Parent-Teacher Support for Students With a Dual Diagnosis

Abstract The purpose of this project was to develop a website and blog in order to create public awareness of dual diagnosis of Down syndrome and autism spectrum disorder, and to establish a parent-teacher support network which helps these adult groups to meet the academic and behavioral needs of children with a dual diagnosis. The project is based upon the research that demonstrates the need for resources among parents, teachers, and other professionals who work with students who have a dual diagnosis. This project examined the existing research articles and other support groups in order to found a locally based support website for these individuals. The internet target audience for this website and blog is San Diego County but is available to anyone. The methodology employed by the researcher included a qualitative analysis of recent research about dual diagnosis and an examination of online resources currently available in northern California. The researcher has designed a website with a blog now available nationally to parents of children with Down syndrome, who are also members of the Down Syndrome Association (DSA) of San Diego County. These parents have been invited to the website via a letter of introduction posted in the monthly DSA online newsletter. The researcher also presented an introductory email with the website information to teachers in Northern San Diego County school districts who teach children with moderate/severe needs. The implications for the website are open- ended and have potential for ongoing development. Keywords: Dual diagnosis, Down syndrome, autism spectrum disorder, Down Syndrome Association, website, blog.