A developmental disability is a disability that is manifested before the person reaches 22 years of age, which constitutes a substantial disability to the affected individual, and is attributable to mental retardation or related conditions which include cerebral palsy, epilepsy, autism or other neurological conditions when such conditions result in impairment of general intellectual functioning or adaptive behavior similar to that of a person with mental retardation.
Adaptive behavior means that the person has overall adaptive behavior which is significantly limited in two or more skill areas (communication, self-care, home living, social skills, community use, self direction, health and safety, functional academics, leisure, and work:, as measured by an instrument which is standardized, appropriate to the person’s living environment, and administered and clinically determined by a qualified professional.
Like so many other skill enhancement interventions, anger management professionals have overlooked the entire developmentally disabled population. This is unfortunate, unacceptable and must be addressed.
Like any other individuals, persons who are developmentally disabled suffer from deficits in their ability to understand and manage stress, recognize when they are becoming angry and control their behavior when unpleasant feelings are present. In addition, they may be prone to appear insensitive and lacking in empathy.
Anger management classes for developmentally disabled persons must sometimes be offered on an individual basis or in dyads or very small groups. Graphics with pictures as well as CDs and DVDs or posters must be maximized for those who learn best with visual material.
Frequent, brief sessions are often better than 50- minute sessions that overwhelm the client’s capacity to sustain attention. All providers must have a minimum of 40 hours in Anger Management Facilitator Certification.
For persons 18 years of age or older, the Bar On EQi Assessment is ideal to determine the current skill level relative to the 15 emotional intelligence scales contained in this instrument.
George Anderson , http://www.andersonservices.com Anderson & Anderson , APC, 310-207-3591