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Developmental Disabilities Rotation

The rotation on the developmental disabilities service at McLean Hospital emphasizes “hands on” experience with youth who suffer from developmental delays. Residents have the opportunity to meet patients with developmental delays. In year 1 residents have a required seminar on Developmental Disabilities led by Joseph Gold, M.D. They will also rotate through the services at McLean Hospital for one month, four hours a week. During the year 1 required rotation, the residents will sit in on diagnostic evaluations of the patients with Dr. Gold and get a sense of the complexity of the problems facing the developmentally delayed population. In addition, the residents will join the staff of the CNS school, a therapeutic school that specializes in working with children and adolescents with Asperger’s syndrome, during one of the days of the clinical rotation. The overall goal is to enhance the trainees’ comfort level in working with this clinical population and to increase the residents’ ability to develop a diagnostic formulation and treatment plan.

In year 2 residents may elect to work for the Developmental Disabilities Service for five to ten hours weekly for four months. Initially, they will sit in on diagnostic evaluations with Dr. Gold. Later, during the elective rotation, the child residents will be encouraged to do one or two diagnostic assessments of individuals with developmental disabilities on their own and to initiate treatment. Child residents may continue to follow the children that they assess during their elective time through McLean Hospital outpatient service. In the required and elective rotations, residents will see children and adolescents with mental retardation, learning disorders and pervasive developmental disorders. Most patients have a wide range of co-morbid psychiatric disorders. During the rotation, residents on this service will not conduct treatment on their own. However, in the general outpatient clinic at MGH, many patients in the caseload under supervision will have a variety of cognitive and physical disabilities. During the course of their longitudinal work with this population, they will participate in multimodal treatment, including reviewing neuropsychological testing, individual educational plans and coordinating the treatment with allied health professionals, parents and teachers.


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