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Specialist Certification Competency Areas

The working committee of professionals who developed the Competency Areas for NADD Specialist Certification identified six critical areas where specialists need skills and knowledge in order to be competent to care for individuals with IDD/MI.

These six areas  take on additional significance when supporting a person with IDD/MI.

Multimodal bio-psycho-social approach

  • Familiarity with the bio-psycho-social/multi-modal approach;
  • Incorporates recovery and resiliency to be able to develop a service plan;
  • Identifies the inter-relationships among a person’s biological, social, and psychological domains.
  • Understandsof the holistic approach;
  • Able to formulate information to enable delivery of accurate/relevant medical, psychological, psychiatric, behavioral information to other Specialists or caregivers/supporters;
  • Appreciates the environmental, contextual, and individual learning styles; and
  • Utilizes the above model to guide all service/treatment planning.

Application of emerging best practices 

  • Demonstrates understanding of assessments, their purpose, when they may be needed, and how to obtain them; and
  • Understands the connection between assessment and service delivery.

Knowledge of therapeutic constructs 

  • Demonstrates an understanding of trauma and how it affects the brain and body;
  • Demonstrates an appreciation of neuro-sensory issues;
  • Has an understanding of genetic underpinning and advances to guide treatment; and
  • Demonstrates knowledge of psychotherapeutic skills that can be useful.

Respectful and effective communication 

  • Assures that the person is “in the driver’s seat;” and
  • Understands the importance of communication between stakeholders and supporters that is relevant to the person’s care and well being.

Knowledge of dual role service delivery & fiduciary responsibilities 

  • Able to report on progress of the person in relationship to therapeutic goals and outcomes;
  • Identifies the connection between funding and good care; and
  • Has an ability to work with clinicians and other stakeholders if outcomes are not being achieved.

Ability to apply administrative critical thinking

  • Recognizes the importance and need for staff and families to understand the multimodal approach; 
  • Demonstrates understanding of training needs for DSPs/teams/families to implement treatment/support plans;
  • Able to assess and resource effective strategies in meeting persons wants and needs;
  • Ability to signal that behavior plans may be too complicated to be implemented; and
  • Ability to identify when a plan may not meet the needs of the person.