Meet Anne Mason
As a result of a personal tragedy which occurred in my family during my teen years, I started working with the Intellectually Disabled. We were just kids when it happened; my brother was kicked in the head by a horse and suffered tremendous brain damage. This accident left him Intellectually Disabled. It wasn’t easy for my family to get through this, but we did. I volunteered at the YWCA where my brother participated in recreational activities, and then became a private sitter for Intellectually Disabled children and adults. It wasn’t long before I started working in this field full time. It was truly rewarding to me. I started a direct care staff for several years and was eventually promote to house manager.
I went on to get a BA in Psychology to satisfy my need to understand how people think. I then starting working for the Long Beach VA, and was given tremendous opportunities to perform all of the psychological and neuropsychiatry tests. I also gave and scored several MMPI intelligence tests. I was very devoted to my work, but unfortunately the position never went to full time status. I went on to acquire a full time job as a Regional Center Case worker then later became a QIDP (Q) and have been one ever since.
I have personally observed individuals who develop from one level to the next simply by using different approaches. In many cases, behavioral problems stem from a lack of communication skills. Both behavioral problems and communication skills are the core for improving awareness, function, and the ability to show others that they understand.
We all know and understand more than we can ever relate to others. This is the untapped potential or foundation that promotes real growth. It is this, which leads me to believe that by using alternate forms of communication with developmental and cognitive theories that we can get through to the Intellectually Disabled. The next logical step is for me to take a position where I can develop more effective assessment tools along with specific intervention strategies which will provide the greatest potential towards independence for the Intellectually Disabled.
The Intellectually Disabled are the only population of individuals that are truly innocent for their entire lives. They need all of us to help them develop and become as independent as possible. There are so many families, and individuals who feel isolated by this disability. So, I started the Q online to help facilitate networking with various facilities, organizations, Q’s, and consultants. It’s also very important to me to share what I have learned about this field with the community.