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Welcome, let’s Connect!

Connect is a caregiver-mediated program is designed to improve the wellbeing of people with profound intellectual multiple disabilities (PIMD) and their families.

About Connect

People with PIMD and their families have unique needs that are often overlooked. Many programs for children and youth with disabilities focus on helping a child or youth catch up to their non-disabled peers. In Connect we understand that for people with PIMD catching up is not a helpful goal. We understand that Everyone with PIMD is an individual and the needs of each person with PIMD are unique to that person. Each Connect plan is developed for the unique needs of the individual with PIMD and their family. In Connect we believe that wellbeing isn’t just for people without severe disabilities. We believe everyone deserves wellbeing. 

We chose Connect because connecting with a person with PIMD means learning how they communicate, being aware of the person’s wants and needs and gaining a better understanding of the person’s wellbeing. Connecting is also very important for understanding the needs of other family members. When a family is connected to each other the family’s wellbeing improves. Connect is about the wellbeing of the whole family. 

Who may be a good fit for connect

Individuals with PIMD. We use the term profound intellectual multiple disabilities or PIMD to describe children and adults who have disabilities or medical conditions that effect their ability to learn and develop in important ways. Individuals with PIMD need significant support in their lives which often include help doing basic things like getting dressed and communicating. It’s important to remember that people are not labels and PIMD is not a diagnosis. We use the term PIMD as a descriptive term to describe people who have multiple needs connected to their disability.

Parents are experts. Living with and parenting a child with PIMD gives you a unique understanding of your child. In Connect we believe that parents and other family members understand their child with PIMD in ways others don’t

What does Connect look like?

One of the things your Connect Clinician will do is help you decide on what priorities you have for your child, yourself, and your family. Priorities that improve your life, the life of your child with PIMD and improve the lives of siblings. In Connect we understand that in order for a person with PIMD to experience a sense of wellbeing the people around them must also have good wellbeing.  

Connect is parent or caregiver mediated program which means you will be working directly with your child with the support and coaching of your Connect Clinician. We developed Connect as a parent/caregiver mediated program because research shows this is the most effective way to improve the lives of people with severe disabilities and their families

Focus areas of Connect

Self-determination

Strength-based acceptance

Connect is made up of 12 modules focused around the individual and their family.

Modules: 

  • Introduction to Connect
  • The Naturalistic Approach
  • Strengths and Acceptance
  • My Child’s Sensory Profile
  • Communicating with My Child
  • Imitation and Intensive Interaction 
  • Play: Learning through play
  • Why Does My Child Do That?
  • Behaviors Can Be Hard
  • Planning for the Future
  • Taking Care of Yourself
  • Siblings 

Is Connect evidence based?

Yes. Connect a program which includes intervention component that follow the National Standards Project (NSP) guidelines for established interventions. Connect is based on research and best practices for parent mediated treatment and treatment for those with intellectual/developmental disabilities.

Clinician Certification

Catalight is pleased to offer Clinician Training for the Connect program. This assessment-based certification program covers all areas needed to become a Connect Clinician. The program covers all Connect modules and introduces clinicians to the concepts, principles and methodologies used in Connect. Clinicians complete eight modules covering all aspects of the Connect curriculum and learn directly from the experts behind Connect’s development. The Connect Clinician Training Program was developed by a multidisciplinary clinical team at Catalight. Speech Language Pathologists, psychologists, Marriage and Family Therapists, Early Childhood Educators, parents and Behavior Analysts worked together to develop Connect based on evidence-based practices and industry-leading research. This program addresses the needs of an often-forgotten population of individuals with PIMD. This training will prepare clinicians to implement Connect with individuals with PIMD and their families to support their growth, independence and wellbeing.

Connect was developed by a multidisciplinary team with many contributors from across Catalight. Meet the Primary Developers.

  • Doreen Samelson, EdD, MSCP, Psychologist
  • Lindsey Sneed, PhD, BCBA-D, LBA
  • Brianna Fitchett, MA, BCBA, LBA
  • Valerie Sonnikson, MS, LMFT
  • Christina Mejia, SLP
  • Michelle Befi, MS, LMFT

    For more information or to enroll in the Connect Clinician Training Program, please email [email protected].

    Are you a clinician interested in getting certified in these modalities of care?