The first in a four-session CoAct was held at Easterseals DC VA MD on June 22 with 20 participants. The group discussed the challenges individuals with IDD have in receiving quality care. The participants identified the top four challenges that need to be addressed:
- Rapid growth in the number of IDD individuals who are at risk is climbing, and our community is not prepared to assist them. This can be partially attributed to the inability of some family caregivers to continue to care for IDD individuals as they age.
- There is a lack of coordinated health services, specifically regarding mental health treatment and IDD service systems. This creates friction in the system and results in inadequate treatment for those who need it. This is compounded by a lack of health literacy materials and age-appropriate screenings for patients with IDD.
- Individuals are falling through the cracks. A support mechanism for individuals with IDD is needed when transitioning from the school system to adulthood. The current process suffers from too few trained direct support professionals and needs more navigation support.
- There aren’t enough health professionals who know and understand the need of neuro-diverse populations. Even if all the systems are in place to better treat individuals with IDD, not enough healthcare workers are adequately trained to deliver the services.