Learn about the causes and effects of trauma and what can help.
Do you support someone who has been through distressing or stressful events or experienced fear, loss and uncertainty in their lives? If so, this course may help. We will look at how and why events can be traumatic for people with severe and profound intellectual or learning disabilities; how trauma can affect all aspects of wellbeing, learning and development and show you strategies and approaches for care and support, that can be used at home as well as in education and care settings.
People with severe and profound intellectual / learning disabilities and profound and multiple learning disabilities (PMLD) are at increased risk of experiencing and suffering from the effects of trauma. Science has shown us that there is a wealth of natural, non-invasive things we can do that involve interactions, the senses and the body to help restore this sense of safety, benefit our mental wellbeing and assist in healing from trauma. You will learn about research evidence and explore practical ways that you can support those you support, love and care for.
This course can be accessed any time and takes 2-6 hours to complete.
If you wish to gain access to the course for more than one person, please purchase a course for each person or contact [email protected] for discounted group bookings.
Also available as a SCORM course so that it can be purchased by an organisation and accessed through your own learning management system. Enquiries to: [email protected]
Who the course is for:
This course is for family members, education, health and social care professionals and therapists and will sensitively and compassionately examine why this population is at such high risk of experiencing trauma and what we can best do to support healing. The course is specifically designed to focus on the needs of children and adults with severe and profound disabilities, profound and multiple learning disabilities (PMLD), those on the autism spectrum and is also applicable to people with brain injury and dementia who use non-verbal methods of communication.
You will learn how nurturing interactions, promoting predictability and consistency and offering soothing experiences can help recovery and healing from trauma, and how to put these ideas into practice.
The course will cover:
• What trauma is
• The effects of trauma
• What science tells us about how we can support wellbeing and healing
• Specific considerations for people with severe and profound intellectual disabilities
• Practical evidence-based approaches for supporting the wellbeing of people who may be affected by trauma
The strategies and approaches you will learn about:
• Can be used at home, in education, adult and therapeutic services and settings
• Can be used to support children and adults
• Do not require cognitive and language skills and abilities
• Do not require specialist equipment
• Video recording of a live online course held in November 2021 edited into sections and totalling 95 minutes
• Written learning materials and research links
• 6 quizzes, the answers to which can be found in the course content
• 9 optional activities, which can be carried out alone, in pairs or in a group
• Evidence and theory and suggestions for how you can support those you care and support
• A downloadable copy of the slides used in the presentation
• A support plan template
• A certificate of completion
• Access to the entire course and all materials for one year
We offer a discounted rate of £8 for families. Please email [email protected] to arrange this.
The videos and text and all content of this course are protected by copyright law. It is not permitted to share access to the course or the content of the course with others without the express permission of NAC. You may not share your login details with others, or share the contents digitally or in any other way.
Review from Dr Elspeth Bradley, a psychiatrist and psychotherapist who works with adults and young people with intellectual and developmental disabilities.
‘In this online training “Trauma: Supporting children and adults with severe and profound intellectual disabilities”, Dr Julie Calveley, learning disability nurse and psychology graduate, draws on her extensive experience supporting people with severe and profound intellectual disabilities, and provides us with a language and an approach that will greatly enhance our therapeutic and clinical encounters with patients and clients with severe and profound disabilities.
Having intellectual disability significantly increases the risk of stigma, exclusion, bullying, exploitation, loneliness and other traumatic experiences. Those with severe and profound intellectual disabilities are exceptionally vulnerable to trauma not only by traumatic events that impact negatively on all of us, but especially related to their necessary day to day dependency on others, and limited capacity for independent agency. Significant trauma and traumatic stress can arise from the environments and care systems in which they are supported. The impact of such traumatic stress is cumulative leading to poor physical and mental health.
This course, sensitively and gently, illuminates how we as providers of health and social care and education, may inadvertently cause distress and trauma in our patients who communicate without words and who are unable to understand the content of our words. As students of the course, we learn that it not just what we do and what we say, but how our emotions, feelings and intent are embodied in our actions and tone of our voice, facial expressions and body language; these are the communications received by our nonverbal patients. In attending to how we engage with our non-verbal patients, lies the difference between being a further cause of distress and trauma or being a healer and advocate for their health and well-being.
Through many examples and access to additional resources, we learn how we can tap into our patient’s nonverbal expression of distress, whether this is emotional or physical and into their intent, agency and capacity to consent to treatment, through understanding our own nonverbal expression and motivations. Such attunement is not only deeply felt and in of itself therapeutic, but also provides us with important information about the patient’s physical and mental health, fine tunes what further investigations may be needed, guides treatment and is the beginning of a trusting relationship which is crucial to good treatment outcomes.
This easily available on-line course provides a unique opportunity on how to better understand the lives and emotional experiences and responses of people with severe and profound intellectual disabilities and how as care providers, we can help to prevent traumatic stress and trauma in their lives. The training content is an invaluable resource for health and social care staff working with directly with those with profound and severe intellectual disabilities, as well as those in supervisory roles and in leadership positions: it is not what we do, but how we do it, not what we say but how we support social, emotional and physical environments that embody the needs of those with severe and profound intellectual disabilities, how we support meaningful connection, participation and conversations even without words.
Dr Calveley draws on neuro science, best practices working with those with intellectual disabilities, and emerging trauma informed approaches to care and treatment (e.g., Poly vagal theory, Somatic experiencing, Interpersonal neurobiology). She beautifully integrates these perspectives into ways of working with people with profound and severe intellectual disabilities that will both prevent trauma and support those who have experienced trauma.’
Dr Elspeth Bradley
Psychiatrist and Psychotherapist in Intellectual Disabilities
BSc (Hons) Psychology, MB BS, PhD, FRCPsych, FRCPC
Associate Professor, University of Toronto
Mental Health Lead, 2018 Canadian consensus guidelines on primary care for adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities. https://ddprimarycare.surreyplace.ca/guidelines/
6 February 2022
SECTION 1: CAUSES AND EFFECTS
SECTION 2: APPROACHES AND STRATEGIES
- 08: How Relationships and Interactions can Help
- Quiz 4: Relationships and Interactions
- 09: Self-Care and Coregulation
- 10: States of Arousal
- Quiz 5: States of Arousal
- 11: Consent, Assent, Dissent and Agency
- 12: What to Observe
- 13: Predictability and Consistency
- 14: Strategies for Increasing Predictability and Consistency
- 15: Body Awareness and Touch
- 16: Posture and Positioning for Emotional Wellbeing
- 17: Comfort Kits and Music Playlists
- Quiz 6: Strategies and Approaches
- 18: What to Include in Care, Support and Education Plans
- 19: Concluding Comments, Links, References and Further Reading
- Downloadable Course Documents