The birth industry is an optimistic one, filled with images of perfect, healthy babies, but in reality, many babies are born with conditions that can cause impairment in physical, learning, language, or behavior areas. These conditions begin during the developmental period, may impact day-to-day functioning, and usually last throughout a person’s lifetime.

Recent estimates in the United States show that about one in six, or about 17%, of children aged 3 through 17 years have one or more developmental disabilities [1]. Many of these are diagnosed during pregnancy or shortly after birth, an event that leaves mothers and fathers overwhelmed with powerful emotions and doubts about their ability to care for their child properly.

This course is designed to equip the Doula to serve expecting mothers and fathers that have learned their baby may be born with a developmental disability.


Course Prerequisite: Madriella Birth Doula Certification, Madriella Postpartum Doula Certification, and the Madriella Professional Development Course.

Course Requirements:
This course requires 1 textbook, Different Dreams:Reflections and Realities of Raising a Child With Developmental Disabilities


Module 1 Introduction
Unit 1 Welcome
Unit 2 The Role of the Doula
Unit 3 Emotional Support
Unit 4 Informational Support
Unit 5 Partner Reinforcement
Unit 6 Self Advocacy
Module 2 Some Common Developmental Disabilities
Unit 1 What is a Developmental Disability?
Unit 2 Down syndrome
Unit 3 Autism Spectrum Disorder
Unit 4 Fetal alcohol spectrum disorders (FASD)
Unit 5 Cerebral palsy (CP)
Unit 6 Intellectual disability, (formerly known as mental retardation)
Unit 7 Spina bifida
Unit 8 Muscular Dystrophy
Unit 9 Vision and Hearing Impairment
Unit 10 Kernicterus
Unit 11 Tourette Syndrome
Unit 12 Fragile X syndrome (FXS)
Module 3 Research Assignment: Different Dreams
Unit 1 Book Report: Different Dreams
Module 4 Practical Help for Parents of Children with Developmental Disabilities
Unit 1 Offering Practical Help to Parents
Unit 2 State Agencies
Unit 3 Final Project Instructions
Unit 4 Supportive Organizations for Down Syndrome
Unit 5 Supportive Organizations for Autism Spectrum Disorder
Unit 6 Supportive organizations for Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder
Unit 7 Supportive organizations for Cerebral Palsy
Unit 8 Supportive organizations for Intellectual Disability
Unit 9 Supportive organizations for Spina Bifida
Unit 10 Supportive organizations for Muscular Dystrophy
Unit 11 Supportive organizations for Vision and Hearing Impairment
Unit 12 Supportive organizations for Kernicterus
Unit 13 Supportive organizations for Tourette Syndrome
Unit 14 Supportive organizations for Fragile X Syndrome
Unit 15 Final Project Due