Highlights of Our History
An Association for persons with developmental disabilities and mental health needs.
NADD is the leading North American expert in providing professionals, educators, policy makers, and families with education, training, and information on mental health issues relating to persons with intellectual or developmental disabilities.
The mission of NADD is to advance mental wellness for persons with developmental disabilities through the promotion of excellence in mental health care.
Service trends: Most services were provided in large institutions. It was common for a child born with a developmental disability to be institutionalized at a very young age. De-institutionalization efforts began during the 1960’s and have continued ever since.
1973 – Willowbrook State Institution exposé – Geraldo Rivera, WABC-TV, revealed atrocious conditions at a state supported institution for people with intellectual disability in Staten Island, NY. This became a major impetus for improving conditions within institutions and laid the framework for the deinstitutionalization public policy which followed.
1980 – The Civil Rights of Institutionalized Peoples Act (CRIPA) was enacted into law in 1980, and enabled the Department of Justice to protect the rights of people in state or local correctional facilities, nursing homes, mental health facilities and institutions for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities.
1980-1990 (NADD is born)
Service trends: During the 1980’s there was a burgeoning of community-based services for people with IDD. Those who received services in the community did so from either the developmental disability system or the mental health system. There was little cooperation between the systems.
1982 – Steven Reiss publishes research concerning possibility (and difficulty) of diagnosing mental illness in individuals who have ID. Coins the phrase “diagnostic overshadowing”
1982 &1983 – Frank J. Menolascino MD advocates the notion of dual diagnosis, editing books and articles on the subject. His edited books and published articles began to focus attention on clinical, programmatic and research issues concerning people with a dual diagnosis.
1983 – NADD founded. Robert J. Fletcher developed an association called the National Association for the Dually Diagnosed based on the following philosophy: “We believe that the dual diagnosed population is unidentified, untreated, and underserved. We believe, the problems involved with the dual diagnosed population are not adequately recognized by either the professional community, or the delivery care systems. We believe that a multidisciplinary association of professionals can be effective in the promotion of educating the professional community concerning the realities of this unique disability so that the issues and problems can be addressed.”
1984 – First NADD Conference, Suffern, NY. With 400 plus people in attendance, this reflected the need and interest in education and training for Dual Diagnosis.
1990 – NADD tapes conference presentations (audio) and offers these for sale. This is the beginning of NADD providing state-of-the-art training materials.
Service trends: During the 1990’s the trend for individuals with ID who exhibited behavioral problems was referral for psychiatric treatment. Some efforts, at collaboration between the Dual Diagnosis and mental health service systems, but generally service systems remained separate and parallel, with little cooperation. NADD offered to provide consultation services to help states learn how to be more responsive to the needs of individuals who have both IDD and mental illness.
1992 – First Frank J. Menolascino Award for Excellence. This prestigious award is given to honor an individual who has made a significant contribution to the field of dual diagnosis.
1993 – First International NADD Conference in Boston, MA
1997 – NADD Press formed to publish and distribute books. This is an important step in NADD’s ability to produce and distribute state-of-the-art training materials.
1997 – Recognizing the difficulty of achieving accurate psychiatric diagnosis for individuals with ID, Robert J. Fletcher proposed the idea of developing a diagnostic manual for people with an intellectual disability based on the idea of Robert Sovner and others concerning behavioral equivalents. NADD begins work on what will become the DM-ID.
1999 – NADD provides its first statewide Dual Diagnosis Task Force Consultation (New York). This work aims to build collaboration among the various systems and agencies responsible for services for individuals with IDD co-occuring with mental illness.
Service trends: As a result of a number of class action law suits, concerning people with a dual diagnosis in institutional settings not receiving appropriate care and treatment, the trend toward community-based care for people with a dual diagnosis was accelerated. From a clinical perspective, people began receiving improved services (diagnosis, medication treatment, and psychotherapy).
