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A Risk Reduction Workbook for Parents and Service Providers

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I was given the honor by Nora to not only read but give my opinion before this work was published.  I come at this from two different worlds.

I started it as a Mom & quickly put it down as this book introduces areas of vulnerabilities for the Intellectually/Physically Disabled that I had not thought of . . . and as a parent believe you me . . . I have thought of a million . . . I had no desire to have my bubble popped further about just how unsafe my kids are when I entrust others to provide care/services for them.

Who thinks of the taxi driver, the substitute teacher or aide . . . but we must.   As a parent the sentence "But your children need you to attend to them: Regardless of how old they are . . . they are your children" was such a gift, such an empowering statement as a parent that is forever being told . . . they are adults.

Then as a Service Provider/Continual Student, I was quickly enthralled and excited to turn the page. I was not bored . . . I was WILLINGLY educated in a manner that I could understand & apply. What I found most impressive throughout was the sense of empowerment that we can attain and teach.

My favorite was the section called "During." I feel strongly that this is an aspect of emotional self care that is so overlooked in our population. Too much time is spent on teaching compliance. What a double edged sword this is. We can not always prevent the abuse but we can teach it is not your fault and that you can retain your sense of self power "during" an incident.

Finally paraphrasing the words of my staff . . . this has given them a clear, strong and concise plan of do's & don'ts for many times they are the first responders to our people in these situations.

Thank you Nora.  Once again you are a gifted teacher, advocate and friend.

Jeannie Luna

I agree with the Risk Reduction Workbook that every agency and organization should include awareness of abuse in their Policies and Procedures Manuals.  I really like the book's suggestions of  encouraging agencies to offer presentations to clients, parents/guardians, and community members about abuse!

Tim Hornbecker
The Arc of California


"Perpetrators always have a plan…victims do not." That is the core message and purpose of this practical, easy to use workbook that empowers victims with intellectual or developmental disabilities (I/DD) and their loved ones to take action against criminal victimization and assault, even before it starts.

Every person with I/DD must be prepared since the victimization rate is twice that of someone without disabilities, and perhaps the one thing that is even worse than experiencing a traumatic victimization is going through it alone, without ever speaking out and without ever having access to inner healing.

This workbook reminds us there is hope for all victims, but we in the disability community must take decisive action and be prepared so that people with I/DD have a plan, and know how to work the plan, when victimization occurs.    

Leigh-Ann Davis
Project and Information Specialist
The Arc of the United States

On behalf of the West Virginia Developmental Disabilities Council, I am pleased to strongly endorse A Risk Reduction Workbook for Parents and Service Providers.

Council Members (including parents) who reviewed the Workbook commented that the risk reduction approach is straightforward, and includes all the key people involved with a focus person in planning. Council members also said that they believe that Individualized Response Plans (IRPs) with and for people with developmental disabilities is a much more effective strategy than traditional reactive planning methods.

Since 2006, the Council has engaged in a range of activities on abuse issues to better understand where gaps and inadequacies exist in policies, practices, training, and funding in public programs..

The Council also found that due to a number of issues, including devaluation, people with developmental disabilities in WV are at substantial risk for acts of violence, (including sexual assault), neglect and financial exploitation. We believe that A Risk Reduction Workbook for Parents and Service Providers is a strong and targeted approach to training, self-advocacy and self-protection.

Steve Wiseman / Jim Cremeans
Executive Director
West Virginia Developmental Disabilities Council


Order the Book by Mail
Send your $40 check made payable to Spectrum Institute to 2100 Sawtelle Blvd., Suite 204, Los Angeles, CA 90025.  Ask us to mail you the Risk Reduction Workbook for Parents and Service Providers (174 pages).  Your $40 donation includes $5 to cover the cost of shipping and handling.

Send questions to: nora.baladerian@verizon.net:

Order the Book via Internet
Click the Donate button below to use your credit card through Pay Pal. Give $40 to have the print version mailed to you.  Pay $25 if you want the online version.  Then send us an email to let us know: (1) the amount you donated; (2) whether you want the print edition or the online version; and (3) shipping address for the print version.  If you order the online version, we will email it to you as a pdf attachment which you can download.

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