Support for Parents with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities: A Practice Model

By Jessica Holmes, Elvia R. Krajewski-Jaime, Tamara Taylor, Jacqueline Raxter, Linda Cobb-McClain and Penny Thomas.

Published by The International Journal of Interdisciplinary Social and Community Studies

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Article: Electronic $US5.00

This article describes results of a survey concerning the pilot-test of a practice model designed to develop parental skills to individuals diagnosed with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD). The model, entitled “Supporting Parents with Individualized Needs,” SPIN for short, was implemented with clients referred to our multi-service agency for assistance to help them relieve stressors due to parental skills that resulted in poor child-parent relationships. In addition to having been diagnosed with mild to moderate intellectual and/or developmental disabilities, the largest proportion of referred clients were part of a minority group population and were receiving Medicaid assistance which meant, their income was below the poverty line. Although anecdotally the SPIN model seemed to be having good results when servicing all IDD clients, the referral of this group of clients presented an opportunity to pilot-test the model for its effectiveness with culturally diverse, low-income groups. The pilot-testing of the model was appropriate since the core of the model is rooted on an empowerment and assets-based theoretical approach that identifies strengths in the IDD individual and his/her family. It also relies on an approach where client, family, professional therapists, and family support program staff work together in a relationship built on respect to ensure goals and objectives are created and met. Furthermore, the development of the model was based on evidence-based practice research which stresses that with appropriate support, education, and skill development, individuals with IDD may be able to live independently and become good parents. Due to the pilot nature of the study, the small sample, as well as the qualitative approach, there are some obvious limitations to this study such as; the limited amount of data which can be analyzed and provided. Nevertheless, results of the study may serve as a baseline to continue to test this model in future, more rigorous approaches.

Keywords: Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities, Parental Skills Development, Empowerment-based Service Delivery

The International Journal of Interdisciplinary Social and Community Studies, Volume 11, Issue 4, December 2016, pp.15-28. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 780.977KB).

Jessica Holmes

Program Supervisor, NSO Life Choices Program, Neighborhood Service Organization, Detroit, Michigan, USA

Dr. Elvia R. Krajewski-Jaime

Professor Emerita, School of Social Work, Eastern Michigan University, Brighton, Michigan, USA

Tamara Taylor

Program Manager, Life Choices, Neighborhood Services Organization, Detroit, Michigan, USA

Jacqueline Raxter

Assistant Unit Director, Life Choices Program, Neighborhood Service Organization, Detroit, Michigan, USA

Dr. Linda Cobb-McClain

Director, Life Choices Program, Neighborhood Service Organization, Detroit, Michigan, USA

Penny Thomas

Retired Director, Life Choices Program, Neighborhood Service Organization, Detroit, Michigan, USA