IDD Toolkit Offers Information to Improve Health Care for Adults with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities
By Guest Blogger Janet Shouse, program coordinator, Development Disabilities Health Care E-Toolkit, Vanderbilt Kennedy Center
As the parent of a son with autism who has recently become an adult, one of my big concerns has been who will provide his medical care when he ages out of his pediatrician’s practice. Also, as a parent volunteer with a local autism organization, I often get phone calls from parents seeking medical care for their young adult children with autism.
While some areas may have specialists known as med-peds physicians who are trained as both internists and pediatricians, most patients with disabilities receive their primary care from an internist or a family practice physician. Many physicians receive little training in caring for adults with intellectual or other developmental disabilities, and many have little experience with this underserved population.
We know from research that adults with intellectual or other developmental disabilities, such as autism or Down syndrome, frequently face a cascade of health disparities. They may:
And these adults deserve quality, patient-centered health care.