Dr. Bennett maintains a Developmental Disabilities clinic to train residents and students to provide for the specific needs of the population.
Technical Assistance Program
"The goal of the technical assistance program is to enhance community capacity in psychiatric services to individuals with developmental disabilities and psychiatric disorders".
Technical assistance will enhance community capacity by offering service providers and families information and educational designed to assess and treat individuals with developmental disabilities who also have psychiatric disorders as a diagnosis.
This program is designed to assist individuals whose psychiatric disorder and/or challenging behavior is to the extent that it interferes with the person's ability to function, places the individual at risk of losing their living or work environment, and/or prevents one from achieving their maximum potential. When left untreated, such conditions may result in needless suffering, acute psychiatric hospitalization, injury to self and others and loss of community placement. Our educational offerings and curriculum use the least intrusive method possible.
The Technical Assistance Program has been designed and funded through collaborative means by the SIU School of Medicine's Department of Psychiatry and the Illinois Department of Human Services, Division of Developmental Disabilities. Currently the program has limited funding, which enables approximately 40 interventions per year. Each intervention typically includes one to two consultations with the individual, a comprehensive review of their environmental circumstance, and may include interviews with staff and/or family members. Following the initial review process, a report is generated that provides staff and family members with recommendations on how to address the maladaptive behavior and help locate additional resources that may be beneficial. Presentations for specific individual problems are designed and presented to staff enabling them to better understand the cause and remedy for the maladaptive behavior.
Clinical resources for the Technical Assistance Program include faculty within the Division of Developmental Disabilities and includes licensed clinical social workers, psychologists and physicians with expertise in dual diagnosis.
- SIU Medical School Campus, Springfield, Illinois
- On site venues (Travel expenses will be incurred for all venues off campus)
Technical Assistance Curriculum, Information and Educational Offerings
- Information about the psychiatric diagnosis based on the Diagnostic Criteria from the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fourth Edition-TR. (DSM IV-TR). This information includes criteria of mental illness/psychiatric disorders and behavioral observations that support the diagnosis. Our experience shows that education about mental illness in this population can provide staff and family with a greater understanding about the person and can be beneficial in designing methods of intervention and interaction with the individual. Teaching and providing information about myths about mental illness and to discuss a value based approach in working with individuals with psychiatric disorders. Some disorders and syndromes have specific maladaptive behaviors, which are evidence of the syndrome and need to be addressed through accurate diagnosis and treatment. Some of these include:
- Borderline Personality Disorders An increasing number of individuals are presenting with this complex disorder and often these individuals cause numerous problems within the living situation. Specific diagnostic information, empathy techniques, environmental strategies, and crisis plan development is available.
- Fragile X and Prader Willi These are common diagnosis in the developmental disabilities population that cause difficulty in the living and work environment often due to the behavioral phenotype that is significant with these diagnosis. Specific curriculum and information is available regarding these diagnoses.
- Pharmacological intervention Provide family and direct care personnel information about prescribed psychotropic medication(s), including the intended effects, side effects and contraindications.
- Behavioral Evaluation of Maladaptive Behavior Use of standardized analysis, staff interview, and observation of the individual. Evaluation materials will be shared with the providers of care and will include a written report of results and/or recommendations.
- Environmental strategies To reduce maladaptive behaviors and to increase the quality of the individual's life.
- Person Centered Planning Educational information about developing person centered plans will be taught to providers and family specific to the assessed needs of the individual identified. These plans incorporate those persons who are essential to the well being of the person with the psychiatric disorder. A community presence map is developed as well as activities that work and don't work with the person.
- Crisis Plan development Educational information about developing crisis plans for individuals will be taught to providers using the information obtained from the psychiatric/behavioral evaluation, family members and other care providers. Often an acute crisis is not handled well due to the fact that personnel have not identified the antecedents and/or the actual steps to take given the resources available. A crisis plan will be developed to help identify the early warning signs (antecedents) of a crisis and outline what steps should be taken in the event of a crisis. The actual delivery of crisis intervention must be delivered by the organization and its external supports systems.
- Information about Psychotherapy Teaching staff and family the benefit of therapy for the individual and the role of support persons in the individual's life. Psychotherapy is a psychiatric intervention that can be offered to established SIU patients who live within a reasonable distance from the Springfield outpatient clinics.
- Autism Education to providers and families of persons who have autism, including communication and educational strategies.
- Assessment Tools for Persons with Developmental Disabilities and Who May Have Psychiatric Disorders Tools regarding assessment for the presence of a psychiatric disorder and/or to elicit symptoms can be taught to psychiatric team members, including direct service personnel. These tools can be helpful for diagnostic purposes and to assess progress.
- Suicide information Identifying symptoms of depression and suicide gestures for people with developmental disabilities is critically important to the care and safety of individuals with psychiatric disorders. Often staff and families are not aware that the person is capable of suicidal intent and or actions. Curriculum is available to address this topic.
- Sexuality Information Information about healthy sexual development, harmful sexual practices, and intervention practices will be provided to staff and family.
- Aggression and/or Self Injurious Behavior Specific information regarding these behaviors, which may be a manifestation of an underlying psychiatric disorder or medical condition, can be taught to all providers of care and to family members. It is important for staff, family, and individuals with developmental disabilities to understand that maladaptive behaviors may be the result of an underlying psychiatric disorder, medical condition, side effect to medications, communication intent or an emotional response. Some individuals may be taught how to recognize and self report problems while direct care staff and family members can be taught how to quantify, report, and intervene to reduce personally destructive behaviors.
- Grief & Loss Information about the emotional consequences following a loss is taught to direct care staff and family members enabling them to better identify the grieving process in persons with developmental disabilities.
- Individual and Group Therapy SIU School of Medicine's Division of Developmental Disabilities is one of a few centers in the country that offers comprehensive therapy opportunities for people with intellectual disabilities. The program was developed by Assistant Professor Lark Kirchner, LCSW, and has helped hundreds of individuals with dual mental retardation and other psychiatric conditions.
Our current funding opportunity enables limited access to the therapy program; however, we maintain an active waiting list for those in need.
For more information regarding our Technical Assistance Program, please call (217) 545-7657.
Dual Diagnosis Clinics
The Division of Developmental Disabilities operates a psychiatric outpatient clinic for people with dual diagnosis (developmental disability and a co-diagnosis such as bipolar disorder, major depression, anxiety disorders including PTSD and obsessive compulsive disorder, and psychosis). Because of high demand for these services and the extensive time required for each clinic, individuals are often referred through the Technical Assistance Program. Referrals from agencies and referring physicians are also considered. Due to the limited third party payment for this population, Medicaid and/or Medicare, as well as other third party payers are accepted. A typical new patient evaluation consists of an intake with a faculty clinician, completion of a thorough intake packet by the referring entity, and an evaluation within the outpatient department that lasts approximately two hours.
For more information regarding consultative services please call (217) 545-8229.
Teleconferencing / Telemedicine
Programs in Operation
- Educational venues for physicians and staff
- Internal Medicine Grand Rounds
- Psychiatry Grand Rounds
- Seminars in consultative liaison psychiatry
- Seminars in Developmental Disability medicine and Psychiatry
- Administrative meetings
Programs in Development
- Professional consultation services for Developmental Disabilities medicine and Psychiatry
- Professional development
- Psychotropic medication management
Our teleconference/telemedicine program has been developed and is managed by the SIU School of Medicine's Department of Telehealth Networks and Programs. University programs and agencies interested in networking with the Division of Developmental Disabilities are strongly encouraged to contact Telehealth Networks and Programs (217)545-7830 or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.