What are Developmental Disabilities?
The term developmental disability refers to a severe and chronic disability that is attributable to a mental or physical impairment that begins before an individual reaches adulthood. These disabilities include intellectual disability, cerebral palsy, epilepsy, autism, and disabling conditions closely related to intellectual disability or requiring similar treatment.
Intellectual Disability is characterized by significantly subaverage general intellectual functioning (i.e., an IQ of approximately 70 or below) with concurrent deficits or impairments in adaptive functioning.
Cerebral Palsy includes two types of motor dysfunction: (1) nonprogressive lesion or disorder in the brain occurring during intrauterine life or the perinatal period and characterized by paralysis, spasticity, or abnormal control of movement or posture, such as poor coordination or lack of balance, which is manifest prior to two or three years of age, and (2) other significant motor dysfunction appearing prior to age 18.
Autism is a neurodevelopmental disorder with multiple causes or origins. It is defined as a syndrome causing gross and sustained impairment in social interaction and communication with restricted and stereotyped patterns of behavior, interests, and activities that appear prior to the age of three. Specific symptoms may include impaired awareness of others, lack of social or emotional reciprocity, failure to develop peer relationships appropriate to developmental level, delay or absence of spoken language and abnormal nonverbal communication, stereotyped and repetitive language, idiosyncratic language, impaired imaginative play, insistence on sameness (e.g., nonfunctional routines or rituals), and stereotyped and repetitive motor mannerisms.
Epilepsy is defined as recurrent, unprovoked seizures.
Other Developmental Disabilities
Other Developmental Disabilities are those handicapping conditions similar to that require treatment (i.e., care and management) similar to that required by individuals with intellectual disability. This does not include handicapping conditions that are solely psychiatric or physical in nature. The handicapping conditions must occur before age 18, result in a substantial handicap, be likely to continue indefinitely, and involve brain damage or dysfunction. Examples of conditions might include intracranial neoplasms, degenerative brain disease or brain damage associated with accidents.
For an individual to be assessed in California as having a developmental disability, the disability must begin before the individual's 18th birthday, be expected to continue indefinitely and present a substantial disability.
What is the Enrollment Process?
Upon request for further information or initiation of services, consumer/consumer’s parent(s) will be sent an initial brochure and questionnaire. Upon receipt of the questionnaire and additional reports from the consumer/consumer’s parent(s), an initial in-person structured interview will be scheduled within two weeks with a counselor assigned to the consumer.
Following the interview, the counselor will interview other pertinent providers and review past assessments, transition plans, and supports. Prior work samples and work and/or volunteer experience is requested. In addition, an assessment of functional/occupational performance will be conducted (if applicable) in a real or simulated environment to identify social vocational needs and record baseline data. A Individual Habilitation Service Plan (IHSP) is developed, which will include a summary of the consumer’s background, skills and deficits, recommended goals and objectives, and recommendation for services will be submitted within three to four weeks of completion of the assessment. Services will commence once funding has been determined and a new cohort begins (every three months).
Orientation: New consumers will meet with a designated staff person on entry date for orientation. Staff will be involved in introducing the consumer to their peer group/cohort. Staff will facilitate socialization at orientation break. The consumer will be assigned a peer buddy, if appropriate, to show them the instructional room, restrooms, and general orientation to the physical environment. The Program Directors or counseling staff will check with the consumer on a daily basis until the consumer feels comfortable.
A photograph will be taken of the new consumer, for consumer file identification purposes. The new consumer will be listed on applicable Attendance Roster. Program start date will be listed. The consumer’s schedule will be reviewed with the consumer. The Consumer Handbook will be reviewed with the consumer, and parents if applicable. Any and all questions will be answered and all required forms will be completed at this time. Before the consumer starts in the program, all emergency and medical forms must be completed and entered into the consumer’s file. For more information about the enrollment process and services, contact us.
How do we measure progress?
Each consumer will be assigned a Counselor once services are authorized to begin. Utilizing the consumer’s Individual Habilitation Service Plan (IHSP), the consumer’s Counselor will assess consumer progress toward IHSP outcomes/goals on a semi-annual basis.
Consumer progress toward IHSP goals are measured and recorded via direct and indirect measures, including the review of formative and cumulative assessments completed by instructors during each course, instructor comments/feedback, consumer/consumer’s parent comments/feedback, review of consumer’s program benchmark assignments, and review of progress notes completed by assigned counselors during direct monthly meetings between consumer and their assigned counselor. Reports will be provided and reviewed with consumers, consumer's parents (if applicable), and will be reported to generic funding sources if required.
Consumer placement and funding termination procedures are followed according to all Title 22 and 17 §56718 regulations.