Caregivers’ Perceptions of Family Quality of Life of Individuals with Developmental Disabilities Comorbid with Dementia: A Pilot Study

Preethy S. SAMUEL

Eastern Michigan University, School of Social Work
Department of Health Care Sciences, Eugene Applebaum College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences, Detroit, Michigan, USA
Received: 17-October-2020
Revised: 16-November-2020
Accepted: 20-November-2020
Online first: 21-November-2020


Introduction: Although individuals with intellectual/ developmental disabilities (I/DD) are living longer than in the past, they also are exposed to age-related changes in health and well-being. They are prone to acquire dementia that often manifests earlier and more frequently than in the general population. However, there is sparse knowledge on the daily challenges that affect the quality of life of the individuals with I/DD and comorbid dementia and their family caregivers.

Aim: This pilot study examined strengths and challenges of individuals with dual diagnoses of I/DD and dementia using the family quality of life (FQOL) framework.

Method: Cross-sectional data was gathered from a convenience sample of family caregivers using a web-based electronic survey.

Objectives: This study aims to identify the common and differential elements of the DLD (SLI) and LD through a quantitative and qualitative analysis.

Results: The variables of interest in this study were the levels of importance and satisfaction attributed to the nine FQOL domains, and overall FQOL. The mean level of importance was higher than the associated ratings of satisfaction in eight of the nine domains, with an overall importance mean of 4.15 and satisfaction mean of 3.28. Analysis of the open-ended comments indicated that the negative impact of social isolation, compound caregiving, and dynamically changing caregiving needs on overall FQOL was balanced by participants’ values and beliefs.

Results: A statistical analysis (Student’s t test) was conducted in order to compare the children in LD and DLD groups. The data obtained from this analysis along with LSA indicate that the language skills differ between the two groups in the following aspects: lexical, pragmatic, semantic, syntactic, morphological and phonological. Significant differences (p < .05) occur for the start of speech therapy age, phonological disorder, passive vocabulary and language psychological age. Results for active vocabulary did not indicate a statistical difference between LD and DLD children.

Implication for practice: The discrepancies in the FQOL domains pertaining to formal and informal services and social supports elucidate a need to empower families with high caregiving needs through research, practice and policy.

Conclusion Providers should be cognizant of the needs of individuals with I/DD and dementia comorbid, as well as the needs of their family caregivers.

Key words: Aging families, Caregiving, Dementia, Developmental Disability, Family quality of life, Intellectual Disability

Citation: Marsack-Topolewski, N. C., Samuel, S. P. Caregivers’ Perceptions of Family Quality of Life of Individuals with Developmental Disabilities Comorbid with Dementia: A Pilot StudyJournal for ReAttach Therapy and Developmental Diversities, 2020 Dec 25; 3(2): 56-70.

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Dual Diagnosis in Mental Health and the Assessment and Treatment for People with Intellectual Disabilities

Book Review


Department of Health and Human Performance,
Seabury Center, 101 Chestnut Dr. Berea,
KY 40404, USA
Received: 03-September-2020
Revised: 24-September-2020
Accepted: 28-September-2020
Online first: 29-September-2020

Matson, J. L. (Ed.). (2020). Handbook of dual diagnosis. Assessment and treatment in persons with intellectual disorders. Springer Nature. [ISBN 978-3—030-46834-7; eBook $169.00]. 698 pages.

Citation: Lakhan, R. Dual diagnosis in mental health and the assessment and treatment for people with intellectual disabilities. A Book Review. Journal for ReAttach Therapy and Developmental Diversities, 2020 Dec 25; 3(2); 22-23.

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The relationship of executive functions with academic competency and social skills in adolescents with intellectual disability


1University of Sarajevo,
Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina
2Herzegovina University,
Mostar, Bosnia and Herzegovina
Received: 06-August-2020
Revised: 30-August-2020
Accepted: 05-September-2020
Online first: 06-September-2020


Introduction: Adolescence is characterised as a period of further development and maturation of higher executive functions (EF). It is well established that EF play an important role in social skills and academic competence of typically developing adolescents.

Purpose:The goal of this study was to examine the relationship between executive functions (EF) and academic competency and social skills in adolescents with a mild intellectual disability. In particular, we were interested to examine which EF have the greatest impact on social skills and academic competency.

