Session 100 | Keynote Address

“Lessons from Tahlia and Melpomene”: Contrasting Behavioral Outcomes from the COVID Lockdown

Hosted By: Dr. Rick Rader, Medical Director at the Orange Grove Center

Predictably we observed the expected multiple negative behavioral changes among individuals with ID/DD confined to their group homes as a result of the COVID Pandemic “Lockdown.” Direct Support Professionals, behavioral analysts as well as counselors and therapists reported dramatic increases in anxiety, stress, aggression, self-abusive behaviors, depression, confusion and isolation. The stresses placed on support staff increased their own set of health challenges. But there was an unlikely and unanticipated improvement of previously existing maladaptive behaviors exhibited by individuals with ID/DD who were confined to their homes. This presentation examines and explores this phenomenon and beyond that is a call to action to reexamine what we think defines a meaningful life for people with complex disabilities.

Learning Objectives:

  1. The attendee will LEARN to anticipate the full spectrum of multiple responses in a stressful situation.
  2. The attendee will APPRECIATE that not all sweeping changes, believed to improve outcomes result in global positivity for all participants.
  3. The attendee will be ENCOURAGED to revisit person-centered thinking and verify that it centers on the right person.