Welcome to the official website for the American Psychological Association’s Division 33, a professional organization concerned with psychological research and the educational and clinical services that address the lifespan needs of individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD) including autism spectrum disorder (ASD). It is our hope that our work will help enrich the lives of individuals with IDD/ASD.
The scientific priorities of our division are:
- expanding and exchanging knowledge and information related to IDD/ASD through research, education, and professional communication;
- enhancing professional development and the quality of professional services;
- developing partnerships with persons with IDD/ASD and with organizations such as the NICHD that represent them in order to incorporate their perspectives;
- informing legislative and administrative bodies of the importance of psychological, behavioral, and social factors in developmental disabilities services and the value of psychology in contributing to the solution of problems in this service sector;
- strengthening the practice of psychology in developmental disabilities as a distinct professional and scientific entity and finally,
- pursuing the creation of standards for training, practice, and research for psychologists in developmental disabilities.
Division 33 also strives to engage our early career professionals and students with networking, mentorship and advising our Executive Committee. You are the future of the APA and our Division, please become involved.
In the coming year, our Division and the field in general will continue to grapple with many important issues. There is a case that is before the Supreme Court on the definition of ID and how the court decides whether a defendant with ID can be sentenced to death (see, NPR website). As a Division, our members need to think about the important ways that psychology of IDD/ASD can impact this discussion. No doubt psychologists will be compelled to also weigh in on the use of torture for prisoner detainees that the new Trump Administration promises to revisit.
Thank you for your interest in Division 33. Feel free to provide feedback or a ask question. I’d like to encourage you to email me if you have any ideas about the ways Division 33 can further promote our mission to improve the lives of individuals with IDD including those with ASD. I look forward to your joining us in our e-world (Facebook) and at the 2017 Annual Convention to be held in Washington, D.C.
Sharon J. Krinsky-McHale, Ph.D.