Intellectual Disabilities and Behaviour Masterclass


26th September 2017

Event type Master Class

Montague on the Gardens


Approximately one in seven children with an impairing mental health disorder has intellectual disability (ID). Despite the ubiquity of ID, many clinicians are less confident in the assessment and management of mental disorders in youth with ID. There is a very limited evidence base specific to mental health interventions for children with ID and NICE guidelines generally recommend the same interventions identified for typically developing children. Key to determining how to modify assessment and management is a good understanding of the child’s developmental level and communication ability. Medication should be selected carefully with a view to co-existing conditions, drug interactions and the greater sensitivity to adverse effects of children with ID. The high prevalence of ID amongst youth with mental health problems suggests that all mental health professionals should have competence in working with youth with milder levels of ID.

This masterclass will address, through presentation, case studies and workshops in small groups, key issues for health practitioners who work with children and young people with intellectual disability (ID). Whilst it will primarily focus on practice issues that concern mental health practitioners (CAMH workers of all disciplines) it is likely to be useful for health alliance professionals in community and specialist child health services. The range of topics addressed will cover from identification of ID and associated mental disorders/ challenging behaviours to assessment and intervention issues, working with families and service related issues. The speakers will provide a resource pack of relevant materials. The attendees will have the opportunity to discuss with the speakers and other participants complex cases in their practice. They will be encouraged to bring case studies with them to facilitate the group-based workshops on the day.

About the speakers

Professor Emily Simonoff MD, FRCPsych

Professor of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry

Emily is Professor of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry at the Institute of Psychiatry, King’s College London, and also is Head of the Department. She studied Psychology and Social Relations and then Medicine at Harvard University. After qualifying she moved to train at the Maudsley Hospital and MRC Child Psychiatry Unit at the Institute of Psychiatry, London, where she trained in general and child psychiatry. Her clinical interests are neurodevelopmental disorders and psychiatric disorders in children with intellectual disability. She co-leads a clinic with referrals across the UK assessing and treating children and adolescents with complex neurodevelopmental disorders including autism, ADHD and intellectual disability. She has served as panel member for the National Institute of Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) on both childhood autism guideline groups.

Dr Iris Rathwell MD, MRCPsych

Consultant Child & Adolescent Psychiatrist

Dr Rathwell currently works with the national and specialist service for complex autism and neuro developmental disorders. She has been a consultant child and adolescent psychiatrist since 2004 having worked for most of her consultant career with the Maudsley Hospital. Together with Professor Simonoff, she leads a team that focuses on specialist assessments and management of challenging behaviours and complex presentations of autism, ADHD, learning disability and other brain related disorders. She has accumulated expertise in specialist assessments of complex autism particularly when this is associated with additional neuropsychiatric or other mental disorders. She has also developed expertise in pharmacological management of psychiatric disorders and/or problem behaviours when they occur in the presence of autism, ADHD or other neuro developmental disorder.

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