Developmental Disabilities by 4sPcVF0


  Scott E. Miller, M.A.
 Laura Farley, M.S.W.
       What is a Developmental
 Over 6 million individuals in the United States
  have developmental disabilities. A
  developmental disability, according to the
  Developmental Disabilities Assistance and Bill of
  Rights Act, is defined as a severe, chronic
  disability which:
• originated at birth or during childhood,
• is expected to continue indefinitely, and
• substantially restricts the individuals functioning
  in several major life activities.
   The Federal Developmental Disabilities Act
    (Public Law 101-496) defines a developmental
    disability as a severe, chronic disability of a
    person five years of age or older which...
 A) is attributable to a mental or physical
  impairment or combination of mental and
  physical impairments;
 B) is manifested before the person attains
  age twenty-two;
 C) is likely to continue indefinitely;
             Definition (Contd.)
   D) results in substantial functional limitations in
    three or more of the following areas of major life
     * self-care;
     * receptive and expressive language;
     * learning;
     * mobility,
     * self-direction;
     * capacity for independent living; and
     * economic self-sufficiency; and
             Definition (Contd.)
   E) reflects the person’s need for a combination
    and sequence of special, interdisciplinary, or
    generic care, treatment, or other services which
    are lifelong or extended duration and are
    individually planned and coordinated; except
    that such term when applied to infants and
    young children means individuals from birth to
    age five inclusive, who have a substantial
    developmental delay or specific congenital or
    acquired conditions with a high probability of
    resulting in developmental disabilities if services
    are not provided.
     Disturbances of Function
 Interacting genetic, environmental, and social
  factors are important determinants of childhood
  brain development
 Brain cells divide, migrate, differentiate,
  establish connections (synapses) to form
  circuits, then die off (apoptosis)
 At maturation, coated with myelin to facilitate
 Nerve impulses transmitted by chemical
  messengers (neurotransmitters)
     Disturbances of Function
 Interference with any stage of this cascade of
  events may alter subsequent stages, so that
  even short term disruptions may have long term
  effects later in life
 Example, the timing of exposure to neurotoxic
  chemicals is as important to the size of the
  exposure. Lead interferes with nerve cell
  differentiation, myelination, cell death, nerve
  impulse transmission. ETOH interferes with
       Examples of Developmental
•   Autism                   • Learning Disorder-diff
•   Behavior disorders         w/ cognitive abilities
•   Brain injury               incl. adaptive, fine
                               motor, perceptual-
•   Cerebral palsy             motor, social & lang.
•   Down syndrome              skills
•   Fetal alcohol syndrome   • Learning Disability-
•   Mental retardation         normal cognitive
•   Spina Bifida               abilities w/ problems in
•   Dyslexia                   reading, math, writing
•   ADHD
              Developmental Delay
   A developmental delay is the slowed or impaired development of a child
    who is under 5 years old and who is at risk of having a developmental
    disability because of the presence of one or more of the following:
•   Chromosomal conditions associated with mental retardation,
•   Congenital syndromes and conditions associated with delay in
•   Metabolic disorders,
•   Prenatal and perinatal infections and significant medical problems,
•   Low birth weight infants weighing less than 1200 grams,
•   Postnatal acquired problems known to result in significant developmental
•   A child less than 5 years old who is delayed in development by 1.5 standard
    deviations or more in one or more of the following areas; communication,
    self-help, social-emotional, motor skills, sensory development or cognition,
•   A child less than 3 years of age who lives with one or both parents who
    have a developmental disability
     Developmental Disabilities and
          Mental Retardation
   Mental retardation is an inability of an individual to learn as quickly
    as others
   Mental retardation occurs when an individual has an IQ below 70
    (Avg =100) & they have difficulty functioning independently
   Mild Mental Retardation is IQ between 55 – 69
       Considered educable, achieve 4th to 7th grade levels
       Often function well in community and hold semi/unskilled jobs
   Moderate Mental Retardation is IQ between 40-54
       Considered trainable, achieve to 2nd grade level
       Can learn educational skills, live in group homes, sheltered
          Cognitive Retraining
 The purpose of cognitive retraining is the
  reduction of cognitive problems associated with
  brain injury, other disabilities or disorders, and/or
  aging. The overall purpose of the therapy is to
  decrease the everyday problems faced by
  individuals with cognitive difficulties, thereby
  improving the quality of their lives.

 Cognitive rehabilitation has two parts: restoring
  the actual cognitive skill, and learning to use
  strategies to compensate for the impaired ability.
   Cognitive Retraining-Part I
 The first part of cognitive retraining —
 restoring skills — is sometimes compared
 to rebuilding a weakened muscle.
 Exercises used in retraining programs may
 actually rebuild cognitive skills such as
 attention, concentration, memory,
 organization, perception, judgment, and/or
 problem solving
     Cognitive Retraining- Part II
   The second component of cognitive retraining is
    learning to use strategies, compensatory
    techniques, or "tools" to cope with weaker areas.
    Strategies are designed for each patient using
    his/her areas of strength to compensate for
    weaker skill areas. Learning to use these tools
    not only compensates for impaired ability, but
    may help to rebuild the skill itself. For example,
    using a checklist may actually improve attention
   Memory
       Take notes, 5 W’s
   Attention
       Self-talking
   Problem Solving
       List several solutions
   Organization
       Make a checklist & preplan
   Impulsiveness
       Count to 5, 10, 1000
    What do people with disabilities
   "We all want the same basic things out of life: a decent
    and comfortable place to call 'home', something
    meaningful to do during the day, some close friends with
    whom to share the good times and from whom we
    receive support in difficult times, and the opportunity to
    make our own decisions about things that will affect our
    personal lives. People with disabilities want these same
    basic things and are increasingly speaking up for
    themselves about what they want. And staff, family and
    State agency professionals are beginning to really

   Excerpted from "Home, Sweet Home" by Susan L. Babin, IMPACT:
    Feature Issue on Supported Living (1995), published by the Institute
    on Community Integration.
                What we want:
   Keep your body language open & pleasant
   Use humor. Jokes make us comfortable
   Be friendly, nice, not too serious
   Be warm-hearted & act in a caring way
   Physical contact, such as hugs, is nice
   Try to understand us
   Use patience, don’t hurry us
   Treat people as individuals
   Push a little, but never to the point of frustration
 People  with developmental disabilities
 benefit from comprehensive long-term
 services. With such services, people with
 disabilities are often able to be more
 active, productive, and independent, which
 benefits their communities as well.

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