This degree focus area prepares professionals to provide services for children and adolescents with developmental disabilities and mental health needs.
There is a high demand for master's level graduates at agencies that require a background in both mental health and developmental disabilities.
In this focus area, students will gain knowledge and practical experience in these areas:
- Use person-first language as an objective way of acknowledging, communicating, and reporting on disabilities.
- Identify and address ethical issues affecting children and adolescents with developmental disabilities.
- Ensure that family perspectives play a pivotal role in research, clinical practice, programs, or policy.
- Assess the effectiveness of an existing child and/or adolescent program addressing a specific type of developmental disability.
- Know appropriate methods for informing and educating policy-makers about the needs and the impacts of current policies on children and adolescents with developmental disabilities and their families.
- Describe problems based on key data, including economic, political, and social trends that affect the children and adolescents with developmental disabilities.
- Present evidence and information on policies and/or evidence-based practices that improve programs and outcomes for individuals with developmental disabilities.
- Identify and discuss evidence-based programs and practices for individuals with developmental disability when the individuals' needs include juvenile justice or mental health issues.
- Know the criteria needed to meet the standards for evidence-based practice for children and adolescents receiving behavioral health services.
- Know the research that provides support for the range of evidence-based behavioral interventions and treatment practices for children and adolescents with developmental disabilities.
- Evaluate behavioral health service delivery systems according to their use of evidence-based practices for individuals with developmental disabilities.
- Understand the philosophical assumptions and research that support the use of positive behavior support and applied behavior analysis in interventions for children and adolescents with developmental disabilities.
For additional information on the Developmental Disabilities focus area, contact Dr. Chris Vatland.
If after viewing the information on the focus areas, you are still uncertain about which one would fit best with your specific situation, please contact either the Director of the area for which you plan to apply, or Debra Mowery, PhD. Keep in mind that there is overlap between all curriculums and the choice of focus area should be based on your specific interests, and career and educational goals. The choices of topic area and track (thesis or applied/non-thesis track) need to be declared at the time of application.