Welcome to the DDMH Lab

About the DDMH Lab

Our research focuses on the prevention and support of mental health problems in people with developmental disabilities across the lifespan. We aim to understand and address mental health in people with developmental disabilities in many ways. We conduct studies that focus on the individual with developmental disability, their families, and the larger health and social service systems.


Note on language: There have been significant changes in recent years that have shaped how autism is discussed, defined, and described. There are some recommendations for identity-first language (e.g., “autistic people”) or for person-first language (e.g., “people with autism”). While traditionally person-first language was the recommended method for describing autism, as part of a broader movement to separate the person from symptoms or traits, many advocates and authors have highlighted the issues with this approach for the autistic community.[1] Many advocates from the autistic community note that identity-first language is the preferred way of talking about autism. Autism is seen as an inseparable part of who autistic people are. Throughout this website, the term “autistic child/person” is used when communicating about autism. We acknowledge that there continue to be disagreements, and our usage of identity-first language is meant to recognize, affirm, and validate the ownership of identity for autistic people. The term autistic is not viewed in a negative light.

[1] Bottema-Beutel, K., Kapp, S. K., Lester, J. N., Sasson, N. J., & Hand, B. N. (2020). Avoiding Ableist Language: Suggestions for Autism Researchers. Autism in Adulthood. https://www.liebertpub.com/doi/10.1089/aut.2020.0014