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Dr X.M.H. Moonen (1954) has been appointed professor by special appointment of Knowledge Development of Children and Young Adults with Mild Intellectual Disabilities and Behavioural Difficulties at the University of Amsterdam’s (UvA) Faculty of Social and Behavioural Sciences, effective 1 December. The chair was established on behalf of the Association of Child and Youth Care Sciences Treatment Centres (VOBC: Vereniging Orthopedagogische Behandelcentra).

Prof Xavier Moonen
Foto: Dirk Gillissen

Xavier Moonen conducts research into the development of instruments to recognise mild intellectual disabilities (MID), communication with people with intellectual disabilities – including in interrogation settings – and into scientific research conducted by people with intellectual disabilities.

As a professor, Moonen will be focusing on developing screening tools to recognise (functioning on the level of a) MID. He will also be researching the quality of the diagnostics as well as new diagnostic instruments to be developed to map the nature of the behavioural difficulties of children or young adults with MID. Subsequently, Moonen will be conducting research into the conditions that lead to adequate help and support for children and young adults with MID, into the quality of targeted preventive and treatment interventions, and into the development of evidence-based interventions.

Moonen has been working at Koraal Groep Sittard since 1985. This organisation provides support and advice to people with an intellectual, physical and/or psychosocial disability or impairment. He began his career at Koraal Groep Sittard as an orthopedagogue and healthcare psychologist for children and young adults with mild intellectual disabilities (MID), and as of 2006 works as a policy adviser and a trainer. In addition, Moonen has been a researcher and a lecturer at the Department of Pedagogical and Educational Sciences at the University of Amsterdam since 2008. As of 2014 he was appointed special chair of ‘Inclusion of people with intellectual disabilities’ at Zuyd University of Applied Sciences in Heerlen. Moonen is the Chairman of the Advisory Board of the National MID Knowledge Centre (Landelijk Kenniscentrum LVB). In addition, he holds various positions as a teacher and trainer and sits on several executive boards, committees, disciplinary courts and advisory councils.