Intellectual/Developmental Disabilities

Subject PSYT90060 (2015)

Note: This is an archived Handbook entry from 2015.

Credit Points: 6.25
Level: 9 (Graduate/Postgraduate)
Dates & Locations:

This subject has the following teaching availabilities in 2015:

May, Parkville - Taught on campus.
Pre-teaching Period Start not applicable
Teaching Period 15-May-2015 to 19-Jun-2015
Assessment Period End 19-Jun-2015
Last date to Self-Enrol 22-May-2015
Census Date 22-May-2015
Last date to Withdraw without fail 05-Jun-2015

Timetable can be viewed here. For information about these dates, click here.
Time Commitment: Contact Hours: 6 weeks x 3.5 hour seminars
Total Time Commitment: Not available
Prerequisites: None
Corequisites: None
Recommended Background Knowledge: None
Non Allowed Subjects: None
Core Participation Requirements:

For the purposes of considering requests for Reasonable Adjustments under the Disability Standards for Education (Cwth 2005), and Students Experiencing Academic Disadvantage Policy, academic requirements for this subject are articulated in the Subject Overview, Objectives, Assessment and Generic Skills sections of this entry.
It is University policy to take all reasonable steps to minimise the impact of disability upon academic study, and reasonable adjustments will be made to enhance a student's participation in the University's programs. Students who feel their disability may impact on meeting the requirements of this subject are encouraged to discuss this matter with a Faculty Student Adviser and the Disability Liaison Unit:


Dr Jennifer Torr


Academic contact:

Dr Jenny Torr

Administrative contact:

Victoria Kingsley

Subject Overview:

People with intellectual and developmental disabilities have higher rates of psychiatric illness than the general population, yet much of this psychiatric morbidity remains unrecognised, undiagnosed and untreated. Federal and state government policies mandate that people with disabilities access generic mental health services. The introduction of this selective will provide an opportunity for candidates to develop a solid approach to the assessment and care of people with intellectual and developmental disabilities and psychiatric disorder. Topics covered include philosophical and legal issues, communication skills, the epidemiology, aetiology, assessment and management of psychiatric disorders in people with intellectual and development disabilities as well as mental health policy and services.

Learning Outcomes:
  • Understand and discuss the importance and impact of philosophical, ethical, humanitarian and legal concepts on the care of and quality of life of people with intellectual/developmental disabilities
  • Identify and assess the biopsychosocial risk factors for psychiatric disorders in people with intellectual/developmental disabilities
  • Understand the importance of identifying the cause of an intellectual/ developmental disability and behavioural phenotypes
  • Recognise and/or research syndromes and behavioural phenotypes
  • Identify barriers to diagnosis of psychiatric disorder in people with intellectual disability and explain how you would minimise these barriers in your practice of psychiatry
  • Explain how psychiatric disorders present in people with intellectual/developmental disabilities
  • Assess and differentiate the causes of challenging behaviour
  • Conduct a modified psychiatric assessment and formulate a diagnostic hypothesis and management plan
  • Appraise various service models for delivering psychiatric services to people with intellectual/developmental disabilities
  • Begin to incorporate new learning from this selective into a reflective cycle of psychiatric practice
  • Written assignment of 1500 words, due at the end of the end of semester examination period (70%)
  • Completion of module learning activities as outlined in course notes or on 'Interlearn', throughout term (20%)
  • Participation in class discussions and learning activities, throughout term, (10%)
  • Attendance: 75% of sessions (for face-to-face students) OR 75% completion of online modules (for online students) (Hurdle requirement)
Prescribed Texts:

Royal College of Psychiatrists (2001) DC-LD, Diagnostic Criteria for Psychiatris Disorders for Use in Adults with Learning Disabilities / Mental Retardation, Gaskell, London.

Deb S, Matthews T, Holt G & Bouras N. (2001) Practice Guidelings for the Assessment and Diagnosis of Mental Health Problems in Adults with Intellectual Disability, Pavilion, Brighton.

Russell O (ed) (1997) The Psychiatry of learning Disabilities, Gaskell, London.

Bouras N (ed) (1999) Psychiatric and behaviour Disorders in Developmental Disabilities and Mental Retardation, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge.

Janicki M P, Dalton A J (1998) Dementia, Ageing and Intellectual Disabilities: A Handbook, Taylor and Francis, New York.

Breadth Options:

This subject is not available as a breadth subject.

Fees Information: Subject EFTSL, Level, Discipline & Census Date

This subject is available through the Community Access Program (CAP).

Related Course(s): Master of Psychiatry

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