Vanderbilt Kennedy Center

A teenager givinga  thumbs up

A teenager givinga thumbs up

New Vanderbilt Clinic Helps Young Adults With Intellectual Disabilities Cope With Change

Updated on 10/9/2008 9:15:04 AM.

Source: Vanderbilt Kennedy Center

Nashville (Tenn.)—The new School-to-Adult Transitions Clinic at Vanderbilt (SAT-V) helps young adults with intellectual disabilities, ages 17-25, successfully transition from school to the after-school years.

Change can be difficult and sometimes may be associated with emotional and behavioral concerns that cause problems in daily living. The goal of the Clinic is to help people with intellectual disabilities get a positive start on adulthood.

Persons with intellectual disabilities are at greater risk for experiencing behavioral, emotional and psychiatric problems than the general population. Yet, resources to treat individuals with intellectual disabilities who have mental health needs are scarce.

“Transition can be difficult for people with intellectual disabilities,” said Bruce Davis, Ph.D., SAT-V director and assistant professor of Psychiatry at Vanderbilt University. “The difficulties are compounded when the person also has a co-occurring mental health disorder. Precious few services are available to address these concerns with transition. Fewer still address the unique behavioral and psychiatric problems that exist for these young adults. SAT-V hopes to bridge this gap by providing quality functional assessments of behavior and by working collaboratively with psychiatrists and other professionals.”

The Clinic will be staffed by an interdisciplinary team that has expertise working with this population. The team will not only see patients in the Clinic, but will also work with persons residing at home, in group homes, in residential facilities, and in correctional facilities, as well as patients and care providers via telemedicine.

The SAT-V Clinic is a partnership between Vanderbilt Kennedy Center (VKC) and the Vanderbilt Department of Psychiatry to fill the void in treatment options for those with co-occurring intellectual disabilities and psychiatric issues. The Clinic is funded by a three-year grant from the John Merck Fund to Elisabeth M. Dykens, Ph.D., professor of Psychology; associate director, Vanderbilt Kennedy Center; and director, Vanderbilt Kennedy Center for Excellence in Developmental Disabilities.

For more information call (615) 343-5408.

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