Enhancing Perspectives in Providing Therapy for the Intellectual & Developmentally Disabled Population

Deirdre O’Reilly, LCSW and Kristen Sellix, LCSW, CCSW

Course Description:
In order to work effectively with the Intellectually and/or Developmentally Disabled population (I/DD), it is important to have an understanding of neurodiversity as a culture and how various cultures and races respond to and view I/DD individuals.  This workshop will explore neurodiversity in the context of many cultures seen in the U.S. along with the unique clinical challenges often seen when working with this population, along with how treatment priorities can change with cultural perspective.  In addition, participants will be given practical knowledge and skills and specific clinical interventions for working with a person with I/DD and their families.

Participants will be able to:

  1. Describe the legal definition of I/DD in the state of New Jersey
  2. Recognize how different cultures in the U.S. view I/DD and treatment.
  3. Describe the culture of neurodiversity and its impact on the family system
  4. Apply clinical interventions when working with the I/DD population.

Presenter Biographies:

Deirdre O’Reilly, LCSW
Deirdre O’Reilly is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker in New Jersey, obtaining her Masters of Social Work from Rutgers University with a specialty in Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities (I/DD) and Mental Illness.  She has over 10 years’ experience working with the I/DD population; delivering in-home and outpatient therapy for individuals, couples, families, and groups, providing clinical case management, and positive behavioral supports.  She volunteers with the American Special Children Pilgrimage Group and The Council of Irish Associations of Greater Bergen County and serves as a chapter adviser an organization at Rutgers University.  Currently, she is the Clinical Director for The Arc of Bergen & Passaic Counties, an organization that serves people with I/DD across their lifespan.

Kristen Sellix, LCSW
Kristen Sellix is a Licensed Clinical Social worker in New Jersey, holding a Masters of Social Work degree from New York University, with a specialized interest in the intersection of the I/DD population and co-occurring mental health needs. Kristen has had a variety of experiences working with the I/DD population and community mental health in the outpatient, residential, in-home and school based settings. In 2014, Kristen co-founded “SIBS NJ,” a not for profit organization focused on sibling relationships within neurodiverse families impacted by disability and mental health needs. Currently, Kristen serves as School Social Worker on the Cresskill Public School’s Child Study Team, and is a part of Verus Therapy, LLC, a private therapy practice in Woodcliff Lake, NJ where she provides individual therapy, family therapy, and parent coaching.

Location: Eisenhower Conference Center, 80 Beaufort Avenue, Livingston, NJ
Date:   September 28, 2018   Time: 9:00am-3:30pm
Registration and continental breakfast will take place between 9:00-9:30a.m.
The workshop will begin promptly at 9:30a.m.


9:30-10:55am Welcome and Overview
Myths, Facts, and Definitions
How Various Cultures View I/DD
Creating Goals that are Clinically Appropriate and Culturally Sensitive
10:55-11:00am Morning Break
11:00am-12:15pm  Neurodiversity as Culture
Effects of a person with I/DD within the family system
The “Platinum Rule” Activity
12:15 – 1:00pm Lunch on your own
1:00-2:25pm Intervention Overview
2:25-2:30pm Afternoon Break
2:30-3:30pm Clinical Interventions
Deep Breathing Activity
Questions and Wrap-Up

Target Audience:  Social Workers, Counselors, and other mental health and substance use professionals. This course is appropriate for intermediate level participants.

Continuing Education Credits: FAMILYConnections, Provider #1252, is approved as a provider for social work continuing education by the Association of Social Work Boards (ASWB) www.aswb.org, through the Approved Continuing Education (ACE) program. FAMILYConnections maintains responsibility for the program. ASWB ACE Approval Period: 01/10/2017 – 01/10/2020. Social workers should contact their regulatory board to determine course approval. Social workers participating in this course will receive 4 social and cultural competency and 1 clinical continuing education clock hours.

NJ Social Workers: An application has been submitted for consideration of 4 social and cultural competency and 1 clinical CE credits for this course.

FAMILYConnections, Inc. has been approved by NBCC as an Approved Continuing Education Provider, ACEP No. 6604. Programs that do not qualify for NBCC credit are clearly identified. Counselors will receive 5 CE hours.

FAMILYConnections is solely responsible for all aspects of the program.

In accordance with ASWB guidelines, all participants must sign in and sign out and complete a course evaluation in order to receive CE credits. Partial credit will not be given to those arriving late or leaving early.
Certificates will be awarded to participants after they have signed out at the completion of the course.

Directions & Parking Information: Detailed directions and information will be sent to registrants in a confirmation email.

Facilities: If you need accommodations for a disability, please contact Niki Stromko, Program Manager, at 973-323-3454 or by email at nstromko@familyconnectionsnj.org

Registration: Free registration will be open to staff of DMHAS-contracted mental health and substance use agencies and self-help centers until September 17, 2018. Cancellations must be made by September 24, 2018.

To register, please click here

Grievances: Please contact Niki Stromko, Program Manager, at 973-323-3454 with any grievances. Please see attached Grievance Policy for more information.

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