Trauma and the Special Needs Population presented by Amber McDonald, LCSW and Courtney Palm, LMFT



This webinar was recorded on July 17, 2019.

The trauma field has always acknowledged heightened rates of abuse within the special needs community — however, despite the frequency of occurrence, this is one of the least served populations. Limited abuse reporting, atypical disclosure styles, and lack of education for providers has contributed to this community remaining left out of services.  The process of providing more support to these families begins with understanding how the abuse experience differs from what is commonly seen in this field. This webinar will focus on highlighting those differences in the following areas: grooming behavior, conditioning the victim and family, investigation considerations, and treatment approaches.

Presented by:
Amber McDonald, PhD, LCSW, MSW
Dr. McDonald’s research and professional practice is entirely rooted in understanding and providing effective prevention and intervention strategies for youth who’ve experienced trauma. She has spent the last 15 years honing her skills in mental and behavioral health and has had the opportunity to share her skills across the United States and internationally.
Dr. McDonald’s research and professional practice is entirely rooted in understanding and providing effective prevention and intervention strategies for youth who’ve experienced trauma. She has spent the last 15 years honing her skills in mental and behavioral health and has had the opportunity to share her skills across the United States and internationally.
Courtney Palm is a licensed Marriage and Family therapist specializing in child development and trauma as it relates to victims with special needs. Her professional work with the University of Denver’s Fisher Early Learning Center, Children’s Hospital Colorado, and Early Intervention Colorado included evaluation, treatment, and professional education around intervention with children with special needs. Courtney also worked with the Denver Children’s Advocacy Center and Blue Sky Bridge conducting trauma counseling and forensic interviews for victims of crime. Courtney co-authored an article with Dr. Amber McDonald for the APSCAC journal’s best practices issue on conducting forensic interviews with children with special needs.

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