Developmental Disabilities


Paul offers keynotes to organizations whose members work on a daily basis with individuals with developmental disabilities.  This work is especially challenging on a daily basis because of the cognitive (and sometimes physical) limitations of the consumers/clients with whom they work.  Burnout is a common problem here, as Paul learned in working with such individuals in two settings during his graduate training.

Paul’s keynotes are entertaining and fun and guaranteed to get the audience laughing.  But they are also substantive and show how humor helps cope with job-related stress and generate the emotional resilience required to provide quality support and service to consumers day after day—even on the tough days where everything seems to go wrong (a common occurrence).

Most of this presentation focuses on the importance of humor for oneself as a service provider; but emphasis is also given to the value of bringing humor into the daily lives of consumers.  For example, humor often provides an effective behavior management technique with individuals with developmental disabilities.  It also helps them sustain a more positive daily mood.  Finding ways to boost positive emotion in consumers goes a long way in helping to manage behavior problems in many individuals.

In discussing humor for consumers, the importance of recognizing the cognitive limitations of each individual is emphasized.  The issue of difficulty level of humor is discussed, along with the importance of attempting to tailor the level of humor provided to the consumer’s mental level.  Children’s humor is discussed in this regard as a means of tuning staff into the kinds of humor that will work best with many consumers.  Dr. McGhee’s book, Stumble Bees & Pelephones, provides an effective tool for helping most consumers increase their skill at basic forms of puns and other verbal humor based on ambiguity of meaning.

Client List

21 Plus (NJ)
Cen-Clear Child Services (PA)
Center for Family Services (NJ)
Cooper Health System, Psychiatry Grand Rounds (NJ)
Hudson Milestones (NJ)
Muhlenberg Hospital, Psychiatry Grand Rounds (NJ)
New Jersey Association of Community Providers
SERV Behavioral Health (NJ)
Washington State, Division of Developmental Disabilities (Region 6)
Washington State, Division of Developmental Disabilities (Regions 5 & 4)