Crisis Intervention for Individuals with Developmental Disabilities

Crisis Intervention for Individuals with Developmental Disabilities 

Assisting a person with developmental disabilities who experiences the emotional and mental disequilibrium that leads to a crisis can be difficult but is a key area of support to impact the quality of the person’s life. Understanding the environmental and psychological causes of crises is necessary before being able to successfully assist a person to reduce the frequency, intensity, and duration of crises. In this course you will develop skill in utilizing appropriate techniques that can be used to intervene in a crisis. Developed and written by the DSPATHS Credentialing Program, this training provides you with an overview of managing crisis situations and teaching coping skills to people you support. This course will guide you in an investigation of the phases of a crisis process. You will explore crisis prevention by identifying situations in the environment that can evolve into a crisis and the strategies which might be employed in these situations to prevent or lessen the impact of a crisis. You will also investigate post-event teaching strategies that may be employed to support people after a crisis as well as help to prevent future crises. This course is written for direct support professionals and frontline supervisors who support people with disabilities.


Hours: 0.75


Certificates provided by accrediting body (1 Match)

National Alliance for Direct Support Professionals

0.75 HOURS

This activity is approved for 0.75 contact hours.

Course Details

Course Code: REL-IDD-0-CIIDD
Hours: 0.75
Type: Online Course
Content Expiration Date: 10/31/2022
Learning Objectives:
Identify situations that can lead to or evolve into a crisis.
Determine appropriate techniques that can be used to intervene in a crisis.
Review post-event teaching strategies to prevent future crises.

Section 1: Introduction A. About This Course B. Learning Objectives Section 2: Dynamics of Conflict, Distress, and Crisis A. Marianne's Storm B. What Went Wrong? C. What is a Crisis? D. About Crises E. Intervention F. Emotional vs. Rational Reactions G. Emotional Phases of a Crisis H. Recognizing Emotional Escalation I. The Cat Crisis J. Understanding Individuals in Crisis K. Section Summary Section 3: Elements of a Crisis A. Understanding the Links to Break the Chain B. Link One: The Hazardous Event C. Link Two: The Vulnerable State D. Link Three: The Precipitating Factor E. Links in Marianne's Crisis F. Halftime Matching Review G. Link Four: Active Crisis H. Link Five: Reintegration I. Teach Coping Skills J. Helping Marianne to Reintegrate K. Section Summary Section 4: Managing a Crisis A. Creating a Plan B. Level One: Anxiety C. Level Two: Escalation D. Level Three: Physically Acting Out E. Level Four: Tension Reduction F. Four Stages of Crisis Development G. Report and Document H. Jayson's Escalation I. Section Summary Section 5: Essential Skills A. Strive to Develop Strong Relationships B. Good Rapport C. Building Rapport D. Developing Trust and Respect E. Validate F. Provide Focus G. Verbal Venting H. Make Use of Nonverbal Communication I. Personal Space J. Voice K. Your Impact on a Crisis: Positive of Negative? L. Matching Exercise: Your Impact M. Teach Self-Talk N. Changing Patterns O. Validating Billy P. Section Summary Section 6: Conclusion A. Summary B. Review C. Put in Practice D. Creating Your Own Work Portfolio E. Congratulations

Instructor: Bruce Davis, MS, PhD
Bruce Davis, Ph.D. is the Director of Behavioral and Psychological Services for the Tennessee Department of Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities (DIDD). He has 27 years of experience providing services to persons with intellectual disabilities and co-occurring behavioral health disorders. He is a Licensed Senior Psychological Examiner, a Licensed Professional Counselor, and a Board Certified Behavior Analyst. Dr. Davis has served as Regional Behavior Analysis Director for DIDD and was also Director of TN-START, a model crisis intervention program for persons with co-occurring disorders. He has also worked as an Assistant Professor in the Vanderbilt University Department of Psychiatry and directed the Behavioral Health and Intellectual Disabilities Clinic supported by the Merck Fund. Dr. Davis is a past President of the Tennessee Association for Behavior Analysis and served as President of TN-NADD (an association for persons with developmental disabilities and mental health needs) from 2005 to 2008 and 2011 to present. In the interim, he served as a TN-NADD Board Member and is an active member of the NADD organization. Disclosure: Bruce Davis, MS, PhD has declared that no conflict of interest, Relevant Financial Relationship or Relevant Non-Financial Relationship exists.
Target Audience:
The target audience for this course is: Entry, Intermediate level Direct Care Workers; Entry, Intermediate level Direct Support Professionals; in the following settings: Intellectual Developmental Disabilities.
Relias will be transparent in disclosing if any commercial support, sponsorship or co-providership is present prior to the learner completing the course.
Course Delivery Method and Format
Asynchronous/Online Distance Learning; please see certificate details for specifics on delivery format.
Relias has a grievance policy in place to facilitate reports of dissatisfaction. Relias will make every effort to resolve each grievance in a mutually satisfactory manner. In order to report a complaint or grievance please contact Relias.
If you require special accommodations to complete this module, please contact Relias Support by completing the web form ( or by using the chat functionality.
All courses offered by Relias, LLC are developed from a foundation of diversity, inclusiveness, and a multicultural perspective. Knowledge, values and awareness related to cultural competency are infused throughout the course content.
Reference herein to any specific commercial product, process, or service by trade name, trademark, service mark, manufacturer or otherwise does not constitute or imply any endorsement, recommendation, or favoring of, or affiliation with, Relias, LLC.
All characteristics and organizations referenced in the following training are fictional. Any resemblance to any actual organizations or persons living or dead, is purely coincidental.
To earn continuing education credit for this course you must achieve a passing score of 80% on the post-test and complete the course evaluation.
If you require special accommodations to complete this module, please contact Relias Customer Support here.