Trauma & Developmental Disability

Orange background with 4 images. From left to right. The first image is a women with black rimmed glasses and shoulder length brown hair, the next image is a clip art icon of a microphone, the 3 image is a man wearing a blue button up short and black jacket who has peppered blonde hair, the 4th image is a women with reading glasses on top of her head with blonde hair up in a bun. The text reads Host Erica Dennison, Brian Tallant LPC, NADD-CC, and Laura McArthur, Ph.D.Being “trauma-informed” is more than just a buzzword! But, what exactly does it mean and why can it be valuable when supporting people with developmental disabilities (DD)?

Being trauma-informed is not just a task or way to approach your work, it is a mindset shift that can improve the quality of life for those you support with DD! In this Vodcast/Podcast, you can learn about the significance of identifying post-traumatic stress responses and avoiding assumptions that the behavior is caused by a disability. Rather than asking “What is wrong with this person”, you will begin asking “What happened to this person”. This shift in perspective serves as the foundational step toward becoming trauma-informed!

Why you should tune in

People with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD) are more likely to experience traumatic events, including mistreatment, abuse, neglect, exploitation, bullying, and other distressing situations compared to individuals without disabilities. With such a high prevalence of trauma, adopting a trauma-informed approach in your work can substantially impact individuals with IDD!

Learn all the ins and outs by watching a vodcast (video) or listening to a podcast (audio) episode below!

Episode 1: How Does Trauma Affect the Brain? Featuring Brian Tallant LPC, NADD-CC from the Denver START Program of RMHS

  • Timestamps:
  • 2:23 – Overview of trauma
  • 5:35 – How trauma affects the brain
  • 9:53 – Healing the brain from trauma
  • 13:28 – The Neurosequential Model
  • 17:17 – Supporting individuals with IDD who have experienced trauma
  • Resources shared in this episode: National Child Traumatic Stress Network’s website to keep updated on a new manual of trauma-focused CBT therapy, a Fact sheet on trauma and children with IDD, and The Road to Recovery trauma toolkit.
  • Listen to “TRAINING E67 How Does Trauma Affect the Brain?” on Spreaker.

Episode 2: What does it mean to be trauma-informed? Featuring Brian Tallant LPC, NADD-CC from the Denver START Program of RMHS

  • Timestamps:
  • 2:22 – Being trauma-informed
  • 3:40 – Over-attribution of disability – asking “What happened to you” rather than “What’s wrong with you”
  • 9:20 – The 6 principles of trauma-informed care – Safety, Trustworthiness & Transparency, Peer Support, Collaboration & Mutuality, Empowerment & Choice, Sensitivity to Cultural Issues
  • 18:45 – Being trauma-informed in response to behavioral challenges
  • 25:50 – Supporting people with developmental disabilities using trauma-informed practices in everyday life
  • Listen to “TRAININGS E68 What Does It Mean to Be Trauma-Informed?” on Spreaker.

Episode 3: Why We Need Trauma-Informed Organizations, featuring Laura McArthur, Ph.D. from Resilient Futures

This work was made possible through support from Limbaugh Law Firm, Colorado Developmental Disabilities Council, Developmental Pathways, Arc Thrift Stores, and The Arc of Aurora.