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