Intellectual and Developmental Disability

The Life Span Institute was founded in the 1960s when the science of the study of intellectual and developmental disabilities emerged nationally.  Our research in this area seeks to understand the origins of neurodevelopmental disorders such as autism spectrum disorders, language delay, Down Syndrome, and Alzheimer’s Disease.  Our scientists are also integrally involved in the conception and implementation of interventions designed to enhance the quality of life, self-determination, and inclusion of people with developmental disabilities and their families. Our work spans special education, technology, training, technical assistance, transition and more.

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Research Highlights

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Featured Project: ENHANCE

Project ENHANCE will conduct an efficacy trial of the Comprehensive, Integrated, Three-Tiered (Ci3T) model of prevention for elementary schools that integrates academic, behavioral, and social learning supports.
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News: Supporting Career Development

A new federally funded grant may help Kansans with intellectual and developmental disabilities while expanding the capacity of local communities throughout the state to support those individuals in their career development.
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Publication: Promoting Implementation Fidelity of the SDMLI

For complex interventions, such as the Self-Determined Learning Model of Instruction (SDLMI), there is an ongoing need to refine conceptualizations of fidelity of implementation and the factors that influence it in inclusive educational contexts.

Intellectual and Developmental Disability Research Projects