Developmental Disabilities Training Series From Rutgers Cooperative Extension

Course Descriptions

HSBB 2501: Overview of Disabilities

The introductory course in this series focuses on six of the most common developmental disabilities, a group of conditions caused by cognitive or physical impairments that can affect learning, language, and behavior.

Participants in this course will:

  • Expand their knowledge of common developmental disabilities, including: learning disability, attention deficit disorder, autism spectrum disorder, intellectual disability, sensory processing disorder, and Tourette syndrome.
  • Become more informed of the behaviors commonly associated with these developmental disabilities.
  • Understand the importance of confidentiality and the use of person-first language.
HSBB 2502: Disabilities and Learning

Every person has the potential to learn, and we all learn differently. The job of educators is to discover and maximize that potential. This course teaches you how to discover potential through focusing on visual, auditory, and kinesthetic learning styles, as well as the relationship between developmental disabilities and learning styles. Each learning style requires different teaching and facilitation techniques. Developing an understanding of these techniques can be invaluable for educators, trainers, service providers, and parents.

HSBB 2503: Understanding and Managing Behavior

Individuals with developmental disabilities can have many strengths, but they may also exhibit challenging, problematic, or unfamiliar behaviors. Working with these individuals requires an understanding of common behavioral triggers, the root causes of challenging behaviors, and the skills needed to manage them. To be an effective facilitator or communicator, it’s critical that problematic behaviors are addressed and managed effectively. This course focuses on understanding, managing, and preventing these behaviors.

Participants in this course will learn:

  • Why problematic behavior occurs and what can trigger it.
  • Types of problematic behaviors and how to manage them.
  • Communication techniques for uncertain situations.
  • Effective techniques for preventing disruptive behavior.
HSBB 2504: Visual Supports

Learning styles can often be grouped into three categories: visual, auditory, and kinesthetic. Many individuals with developmental disabilities are visual learners, meaning they usually understand what they see better than what they hear. When working with individuals with developmental disabilities, it's recommended that you use visual supports or cues to aid in communication and increase understanding. When working with adults or youth, it’s important to understand the visual learning style, including how and why visual supports help individuals achieve greater learning success. Using visual supports can also be helpful for managing challenging behaviors and reducing anxiety.

Visual support often refers to using imagery or other visual aids to communicate with an individual who has difficulty understanding or using language. Visual supports, from body movements to environmental cues, can enhance the communication process. In this course, you will learn about creating visual supports and how to conduct a visual inventory of your setting in order to determine whether additional visual cues are needed.

HSBB 2505: Understanding Disabilities Law and Making Program Adaptations

When planning and delivering programming or services for individuals with developmental disabilities, it's important to understand the legal protections afforded to these individuals and learn how to make the necessary accommodations. This course provides information on how to make the accommodations and modifications needed for successful participation in the learning environment, and meet requirements of The Americans with Disabilities Act and The Rehabilitation Act of 1973. You will also learn the difference between an accommodation and modification, and learn tips to help improve communication and information gathering.

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