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Siberski presenting at U.S. Psychiatric and Mental Health Congress Conference
09-13-13

James Siberski, M.S., C.M.C., CRmT, assistant professor and coordinator of the Gerontology Education Center for Professional Development at Misericordia University, is presenting his research poster, “Computer-Based Cognitive Training for Individuals with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities,’’ at the 26th annual U.S. Psychiatric and Mental Health Congress Conference and Exhibition in Las Vegas, Nev., in October.

  Due to the aging of the national population, there is a growing focus on preserving cognitive function. People with intellectual disabilities (ID) and developmental disabilities (DD), however, are not provided with the same opportunities to prevent cognitive decline. It is assumed this segment of society has no desire to prevent the decline in their cognitive abilities or has the ability to use a computer.
 
The international study was conducted at Misericordia University by Siberski, Misericordia student researchers Aubrey French, Felton, Pa., and Sara Horton, Exeter, Pa.; Carol Siberski, M.S., CRmT; Margie Eckroth-Bucher, Ph.D., R.N., Bloomsburg University; Rachel Loefflad, C.R.T., C.-G.C.M., Deutsch Institute; Phillip A. Rouse, M.S., psychologist, and with Evelyn Shatil, Ph.D., at Cognifit headquarters in Tel Aviv, Israel.
 
It was done to determine if adults with ID/DD could successfully use computer-based cognitive stimulation that is designed for the non-ID/DD population. Finding from the study indicate that adults with ID/DD can successfully use a cognitive stimulation program and the program may also be beneficial for improving select aspects of cognitive functioning, an intellectual process by which someone becomes aware of, perceives, or comprehends ideas.
 
“The findings of this study suggest that with equipment properly adapted to the individual, computer-based cognitive stimulation programs can be beneficial for adults with intellectual disabilities and developmental disabilities,’’ Siberski said. “Our research suggests that improvement appears possible in those individuals with limited cognitive abilities.’’
 
Siberski received his Bachelor of Arts degree in psychology from Wilkes University and his master’s degree in human service administration from Misericordia University. He is an affiliate member of the American Geriatric Psychiatry Association and is certified in remotivation therapy, gerontology, and by the National Academy of Certified Care Managers. Siberski is also an editorial advisory board member of Aging Well Magazine, a member of the National Association of Professional Geriatric Care Managers, the Luzerne-Wyoming Counties Elder Abuse Task Force Committee and a prior member of the board of directors of the Greater Pennsylvania Alzheimer’s Association. He has been published in multiple publications, and has presented numerous lectures and has consulted on issues in geriatric, psychiatric and intellectual disability populations.
 
For more information about the Misericordia University Geriatric Care Management program, please log on to www.misericordia.edu or call (570) 674-6400. Founded and Sponsored by the Sisters of Mercy in 1924, Misericordia University is Luzerne County’s first four-year college and offers 34 degree programs in three colleges in full- and part-time formats.