y apoyos se deben brindar. Esta reunión generalmente incluye a la familia y además los padres tienen el derecho legal de solicitar servicios de traducción e interpretación.
Los IEP pueden incluir educación especial, modificaciones, adaptaciones y servicios relacionados. Las modificaciones cambian el nivel de instrucción y cómo se califica a los estudiantes. Por ejemplo, los maestros pueden usar calificaciones de aprobado / no aprobado en lugar de calificaciones con puntaje de letras. Los planes 504 generalmente incluyen adaptaciones pero no modificaciones. Sin embargo, esto no es en todos los casos. Las adaptaciones eliminan barreras para que el estudiante tenga las mismas oportunidades de aprendizaje. Algunos ejemplos de adaptaciones incluyen el uso de tecnología de ayuda/asistencia y darles tiempo adicional en las tareas.
Los apoyos emocionales, como es la participación en grupos de habilidades sociales se pueden incluir tanto en los IEP como en los planes 504. Los disturbios/problemas emocionales pueden calificar a un estudiante para un IEP. Para calificar, los problemas emocionales deben afectar significativamente el desempeño escolar del estudiante durante un largo período de tiempo. Estos problemas pueden incluir depresión, ansiedad y esquizofrenia. Los padres también deben saber que si un estudiante con discapacidad está siendo acosado, las escuelas deben tomar acciones para solucionarlo.
Hay recursos disponibles para ayudar a padres de niños con discapacidades. Los Centros de Información y Capacitación para Padres (PTI) son un recurso gratuito disponible en todos los estados. Los PTI brindan información y conectan a las familias con los recursos. Algunos estados tienen Centros Comunitarios de Recursos para Padres (CPRC). Los CPRC ofrecen servicios similares y se centran en familias desatendidas.
Para obtener más información, lea nuestra hoja informativa Navegando por el sistema escolar: educación especial, derechos y recursos para padres.
Plain Language Summary for Navigating the School System: Special Education, Rights, and Resources for Parents
The school system can be complex. Parents of children with disabilities may not know what services are available and how to qualify. Sometimes misconceptions affect families’ awareness and use of school services and supports. A common misconception is schools are doing families a favor by providing supports. This is not true. The law requires schools to identify and evaluate students suspected of having a disability. This law is called the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA). Both parents and schools can request an evaluation to determine a student’s special education needs.
Students have the right to special education services under IDEA if 1.) they have a disability covered under IDEA’s disability categories, and 2.) they need services to make progress in school because of their disability. Students who meet these criteria can get an Individualized Education Program (IEP). For students who do not meet these criteria, a 504 plan is another option. 504 plans have a wider range of qualifying disabilities. After eligibility is determined, there is a meeting to discuss what services and supports should be provided. This meeting usually includes family, and parents have the legal right to request translation and interpreter services.
IEPs can include special education, modifications, accommodations, and related services. Modifications change the level of instruction and how students are graded. For example, teachers may use pass/no pass grading instead of letter grades. 504 plans typically include accommodations but not modifications. However, this is not every case. Accommodations remove barriers so a student has equal opportunities for learning. Examples of accommodations are assistive technology and extra time on assignments.
Emotional supports, like social skills groups, can be included in both IEPs and 504 plans. Emotional disturbances may qualify a student for an IEP. To qualify, disturbances must significantly affect how a student does in school over a long period of time. This can include depression and schizophrenia. Parents should also know that if a student with a disability is being bullied, schools must address it.
There are resources available to help parents of children with disabilities. Parent Training and Information Centers (PTIs) are a free resource available in every state. PTIs provide information and connect families to resources. Some states have Community Parent Resource Centers (CPRCs). CPRCs offer similar services and have a focus on underserved families.
For more information, please read our Navigating the School System: Special Education, Rights, and Resources for Parents fact sheet.
Patience, Persistence, and Your Health
Many things are available on demand these days, such as movies, TV shows, e-books, shopping, and information. Googling is now a verb, with information only a search away. The internet has become one big on-demand delivery system. On-demand content is quite useful. But sometimes we don’tfind a solution instantly. One area where we frequently don’t get instant solutions is our health. It might be challenging for doctors to diagnose you, and even with the right diagnosis made, finding the right treatment options usually takes time.
The human body is complex. Various body parts and systems work together for us to function. With all the complexities of the human body, not to mention the human brain, it’s no wonder that medical and psychological specialties have developed. It is difficult for one person or group to know everything. Your primary care physician is the first person you should contact about troubling symptoms. They seek to help you to the best of their ability, but sometimes, two heads (or three) are better than one.
A medical referral is a written order from your primary care doctor for you to see a specialist for a specific medical service. Being referred to a specialist can feel intimidating. The first thing to check is how your insurance company handles referrals. Insurance companies typically have an authorization process before anyone can see a specialist, and many insurance plans will only authorize consultations with contracted providers.
Make sure you ask whether your doctor’s office will contact the specialist or whether you need to contact them. I was once referred to a dermatologist and I couldn’t remember the name when I got home. The doctor’s office didn’t arrange the appointment and neither did I, so I didn’t see that dermatologist. Your doctor’s office should make sure the specialist is aware of all your medical records, lab results, and relevant treatment information. Double check that they have done that before you go to the specialist.
Getting in to see a specialist, particularly for non-emergencies, can take a long time. To make the most of your visit, keep track of your symptoms daily. Your own records of how you’ve been feeling and when you felt that way may reveal triggers that could help the specialist prescribe treatments. Knowing what you’ve already tried avoids duplication and wasted effort. As with any physician, ask questions and make sure you understand what to do.
After you leave the specialist’s office, that’s where the patience comes in. It is up to you whether to implement the recommendations or treatments given. Even when you’re excited to try what they recommend, it usually takes time to see results. After I went in to have my AFOs adjusted, I had to try them for two weeks, monitoring my pain and redness, before deciding whether to go in again. It has taken over a year, and several appointments, to get them right. Health problems may not be solved as quickly as you can grab an on-demand movie or do an internet search, but learning patience and persistence is useful too.
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