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Curriculum in IDD Healthcare eLearn

IDD Healthcare Fundamentals for Clinicians

When we educate clinicians,

we save lives.

The Curriculum in IDD Healthcare eLearn course was designed, created, and is delivered by a physician for physicians and other clinicians.

It teaches the fundamentals of IDD healthcare, providing learners with pertinent, practical information that can be used immediately in their practices to improve outcomes, reduce suffering, and prevent unnecessary death in their patients with intellectual and developmental disabilities.

Uniquely Designed For Immediate Use

Watch this two minute video for more information.

  • Unlock the language of behavior and how it can point to specific underlying medical causes
  • Improve communication between clinicians and supporters of people with IDD to facilitate better healthcare
  • Learn from real-life case studies

This course is currently incorporated into medical and nurse practitioner schools, used by state agencies to train clinicians, statewide, and by numerous clinical organizations and individual physicians desiring to improve clinical knowledge in this area.

Medical, Nursing, and Allied Health Professional Schools

Residency Programs

Practicing Physicians, Nurse Practitioners, and Physician Assistants

Practicing Nurses and Allied Health Professionals

The National Council on Disability supports IDD training for all healthcare professional schools

One of the four major components of the National Council on Disability’s Health Equity Framework includes: “requiring comprehensive disability clinical-care curricula in all US medical, nursing and other healthcare professional schools and requiring disability competency education and training of medical, nursing and other healthcare professionals.” Click here to read more.

IntellectAbility Recognized Provider in IDD Healthcare Award

Besides earning valuable Physician CME or Nursing CEU credit, clinicians who complete the course are eligible to receive the IntellectAbility Recognized Provider in IDD Healthcare award indicating their commitment to providing quality healthcare to people with IDD. 

Course Overview
The Curriculum in IDD Healthcare consists of 6 modules that teach practical skills that improve clinical competence in the provision of healthcare to people with IDD.

Numerous, real-world case studies are used to illustrate concepts that help students and clinicians at any level to improve their skillset and provide competent, compassionate healthcare to people with complex neurodevelopmental, medical and mental health conditions.
Course Modules

IDD Basics: Then, Now and Next

Module Length: 37 Minutes

Diagnosis, causes, prevalence, and classifications are covered. The history of IDD treatment and the reasons for the move from institutional to community-based support are covered and much more.

Healthcare Basics in IDD

Module Length: 1 Hour 2 Minutes

A discussion of common medical issues, their presentations and general treatment options are covered. This discussion includes the “Fatal 5+” – Constipation, Aspiration, Dehydration, Seizures and Sepsis, as well as other topics like GERD, osteoporosis, contraception, feeding tubes, wheelchairs, end-of-life considerations and basic dental issues.

Common Behavioral Presentations of Medical Conditions in People with IDD

Module Length: 34 Minutes

Using real-life case studies, this module effectively illustrates how numerous challenging behaviors may point to specific, underlying medical conditions in people with IDD. Topics include head-banging, refusing meals, hand-mouth behavior, aggressiveness in particular situations, resisting lying down or sleeping, pica and many more.

Dual Diagnosis in IDD

Module Length: 46 Minutes
This module covers the challenges of diagnosing mental health conditions in people with IDD. It covers how certain non-verbal behaviors may point to a mental health condition and the importance of evaluating for underlying medical conditions before instituting treatment for adverse behaviors with psychotropic medications.

Effective Communication for IDD Healthcare

Module Length: 31 Minutes

This talk covers topics including understanding the differing baselines of people with IDD, fostering good communication between healthcare providers and support staff, speaking TO the person who is the patient rather than directing communication to the support staff, how to garner the most helpful information from support staff, and understanding the structure of the team model of support.

Bringing it all Together: Case Studies in IDD Healthcare

Module Length: 34 Minutes
While case studies are sprinkled through the other presentations, this enjoyable and highly interactive workshop-type module focuses on specific cases to drive home the previously discussed topics illustrating practical applications of the information.

About the Author

Curriculum in IDD Healthcare was developed and is delivered by Dr. Craig Escudé, who has over 20 years of clinical experience in treating people with severe and profound levels of IDD and extensive experience in training hundreds of clinicians, case managers, social workers, direct support professionals and others who work in this field. He is also one of a handful of Fellows of the American Academy of Family Physicians (FAAFP) and the American Academy of Developmental Medicine (FAADM). 

A study was conducted by William Carey University College of Osteopathic Medicine about the efficacy of IntellectAbility’s Curriculum in IDD Healthcare eLearning course in teaching medical students about the fundamentals of IDD Healthcare. Based upon the data, the researchers concluded the online course was successful in increasing the student’s knowledge of IDD healthcare, confidence in treating people with IDD, and maximum ability to deliver effective medical care to people with IDD. Below is a graph depicting the results of the study taken from the poster being presented at the American Association of Colleges of Osteopathic Medicine’s Education Leaders 2021 conference.

Learn more about the need to educate healthcare providers about IDD healthcare

  • Click here to read real accounts from nurses about negative physician encounters.
  • Click to download the Curriculum in IDD Healthcare eLearn Information Sheet and share it with your colleagues.
  • Watch this 30 minute recorded webinar delivered by our President and this course’s author, Dr. Craig Escudé.
  • Download the National Council on Disability’s Health Equity Framework.

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and special healthcare professional training school licensing.
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