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Susie Blue and Nicole Cadovius

Interest Group Co-Leads

Interest Group: Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities

February 13, 2020 | Practice Improvement | Comments
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Alongside our Board of Directors, we recently launched Interest Groups to give our members the tools, knowledge and networks they need to accelerate their learning of – and impact on – various populations of interest. In this blog post, we highlight our new Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities group.

Individuals with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities (IDD) are disproportionately impacted by mental health and substance use conditions in this country. In fact, people with IDD are two to three times as likely to experience a mental health condition than the general population. And it is estimated that between 35-40 percent of people with IDD also live with psychiatric disorders.

A recent study found that in a cohort of 1,318 adults with IDD, more than 40 percent were diagnosed with four or more comorbidities, including 18 percent of whom were diagnosed with an anxiety disorder and 17.8 percent with depression. What’s more, an estimated one in 68 children have been identified with autism spectrum disorder – a 30 percent increase in the U.S. from 2008 to 2010.

More work is required to better meet the behavioral health needs of the roughly 7 million Americans currently living with IDD. With an estimated 850,600 people in the IDD community 60 years of age or older, those numbers will likely double in the next two decades as “Baby Boomers” reach retirement age. Solutions to support this often-overlooked population are needed now more than ever.

With this in mind, and in partnership with our Board of Directors, we created an Interest Group to engage members around IDD issues. As group leads, Susan Blue, CEO and owner of Community Services Group, and a National Council Immediate Past Board Chair, and Nicole Cadovius, are building a community of IDD providers, administrators and allies to create resources that will impact interventions for – and improve care within – this population.

Throughout the year, participants will connect virtually to create resources, attend webinars and publish blog posts with a goal to learn, network and inform others about the behavioral health needs of people with IDD. Members of this group will also meet at NatCon20 to share their experiences.

Our areas of focus include, but are not limited to, the intersection of mental health and IDD; supported employment; supporting individuals with IDD as they age; exploring evidence-based practices; trauma, criminal justice; and outcome measures and benchmarking, among others.

Eager to learn more? Join us for a Forum discussion on March 2 at 2 p.m. (ET). Want to join our Group? Contact Nicole Cadovius.

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