Methods: EF were measured with the Behaviour Rating Inventory of Executive Functions (BRIEF), and social and academic competences were measured with the Social Skills Rating System (SSRS). The sample for this study consisted of 44 adolescents with mild intellectual disability aged 15-18 years old (mean age 16.7 years, SD- 1.4).

Results: The results of this study clearly pointed to the strong relationship between these constructs. Of all EF, planning had the strongest impact on academic success, and monitoring had the strongest impact on social skills.

Conclusion: EF are susceptible to training effects, we thus propose early interventions in these domains in order to increase the social and academic competence of persons with an intellectual disability.

Key words: executive functions, academic competency, social skills, adolescents, intellectual disability

Citation: Memisevic, H., Biscevic, I. The relationship of executive functions with academic competency and social skills in adolescents with intellectual disability. Journal for ReAttach Therapy and Developmental Diversities, 2020 Dec 25; 3(2): 12-21.

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Study for Caregivers of Individuals with ID and Dementia


Be a part of a research study investigating experiences and quality of life among caregivers of individuals with both intellectual and/or developmental disabilities and dementia. The purpose of this study is to examine the experiences of caregivers and caregivers’ quality of life. To be included, you must be over 18 years of age and a caregiver of an individual with both an intellectual disability AND dementia.
If you meet this criteria, you are eligible to participate in this study. Interested participants will be entered into a raffle to receive a $20 gift card. The study will be conducted using an online survey. For interested participants, a follow up interview may be conducted over the phone
or in-person to obtain more information regarding the experiences and family quality of life.
If you are interested in participating, please Visit the following link:
Or contact:
Dr. Christina Marsack-Topolewski
Assistant Professor, Eastern Michigan University


Experiences of Family Caregivers of Individuals with ID and Dementia

Anna M. BRADY2

1Eastern Michigan University College of Health and Human Services,
School of Social Work, Michigan, USA
2Erskine College, Special Education Department, South Carolina, USA
Received: 04-May-2020
Revised: 28-May-2020
Accepted: 02-June-2020
Online first: 03-June-2020


Introduction: Dementia poses a number of impairments in cognitive functioning impacting everyday operational tasks and functions. Individuals with intellectual disability (ID) may experience dementia earlier and at a greater rate than the general population. Dementia can pose complex challenges for individuals with ID and their caregivers.

Aim: A qualitative phenomenological study was used to examine the lived experiences of caregivers of individuals diagnosed with both ID and dementia.

Method: Individual interviews were conducted among six participants, who were all family caregivers of individuals diagnosed with both ID and dementia.

Results: Based on the results from the content analysis of interview responses, four themes emerged: (a) difficulty getting a dementia diagnosis, (b) barriers to obtaining services, (c) caregiving realities and challenges, and (d) rewards of caregiving.

Implications for Practice: To support caregivers, practitioners should be adequately trained on this dual diagnosis to assess the support needs in helping caregivers obtain adequate services.

Conclusion: As individuals with ID continue to live longer and age, many will experience dementia. Caregivers of individuals with ID and dementia are often an overlooked, vulnerable population. Practitioners should be aware of their needs in order to provide adequate support to this caregiving population and individuals with ID and dementia.

Key words: caregiving, dementia, intellectual disability, developmental disabilities

Citation: Marsack-Topolewski, N. C., Brady, M. A. Experiences of Family Caregivers of Individuals with ID and Dementia. Journal for ReAttach Therapy and Developmental Diversities, 2020 Jul 05; 3(1):54-64.

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Toward a Research Agenda on the Impact of Dementia upon Carers of Adults with Intellectual Disability

Matthew P. JANICKI1,
Nancy S. JOKENIN2,
1University of Illinois at Chicago, USA
2University of Northern British Columbia,
Prince George, BC, Canada
3 Eastern Michigan University, Ypsilanti, MI USA
4 American Academy of Developmental Medicine
and Dentisty, Lumberton, NJ, USA
Received: 25-June-2019
Revised: 12-July-2019
Accepted: 15-July-2019
Online first: 17-July-2019


