A two-year partnership with the National Child Traumatic Stress Network (NCTSN) culminated in the development of a comprehensive training toolkit on trauma-informed care for children with intellectual and other developmental disabilities (IDD). The training toolkit, The Road to Recovery: Supporting Children with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities Who Have Experienced Trauma, supports a two-day train-the-trainer opportunity for providers and caregivers.

Children with IDD experience abuse, neglect, bullying, isolation, and other forms of trauma at higher rates than children without disabilities, yet we continue to focus primarily on behavior management instead of mental health and wellness. We need to change this historical paradigm.

Instead of approaching challenging behaviors as something that needs to be managed, controlled, and fixed through a behavior management plan (the control and compliance mindset), we need to begin asking, “What happened to the child and how can we help?” The relationship needs to change to “supporting” an individual in their mental health recovery. The goal of this training is to encourage a paradigm change and offer providers and caregivers opportunities to learn new ways to support children with IDD who have experienced trauma and any subsequent mental health challenges.

To facilitate opportunities for change, the Hogg Foundation has awarded a grant to SafePlace to provide this training around the state. The trainings are scheduled to begin in early 2016.  For more information on the training schedule, please contact Michelle Schwartz.

The foundation is deeply grateful to NCTSN, and especially Dr. Susan Ko, for their passion for this project and their willingness to address trauma in a population that has been left out of past trauma-informed care efforts. It has been an amazing partnership and we hope many will benefit.