Neurodevelopmental and Behavioral Pediatrics

Program in Aging and Developmental Disabilities (PADD)


The number of people who are aging with intellectual and developmental disabilities continues to grow, yet education for professionals who provide services for this population is relatively limited. Thus, the Finger Lakes Geriatric Education Center (FLGEC), St. John Fisher College, the Institute of Gerontology of Utica College at Syracuse University, and the Program in Aging and Developmental Disabilities (PADD) faculty have developed a series of training modules for use by health professionals who serve this population. Click here for an Order Form. Descriptions of the curricula are below.

Understanding Aging and Developmental Disabilities: An In-Service Curriculum Part I, 2nd Edition

Comprised of six separate modules, the sections are:

  1. Biology of Aging
  2. Developmental Disabilities
  3. The Aging and Developmental Disabilities Service Systems
  4. Alzheimer's Disease and Down Syndrome: The Connection
  5. Cerebral Palsy In Adults Who Are Older
  6. Environment and Aging

Available in print with CD containing Power-Point presentations, the curriculum can be used individually or in a group "train-the-trainer" format. Each section can be presented in 1-2 hours.

Understanding Aging and Developmental Disabilities: An In-Service Curriculum Part II, 2nd Edition

Developed as a supplement to the first edition, this manual includes the following chapters: 1) Coalition Building: Survival for the Future, 2) Side Effects of Medication, 3) Learning About Your Own Aging: A Guide to Helping Consumers Understand Their Own Aging Process. Available in print with CD containing Power-Point presentations, the curriculum can be used individually or in a group "train-the-trainer" format. Each session can be presented in 1 - 2 hours.

Intellectual Disabilities: A Caretaker’s Guide to Aging and Dementia

This manual is designed to provide information to families and staff caring for individuals with developmental disabilities who also have dementia and/or age-related personality changes. The methods described are most effective with a 3-part approach: education, counseling, and if necessary, medication. Some of the topics included are stages of Alzheimer’s Dementia, Dementia Risk Factors, Conditions that Resemble Symptoms of Dementia, Dementia Personality Changes, Responding to Difficult Behaviors, Long-Range Planning and Home Safety.

Rochester Clinical Assessment Training

Aging for anyone does not have to mean significant cognitive or functioning decline. Too often when an older person experiences decline, it is assumed to be normal aging or dementia (which is also not normal aging). When an older person with developmental disabilities is experiencing loss it is essential that an appropriate assessment is conducted to determine the underlying cause.

Dr. C. Michael Henderson, founding pioneer of Geriatric Assessment for Adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities, has found loss to be caused most often by a complex interaction of disease, side effects of medication, mental health issues, and incompatible physical environments. Drs. Henderson and Bishop created the Rochester Clinical Assessment Training Curriculum to assist clinicians and caregivers with understanding the medical aspects of aging with pre-existing disabilities or disorders. Curriculum contains the following topics and CD of Power Point:

  • Aging and Longevity
  • General Aging Effects, Immobility/Deconditioning and Arthritis
  • Falls, Fractures, Osteoporosis, and Foot Problems
  • Aging and Sensory Loss
  • Dementia
  • Differential Diagnosis Checklist
  • Case Studies

Rochester Environmental and Sensory Processing Awareness (RESPA) Checklists

Processing and interpretation of the environmental information can affect each individual’s moods, functioning ability, and activities of daily living. For individuals who are aging with pre-existing disabilities, environments that do not enhance or promote sensory processing can act as barriers to functioning and interaction with others. For individuals who can not communicate verbally or have little experience with self-advocacy, the form of communication can often be inappropriate behaviors that interfere with the individual’s quality of life. For example, painful information in the environment, as perceived by the individual, such as vibrations or glare from fluorescent lights or too much background noise, could result in an individual screaming, crying, refusing to participate in activities in that environment, and/or other challenging behavior.

The RESPA Checklists are intended to be awareness tools for staff and caregivers; they have not been validated as formal tools. They should be used for clearer understanding of and awareness for each individual’s sensory processing needs and issues, with a goal for modifying the environment when possible to help enhance each individual’s functioning and quality of life across the lifespan. Training on use of the RESPA Checklists is offered several times per year (check Conferences page) and can be done upon request at your agency. Please visit PADD's YouTube Channel for a short video on the benefits of the RESPA (2:11).

If you wish to order a module, please download the Order Form here, enclose payment, and mail it to the address on the form.

For more information, contact Kate Nobis at (585)275-6604 or


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Strong Center for Developmental Disabilities
Golisano Children's Hospital
Box 671
601 Elmwood Avenue
Rochester, NY 14642

Phone: (585) 275-6604
Fax: (585) 275-3366