A developmental disability is a life-long condition that emerges before 18 years of age and affects an individual’s ability to learn and function independently.
As a developmental disability affects intellectual and adaptive skills, these individuals are usually substantially below others in their age group in this regard, and often require support in many areas of everyday living.
Developmental disabilities vary greatly from person to person both in terms of level of disability (mild, moderate, severe, profound) and of limitations in the above life skills.
Developmental disabilities and mental illness are distinctly different and separate conditions. However, there are many people diagnosed with a developmental disability who are also diagnosed with a mental illness.
People with a developmental disability can suffer from all the same types of mental health issues as anyone else, including problems such as depression, anxiety or psychotic disorders.
Individuals with a developmental disability and mental health needs are often referred to as individuals with a “dual diagnosis”.
We help adults who have a developmental disability through these programs:
Through a support team of skilled professionals representing various disciplines within the field of Developmental Disabilities, a partnership is developed with the individual receiving services and their caregivers and mediators, to provide support regarding:
- A comprehensive understanding of skill deficits and challenging behaviours, or conditions that prompt or maintain that behaviour
- Strategies to promote desired behaviour change such as skill acquisition or reduction of challenging behaviours
- ‘Hands-on’ training for caregivers and mediators on strategy development
- Monitoring for evaluation of strategies or interventions applied
- Caregiver and mediator training and education regarding disabilities and developmental needs
- A sharing of resources including literature and other learning materials
These inter-disciplinary professionals are also available to provide these clinical services:
- Behaviour-Communication Therapy (assessment, consultation, direct and group therapy/ training)
- Speech and Language Pathology/Communication Development (assessment/ consultation, mediator training eg. Swallowing assessments, Augmentative communication such as sign language, visual strategies, articulation and expressive language
- Psychology (assessment, consultation, training)
- Psychiatry (assessment, consultation, training)
- Occupational Therapy (assessment, consultation, training in regards to fine/ gross motor skills, life skills assessment, sensory integration, assistive devices)
- Physiotherapy (assessment, consultation, training in regards to wheel chair assessment, exercise programs to gain mobility)
- Expand access to specialized clinical supports for adults living in rural and remote communities across Northern Ontario with the coordination of 23 videoconference systems.
- Complement the local specialized clinical team with additional professional resources. These include:
- Behaviour Consultation
- Occupational Therapy
- Other supports necessary to ensure an integrated service plan
Referrals to the Network are made through local specialized clinical teams. For contact information please go to www.community-networks.ca
- Expand access to training opportunities in rural and remote communities with the coordination of 23 videoconference systems across Northern Ontario.
- Through the media of Videoconference and E-learning, enhance knowledge and skills in the areas of developmental
To access information about training events please view our calendar of events at www.community-networks.ca.
Developmental Services Ontario (DSO) is the single point of access for all Ministry funded adult services, helping adults with developmental disabilities connect to services and supports in their communities. There are nine DSO agencies across Ontario to serve you.To learn more about Developmental Services Ontario, please follow this link: www.DSOntario.ca.
Developmental Services Ontario North East Region (DSO NER). The DSO NER is a program of Hands TheFamilyHelpNetwork.ca. The DSO NER serves the following areas: Nipissing, Cochrane, Timiskaming, Parry Sound, Muskoka and the James Bay Coast.