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The warning signs of dementia can look different in those with developmental disabilities.

Developmental Disabilities Supportive Services ProgramThanks to advances in care and support, people with developmental disabilities are living longer than ever before. However, with old age comes a risk for dementia. In general, individuals with a developmental disability have the same risk of dementia as the general population. The exception is individuals with Down syndrome, who develop Alzheimer’s much younger and at much higher rates (by age 50, 30%+ of people with Down syndrome will have dementia, by age 60, more than half will). The warning signs of dementia often look different in those with developmental disabilities, so it’s important for caregivers to know what to look for as well as how to respond. 

The Developmental Disability Supportive Services Program provides education programming, behavioral consultations, and activity consultations to agencies and individuals caring for people with developmental disabilities and dementia or those at risk for developing dementia.

DDSSP Education

For a complete list of our educational presentations, please click here

To see our current webinar schedule, please click here.  

Please note, all presentations are always free and can include free social work and nursing CEUs. 

All programs are FREE and available in-person to any person/caregiver of a person with a developmental disability and diagnosed or suspected dementia residing in the orange counties above. All services are available virtually state-wide.  

DDSSP Behavior Management Consultations

Behavior change is often one of the first signs of dementia in people with developmental disabilities and often highly distressing to caregivers. In our Behavior Management Consultation Program, our staff provide a personalized assessment of the participant with a developmental disability and their current dementia-related behaviors. Our staff then work with the individual’s caregivers to educate them on dementia in those with a developmental disability and create a plan of care to help prevent and respond to the maladaptive behaviors.  
Examples of qualifying behaviors include, but are not limited to:
  • Anger and Agitation
  • Refusing Care
  • Sleep Disturbances
  • Eating Changes
  • Restlessness
  • Repetitive behaviors
  • Delusions or hallucinations

DDSSP Activity Planning Consultations

Activities are important for individuals living with a developmental disability and dementia. Engaging individuals in activities can provide structure to a person’s day, help prevent dementia-related behaviors, improve mood and promote quality of life. However, it can be challenging to know what activities to offer and how to modify them for
increasing support as dementia progresses. The Activity Planning Consultation program can help with these challenges! This program provides individualized assessment of the individuals with DD and Dementia; education to caregivers about dementia, communication tips, and how to plan and facilitate activities; and the development of a specific activity plan to promote
meaningful engagement and reduce maladaptive behaviors.

To learn more or to schedule DDSSP services, please call our 24/7 Helpline at 800.272.3900 or email us at