Care of a Person with a Developmental Disability

1h 30m
Cover image for: Care of a Person with a Developmental Disability
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The Ausmed Education Learning Centre is accredited with distinction as a provider of nursing continuing professional development by the American Nurses Credentialing Center's Commission on Accreditation

Provider Number PO342.

CPD1h 30m of CPD
First Published
Updated24 September 2023
Expires 29 September 2024
Recorded InMelbourne, Australia

Course Overview

This Ausmed Course gives learners a foundational understanding of providing individualised care to a person living with a developmental disability, including autism spectrum disorder (ASD), Down syndrome and cerebral palsy.

  • The prevalence of developmental disabilities
  • Understanding the unique needs of this population group
  • Individualised and patient-centred care strategies
  • Understanding relevant pharmacological treatments
  • Providing proactive care and holistic discharge planning

People with developmental disabilities have a higher prevalence of chronic disease, a shorter life expectancy, higher morbidity and mortality rates, and are twice as likely as the general population to die from preventable causes. Additionally, people with developmental disabilities are hospitalised more frequently and at younger ages, and have significantly longer hospital stays than those without disabilities.

Furthermore, within interdisciplinary teams, there is a high prevalence of ineffective communication and collaboration, which can lead to patient dissatisfaction, misdiagnosis, delayed treatment, medication errors, injury or death.

Despite these stakes, there are few best-practice guidelines and recommended nursing interventions available for professionals to refer to. It is this overall lack of knowledge and understanding of developmental disabilities that needs addressing.

Without more targeted education regarding caring for people with developmental disabilities for all healthcare professionals, there will continue to be gaps in the care provided, thus furthering negative health outcomes for this patient group.


The purpose of this Ausmed Course is to offer a foundational understanding of the key challenges faced by people living with developmental disabilities. It specifically focuses on the higher need for interdisciplinary care to enhance the experience of this population. Moreover, it aims to equip those involved in the care of people with developmental disabilities with the knowledge and strategies needed to enhance their capabilities in meeting their care needs.

Learning Outcomes
  1. Understand the intersection between disability and health.
  2. Describe the role and value of the interdisciplinary team, both individually and collectively, throughout the care journey of people with developmental disabilities.
  3. Differentiate between proactive and reactive care in addressing the health needs of people with developmental disabilities.
  4. Develop the mindset and the skills to provide considered and individualised care for people with developmental disabilities in all health settings.
Target Audience

Nurses and other healthcare professionals looking to increase their understanding of the variety of roles involved in caring for a person with developmental disabilities.


No conflict of interest exists for anyone in the position to control content for this activity. Wherever possible, generic or non-proprietary names of medications or products have been used.


Presented by
educator profile image
Paul Nguyen View profile
Dr. Paul Nguyen is a Medical Educator at Monash University, member of the Developmental Disabilities Special Interest Group at the Royal College of General Practitioners and a former Developmental Disability Medical Specialist for the Centre for Developmental Disability Health Victoria. During his time as a GP, he focussed mainly on mental health, including practising clinical hypnotherapy, and Focussed Psychological Strategies (predominantly focussing on Acceptance and Commitment Therapy). Paul identifies as a secular Buddhist and a flexitarian, which demonstrates his refusal to be easily categorised, a trait that has given him the empathy and experience to provide care for people whose needs are neither simple nor uniform.
CPD time1h 30m
First Published
Updated24 September 2023
29 September 2024
Recorded InMelbourne, Australia
Learning Tools
Activities of Daily Living (ADLs)
Antipsychotic Medications
Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD)
Cognitive Impairment
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