Well and Able - Improving the Physical Health of People with Intellectual Disability

Learn how to help those with intellectual disability achieve better health.

Course Description

This health course will examine the specific physical health issues that affect people with an intellectual disability including, oral health, syndrome specific health issues, health communication, especially for non-verbal patients, sexual health, and interactions between tertiary and primary healthcare systems. There is a special section on complex care including issues associated with aging and spasticity, and the health impacts of epilepsy.

This course is open to anyone, but will be of particular relevance to those in the field of medical, allied health, and disability. It can also be used as workforce education for medical professionals in this field.

Course Outcomes:
  • Common health conditions
  • Health assessments and health promotion
  • Oral health
  • Syndrome specific health issues
  • Complex care associated with aging, epilepsy and spasticity
About Instructor:

Nicholas Lennox - Director of the Queensland Centre for Intellectual and Developmental Disability

Nick is the Director of the Queensland Centre for Intellectual and Developmental Disability at the University of Queensland. He is a researcher, educator, advocate and clinician and has specialised in the health of adults with intellectual disability since 1992. He is trained in general practice, and has developed interventions to improve the health of people with intellectual disability.


Miriam Taylor - Education Coordinator at the Queensland Centre for Intellectual and Developmental Disability

Miriam is the Education Coordinator at the Queensland Centre for Intellectual and Developmental Disability in the School of Medicine at the University of Queensland. She has a wealth of educational design experience for multi-users including people with intellectual disability, their families, disability organisations and health practitioners. Miriam has established an ongoing international collaboration with and is an invited contributor to the first World Disability Report for the World Health Organisation.


Course Outline

  • 1.0 Health disadvantage
  • 1.1 Health inequality
  • 1.2 Early mortality
  • 1.3 Visibility
  • 1.4 Cultural disadvantage
  • 2.0 Common health issues
  • 2.1 Falls and injuries
  • 3.0 Health assessments
  • 3.1 Health assessments in primary care
  • 3.2 Children and assessment
  • 3.3 Assessment issues – doctors
  • 4.0 Syndromes
  • 4.1 Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders
  • 4.2 Prader Willi syndrome
  • 4.3 Fragile X syndrome
  • 4.4 Down syndrome
  • 5.0 The healthcare continuum
  • 5.1 Social and mental health
  • 5.2 People in prison
  • 5.3 Medical emergencies
  • 6.0 Healthcare communication
  • 7.0 Healthcare decision making
  • 7.1 Involving the person
  • 7.2 Involving the family
  • 7.3 Involving the health practitioner
  • 8.0 Consent
  • 9.0 Promoting health
  • 9.1 Oral health
  • 9.2 Mental health support
  • 9.3 Children and mental health
  • 9.4 Sexual health
  • 10.0 Case study

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