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How to Deal With Developmental Disabilities

February 07, 2012 | Comments: 0 | Views: 207

Parents who have children with disabilities should know how this condition progresses with age. This will allow them to prepare and take care of their children better. Family members and therapists can nurture children with developmental disabilities.

What are developmental disabilities?

Developmental disability is a lifelong condition described by having mental and physical impairments. People with developmental disabilities usually manifest symptoms before they are 18 years old.

This condition affects how they function every day. Parents who have children with disabilities often worry about their children's future, particularly their capacity to be independent, self-sufficient, mobile, and expressive.

Some developmental disabilities include mental retardation, autism spectrum disorders, genetic chromosomal disorders, Down syndrome, Fragile X syndrome and Fetal Alcohol Spectrum.

Developmental disabilities can be classified into three categories: mild, moderate, and profound and severe. People that fall within the mild category can still lead a normal life. They can live independently and may even gain lifelong employment. They take workshops and community socialization training in order to function well in society.

People who belong to the moderate category usually need a strong support system from their families and community agencies.

Those who fall within the severe category have high levels of dependence and may need life-long support. They need intensive support as their mastery of daily living or ADLS is limited, or in some cases, non-existent. Those who fall in this category suffer from medical complications such as seizures, difficulty in swallowing, and speech impairments.

Here are some factors that can cause developmental disabilities:

- Severe physical abuse that may have caused a brain injury and affected a child's learning abilities

- Infection during and after birth

- Nutrition problems during pregnancy

- Chromosome and genes abnormality

- Substance abuse during pregnancy. Drugs, alcohol and smoking can lead to developmental disability.

- Extreme prematurity or birth long before the expected date

How do you care for children with disabilities?

You should not de disheartened if you have a child who has disabilities. Remember that even if you will face many difficulties, you are not alone. You will always have a strong support group in your friends and family.There are institutions that can help you with the problem you are facing.

Here are some tips to help you take care of your special child:

- Remember that they are still children

Children with disabilities need love, acceptance, opportunities and chances to excel like other children. Focus on your child's individual strengths rather than their problems.

- Ask questions to the right people

You should ask therapists and other medical professionals if you are unsure of how to provide proper care for your child. You should ask them as many questions as you need.

You should also keep communication lines open in case you might want to contact them for additional guidance.

- Look for a suitable physical therapist

Each child is unique. Let your child meet a physical therapist that has enough experience in taking care of children with special needs. Meet up with them and do a thorough investigation. Ask about their background, qualifications, and ethics. This will help you decide if this therapist can work for you.

- Develop a good plan

Go over your daily activities with your chosen therapist and develop a plan to address your child's needs.

- Relax and be comfortable

Learn to introduce your children to other people well. Remember that other people look at you for cues on how they should act. You should be positive and comfortable so that they will be too.

Katherine Briggs is a physical therapist who deals with patients who have developmental disabilities and knows how to take care of children with disabilities.

Source: EzineArticles
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