2001 – First invitation for Robert J. Fletcher, representing NADD, to present on national policy issues. (Emotional and Behavioral Health in Persons with Mental Retardation/Developmental Disabilities: Research Challenges and Opportunities, Rockville, MD. NINDS, NICHD, NIMH, NIH, and Joseph P. Kennedy, Jr. Foundation.) As NADD’s expertise is being recognized nationally, our impact grows.
2007 – DM-ID published. For the first time, clinicians were able to recognize specific psychiatric disorders in persons with limited language skills. An accurate diagnosis leads to appropriate treatment, which ultimately improves the quality of life for the individual affected. This work is recognized as the gold standard in diagnosing psychiatric disorders in individuals with IDD.
2007 – Work begins on developing the NADD Accreditation and Certification Programs. These programs are intended to improve the quality of life of individuals with IDD who have mental illness by raising the bar for services that are provided to them.
2008 – First Earl L. Loschen Award for Clinical Practice. This important award is given to a person whose contribution in the area of clinical practice has resulted in exemplary clinical services to people with a dual diagnosis.
Service trends: Greater accuracy in psychiatric diagnosis and treatment, thanks to NADD’s efforts with the DM-ID. Many public policy issues remain unsolved, although the problems are acknowledged and efforts are being made.
2011 – The NADD Accreditation and Certification Programs are rolled out: NADD Accreditation (for agencies), NADD Competency-Based Clinical Certification (for clinicians), and NADD Competency-Based Certification for Direct Support Professionals (for direct care workers).
2011 – NADD provides training in all Pennsylvania state psychiatric hospitals as well as monitoring compliance in response to a class action law suit.
2012 – First NADD Accreditation: Liberty of Oklahoma, Robert M. Greer Center, Enid, OK.
Work begins on DM-ID-2 in anticipation of the DSM-5 coming out in 2013.
2013 – NADD celebrated 30 years of Education, Progress, and Advancement. Our goals continue to be to advocate for improved treatment and services for individuals with a dual diagnosis and to work to bridge the gulf between the Mental Health service system and the Developmental Disability service system so that individuals with a dual diagnosis will no longer “fall through the cracks” between the two systems.
First DSP Award for Excellence. This prestigious Award is given annually to acknowledge a Direct Support Professional (DSP) whose contribution to supporting people who live in our communities has resulted in significant improvement in the quality of life for individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities and mental health needs.
First “Member of the Year” Award. This award is given to a person who, though not a member of the Board of Directors, has supported the mission of NADD through various activities.
2014 – NADD organizes a public policy summit intended to bring issues concerning dual diagnosis into the national public policy agenda. Representatives from all major disability organizations as well as MCO’s, relevant governmental units, and families. As a result of this summit, NADD’s importance recognized nationally, and NADD is sitting at the public policy table.
First NADD Research Award. NADD created this award to recognize research that improves our understanding of mental health issues in people with intellectual and other developmental disabilities.
2016 – DM-ID-2 published. Approximately 100 experts from around the world collaborated in its development of the long-awaited revision of the DM-ID to correspond with the DSM-5.
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Accreditation and Certification
An important, pioneering effort to improve clinical, programmatic, and policy procedures and supports.
By establishing standards, the NADD Accreditation and Certification Programs will raise the whole field of dual diagnosis, improving competency and improving how services are delivered, resulting in a better quality of life for individuals with co-occurring ID/MH and MI through improved services.
Click here for details
Available in the NADD Store:
Mental Health Approaches to Intellectual/ Developmental Disability: A Resource for Trainers
Robert J. Fletcher, Daniel Baker, Juanita St Croix, & Melissa Cheplic [details]
Demystifying Syndromes II
A Difficult Dream: Ending Institutionalizaiton for Persons with Intellectual Disabilities with Complex Needs
Click here for the Top 100 Products from NADD
“The NADD competency-based clinical certification has provided me with an avenue to verify a dual diagnosis specialty. My ability to provide clinical supports to individuals supported both by medical assistance and private insurances has been expanded by allowing me to gain access to closed insurance networks. These networks had been closed to me prior to receiving this certification, allowing this population to remain largely unserved outside of community mental health centers.”
Alyse Kerr, MS, NCC, LPC, NADD-CC
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