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Developing Staff Competencies for Supporting People with Developmental Disabilities: An Orientation Handbook / Edition 2

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Formerly titled Staff Development in Mental Retardation Services: A Practical Handbook, this second edition, in an easier-to-use format, gives service providers helpful strategies for increasing effectiveness and maintaining well-being while working in the rewarding yet challenging field of human services. Filled with answers to pertinent questions about service development, delivery, and assessment, this intuitive guide also offers guidelines for working with families, coping with stress and burnout, and enhancing service management and quality.

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Editorial Reviews

Physical Therapy
"Gardner and Chapman have written a handbook in the best sense of the word . . . a guide to the process of learning and change in the direction of current trends such as inclusion and respectful philosophies of care."
From the Publisher

"Gardner and Chapman have written a handbook in the best sense of the word . . . a guide to the process of learning and change in the direction of current trends such as inclusion and respectful philosophies of care."
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781557661074
  • Publisher: Brookes, Paul H. Publishing Company
  • Publication date: 1/1/1993
  • Edition description: 2nd ed
  • Edition number: 2
  • Pages: 461
  • Sales rank: 477,508
  • Product dimensions: 7.00 (w) x 9.20 (h) x 1.00 (d)

Meet the Author

Michael S. Chapman, M.Ed., is Assistant Vice President of Kennedy Krieger Community Resources at the Kennedy Krieger Institute in Baltimore, Maryland.

From 1977 to 1986, Dr. Gardner served as Director of Community Programs and then as Vice President for Community Program Development at The Kennedy Institute at The Johns Hopkins University. Dr. Gardner received his doctoral degree in a dual program of American Studies and American Social History from Indiana University. He was awarded a Joseph P. Kennedy, Jr., Post-doctoral Fellowship in Medical Ethics at the Harvard Medical School. Dr. Gardner later completed the Masters in Administrative Sciences program at The Johns Hopkins University. Dr. Gardner holds faculty appointments at The Johns Hopkins University and the University of Maryland. He has written and edited numerous publications in the field of human services. Dr. Gardner is a nationally recognized leader in the application of quality improvement methods to the field of human services. Through presentations at national conferences, in his teaching and writing, and during organizational consultations, Dr. Gardner argues that the measurement of quality must move from compliance with organizational processes to facilitating person-centered outcomes for people.

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Read an Excerpt

Excerpted from chapter 1 of Developing Staff Competencies for Supporting People with Developmental Disabilities: An Orientation Handbook, Second Edition, by James F. Gardner, Ph.D., M.A.S., & Michael S. Chapman, M.Ed.

Copyright © 1993 by Paul H. Brookes Publishing Co. All rights reserved.

Learning Objectives

Upon completing this chapter, the reader will be able to:

  1. Define the categorical definition of developmental disabilities.
  2. Define the functional definition of developmental disabilities.
  3. Compare and contrast the categorical and functional definitions of developmental retardation.
  4. Define mental retardation.
  5. Define cerebral palsy.
  6. Define epilepsy.
  7. Define autism.
  8. Define dyslexia.
  9. State the importance of using labels in the design and implementation of services for individuals with developmental disabilities


You have chosen a career in human services for people with developmental disabilities at an important and exciting time. The past 3 decades have produced major advances in legislation, programs, and services in this area. New opportunities for and expectations of people with disabilities have occurred. Many individuals now live independently in the community and are no longer confined in isolated institutions. they are moving from activity centers to supervised employment settings and workstations in industry. They participate in community recreational activities and attend classes in community colleges.

Numerous innovative and exciting programs for persons with developmental disabilities have been developed in recent years. Successful parent training and in-home support programs enable families to raise children at home. Parent-to-parent support groups provide peer assistance. Children with severe disabilities, previously considered "beyond help," are now receiving a public education in community schools. Community college have developed special programs; such courses as money management, riding the bus, cooking, assertiveness training, and white-water rafting are designed with the assumption that individuals with developmental disabilities can learn. Like everyone else, they posses a range of skills and abilities.

The fact that an individual has a developmental disability does not, in itself, indicate what that person can or cannot do or what he or she likes to do. Applying the tem developmental disabilities to an individual does not help to identify his or her strengths and needs. Because of these different capabilities, instruction, training, and counseling must be individualized for each person. Such an approach enables you to work on personal strengths and needs. It also allows you to concentrate on what each individual with developmental disabilities thinks is important.

The works of employees in the human services field should assist individuals with developmental disabilities to increase their functional independence and to make their own decisions. This does not mean that you or your agency should not provide the necessary supportive services to the individuals; in fact, they often need support. For instance, a person who fails to meet hi or her own goals may need support. Whenever possible, however, the responsibility for the decision making should be returned to the individual with a developmental disability. As the person gains new skills and behaviors and exert less influence and control.

You will encounter many labels, diagnoses, and other technical terms in your work. These are important in some situations, but the individual is more important than the diagnosis or label. His or her basic needs are the same as yours. In addition to the bare necessities of food, clothing, and shelter, each individual needs recognition, opportunity for self-expression, and friendships.

This book offers insight into working with indivi

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Table of Contents


Section I: Foundations of Services

  1. An Introduction to Developmental Disabilities
  2. Historical and Contemporary Trends in Services
  3. The Principle of Normalization
  4. Legal Rights of Persons with Developmental Disabilities

Section II: Program Development for Persons with Developmental Disabilities

  1. The Process of Assessment
  2. The Interdisciplinary Team Process
  3. Developing Instructional Strategies
  4. Identifying and Measuring Behaviors
  5. Principles of Behavior Intervention

Section III: New Trends and Individual Differences

  1. Human Sexuality
  2. Leisure and Recreation
  3. Adaptive Technology
  4. Supported Employment

Section IV: Maintaining Perspectives: Guidelines for Individual Employees

  1. Coping with Stress and Burnout
  2. Working with Families
  3. Maintaining Safe Environments
  4. Drugs and Medications
  5. Management Responsibilities
  6. Maintaining and Enhancing Quality of Services


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