Supporting Individuals with Intellectual Disabilities & Mental Illness
Sherri Melrose, Athabasca University
Pub Date: 2015
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This textbook is a comprehensive resource internationally for unpaid caregivers (relatives of people with intellectual disabilities) as well as paid read more
This textbook is a comprehensive resource internationally for unpaid caregivers (relatives of people with intellectual disabilities) as well as paid caregivers (care/support staff who work in supported living, residential, vocational and recreational services), as it sets out the values and quality standard principles they can expect for their relative with intellectual disabilities from these services and supports. It is a useful resource for academic students, as the content is based on a comprehensive list of references (current evidence). Training officers/departments within services will also benefit from its content as training material for their care and support staff. The comprehensive information, which covers overall health and wellbeing (not just mental ill health), is well laid out, in terms of chapter order and ease of reading. Occasionally important points are merely mentioned (e.g. the recommendation that people with intellectual disabilities receive annual health check ups with a physician is only mentioned in the 'Pain' chapter 5, page 72, when it actually warrants a dedicated section in a different chapter), but these important points have been included all the same. It is good to see such a valuable resource available as an open access textbook, because it is about people with intellectual disabilities AND mental illness. Such textbooks on dual-diagnosis are hard to find gems of resource.
The textbook is accurate, based on best available current evidence, and provides a valuable resource on e.g. practical communication tools suitable for using with people with intellectual disabilities and mental illness (who often experience communication difficulties and require the use of communication aids).
The book is relevant with expected longevity, although the scan codes and links to supporting audio material will need to be checked/updated regularly to ensure they are in working order.
The book is written concisely and clearly, and because it explains key terminology and the historical perspectives which have led to the present day, everything is explained to the reader in an easy to understand manner. It is written in such a way that it will have just as much appeal to an expert in the field than it will to a novice.
The book is consistently written and presented, with the extremely useful inclusion of summaries (conclusions) and 'key points for caregivers' at the end of each chapter. Each chapter has been written/edited by a different author but the flow of writing is consistent throughout, as though written by the same one author.
If rated, the book would be awarded five gold stars for modularity. Each chapter follows the same layout (with conclusion/summary and key points), and is separate/distinct enough to be read in isolation, or at the same time as other chapters. The use of optional supplementary audio clips is a real bonus, as those who have time to listen to them will find them extremely useful, and those who feel they don't have as much time will still benefit from the comprehensive information provided within the textbook alone.
The topics are presented in a logical and clear fashion. On reading the content list at the beginning, it may at first appear as though intellectual disabilities and mental illness are being discussed separately, but it does become clear on reading the chapters, that this is not the case. This textbook and all of its chapters is relevant to caring for/supporting people with intellectual disabilities and mental illness (dual diagnosis).
The book's interface is problem -free.
No grammatical errors were spotted when reading this book.
The book is American but relevant for readers internationally. The book's subject is people with intellectual disabilities and mental illness, and great sensitivity to the important values and principles for caring for/supporting people with intellectual disabilities therefore, is apparent from the outset - this book actually raises awareness of their importance to the reader.
Table of Contents
CHAPTER 1: SUPPORT WORK: THE FUNDAMENTALS
- Guiding Principles for Support Work
- Historical Struggles
- Competencies Expected of Support Workers
CHAPTER 2: WHAT'S IN A NAME?
- The Purpose of Naming
- Historical Perspective
- Guidelines for Choosing the Right Name
- Intellectual Disability
- What Is Intellectual Disability?
- The Impact of Names Beyond the Hurt Feelings: Implications for Service and Support
CHAPTER 3: AN OVERVIEW OF MENTAL ILLNESS
- Background of Mental Health Care
- Indicators Associated with Disorders of Thinking
- Indicators Associated with Disorders of Mood
- Indicators Associated with Disorders of Behaviour
CHAPTER 4: COMMON PHYSICAL CONCERNS
- Health Status
- Factors Affecting Health Status
- Common Health Challenges
- Impact of Support Providers on Health Status
- Health Promotion
CHAPTER 5: WHEN THE PROBLEM IS PAIN
- Ethical Principles for Addressing Physical Health Conditions and Assessing Pain
- The Hierarchy of Pain Assessment Techniques
- Guiding Principles Pain Assessment
- Behavioural Pain Assessment Tools
- Picture Resources for Identifying Emotions of Physical Distress
- Pain and Health Care for Dually Diagnosed Persons
CHAPTER 6: BEHAVIOUR THAT HURTS
- Overview of Applied Behavioural Analysis
- Strategies to Help Decrease Self-Injurious and Aggressive Behaviour
CHAPTER 7: SEXUALITY
- Discussion Topics for Sexual Education Support
- Understanding Boundaries
- Providing Resources
- Differentiating between Challenging Behaviours and Sex Offending Behaviours
About the Book
This multidisciplinary resource develops topics of interest to all those who care about and for individuals with co-occurring intellectual disabilities and mental illness. Each chapter presents current evidence informed practice knowledge. Each topic is also presented with audio enabled text boxes emphasizing ‘Key Points for Caregivers.’ For those who are interested in background knowledge, we provided the comprehensive literature base. And, for those interested mainly in ‘what to do,’ we provided text box summaries for reading and listening.
About the Contributors
Sherri Melrose PhD, RN is an Associate Professor in the Centre for Nursing and Health Studies, Athabasca University, Athabasca, Alberta, Canada. Her background is in psychiatric nursing.