Conceptualizing and Supporting Grieving Students With Intellectual Disability

This session is from the NASP 2021 Annual Convention

  • PMD: 4,8
  • Skill Level: Intermediate

Learner Objectives

This session will help participants…

  1. understand how students with intellectual and developmental disabilities differ in their presentation of grief symptomology from typically developing students.
  2. identify how behavioral, physiological, and emotional presentations of grief in students with intellectual and developmental disabilities can impact academic attainment.
  3. cultivate a list of resources to guide the intervention they provide to bereaved students with intellectual and developmental disabilities.


Students with intellectual and developmental disabilities (SWIDD) are at elevated risk for both exposure and negative reactions to grief and trauma. Despite increased risk, SWIDD are often overlooked by school psychologists responsible for providing tiered mental health interventions within schools. With the unique profile of grieving SWIDD, appropriate interventions from other fields, and the NASP service model in mind, attendees will leave with strategies for consultation and direct intervention for grieving SWIDD in school-based settings.



Laurel A. Snider, Emory University
Devadrita Talapatra, University of Denver


Leandra Parris


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