The World Health Organization’s report, Dementia: A Public Health Priority, noted that the number of people affected by dementia will continue to increase and called for nations to address the impact of dementia upon their populations. This included considering the impact on carers providing for adults with intellectual disability affected by Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias. Within the context of the USA’s dementia plan, a national group has advocated that the needs and interests of adults with dementia and their carers be taken into account when dementia-related research is undertaken. In preparation for the second national summit on caregiving and dementia to be held in the USA in 2020, this article describes an effort undertaken by this national group to identify needed research related to carers of adults with intellectual disability. The group identified three focal areas for the summit to consider: the effect of behavioral and psychological symptoms of dementia on carers, challenges for carers of adults with intellectual disability when dementia becomes evident, and barriers that carers face when accessing supports. A list of recommended topics to be researched is provided.

Key words: Alzheimer’s disease, carers, dementia, Down syndrome, intellectual disability, national plans

Citation: Janicki, M.P., Jokenin, N.S., Marsack Topolewski, C., Keller, S.M. Toward a Research Agenda on the Impact of Dementia upon Carers of Adults with Intellectual Disability. Journal for ReAttach Therapy and Developmental Diversities

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How satisfaction and self-efficacy for inclusive education matter for Swedish special educators’ assessment practices of students with intellectual disability


1Department of Education and special education,
The University of Gothenburg, Sweden
2Department of Education, Umea University, Sweden
Received: 28-April-2019
Revised: 11-June-2019
Accepted: 24June-2019
Online first: 26-June-2019


Introduction:Assessment of learning outcomes is integral to both mainstream and special needs comprehensive schools for students with intellectual disabilities (ID). However, assessment of students with ID poses a challenge both to special educators and their cooperation with mainstream teachers in cases of fully included students with ID with an individualised curriculum.

Objectives: We describe and predict the type of assessment practices Swedish special educators in special needs comprehensive schools use for assessment of students with ID.

Methods: Swedish special educators (n = 148) were recruited using a non-random sample. To analyse our data, we used the item response model. In addition, we analysed special educators’ expected satisfaction with assessments using linear regression and logistic regression.

Results: The study suggests that special educators had the greatest difficulty conducting multiple choice and written assessments. Moreover, the study suggests that satisfaction with assessment and self-efficacy for inclusion matters for predicting types of assessment practice. In addition, the study reports an interaction between job satisfaction for moderately experienced special educators that predicts both types of assessment practice and the special educators’ satisfaction with assessment.

Conclusion: We demonstrate how assessment satisfaction, self-efficacy, job satisfaction, and experience matter for special educators’ assessment of students with ID.

Key words:special educators, intellectual disability, assessment, satisfaction, self-efficacy

Citation: Reichenberg, M., Lofgren, M. How satisfaction and self-efficacy for inclusive education matter for Swedish special educators’ assessment practices of students with intellectual disability. Journal for ReAttach Therapy and Developmental Diversities.

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Univeristy of Maria Curie-Sklodowska in
Lublin, Poland
Received: 06-September-2018
Revised: 30-September-2018
Accepted: 05-October-2018
Online first 06-October-2018


Introduction: Women with intellectual disability have a low level of competencies that would allow them to better manage their sexuality; consequently, they have a low level of control over their own health.

Objectives: The article describes the results of author’s own research into selected aspects of sexual health of women with intellectual disability (ID). The focus has been on issues such as menstruation, health and gynecological care, pharmacologization, contraception, STDs, and menopause.

Methods: The research was conducted with 11 women using structured interviews.

Results: Results suggest that these women have a low level of competencies to manage and control health problems in an optimal way. Their behavior is determined by people from their living environment to a large extent. Women with ID report various abnormalities in the course of developmental phenomena and in their own health, indicating potentially serious diseases and disorders.

Conclusion:Women with intellectual disability require lifelong support in meeting their health needs. Such support should be provided by institutions of care, health and social assistance.

Key words: sexual health, intellectual disability, gynecological care, contraception, STD

Citation: Parchomiuk, M. Sexual Health Issues in Women with Intellectual Disabilities Preliminary Analysis of the Problem. Journal for ReAttach Therapy and Developmental Diversities.

Copyright ©2018 Parchomiuk, M. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License (CC BY-NC 4.0)

Corresponding address:
Faculty of Pedagogy and Psychology,
Univeristy of Maria Curie-Sklodowska in Lublin, Narutowicza

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