Health care for adults with intellectual disabilities——Video advice for families

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An online training series about health care for adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities is available at no cost for families, conservators, direct support professionals, and other caregivers.

Although the training is entitled “Appropriate Use of Psychotropic Medications for People with IDD: Helping Individuals Get the Best Behavioral Health Care,” the video vignettes also include basic information about communication barriers that may exist with people with IDD; physical health issues that are more prevalent in this population; and emotional, behavioral, and mental health concerns that may be more difficult to diagnose in this group.

The series, found at, has eight 5- to 13-minute modules, which can be completed in any order. Questions before and after each video help viewers remember content. Participants receive a certificate at the end of each module.

In 2014, the VKC launched the IDD Toolkit, (, an online resource for health care providers to better serve adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD). The training series is based on information in the Toolkit.

The videos encourage families and caregivers to ask questions and provide information to the health care provider about conditions, behaviors, and other factors that can impact behaviors that will help a doctor better identify the appropriate treatment, including interventions other than drugs when possible. Creating such a partnership can make a powerful difference in the health and well-being of the person with IDD.

The series was produced by the VKC University Center for Excellence in Developmental Disabilities in partnership with the Tennessee Department of Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities (DIDD) and TennCare.

Jan Rosemergy is VKC deputy director and director of Communications.

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