Tuesday, March 15, 2011

‘Developmental disabilities- A complex group of disorders’-

In a workshop organized by Society for Education and Improvement,(www.sevai.in) in SEVAI- FdnF Gowens Dispensary in Nagapatinam on 11th,March for Health work and care takers professional course students,Mrs.R.Indirani in her presidential address of the seminar said that ‘Developmental disabilities- A complex group of disorders’-  She further said ‘Developmental disabilities include a complex group of disorders that cause physical impairments, intellectual disabilities, speech disorders, and medical conditions. Developmental disabilities are usually present and diagnosed at birth. Some developmental disorders such as autism, however, may not be easily identified until ages three to six.’
In his Key note address trainer Rathinasamy said, “Developmental disabilities may range from mild to severe. About two percent of the population is affected by severe developmental disabilities.  Developmental disabilities are birth defects related to a problem with how a body part or body system works.  They may also be known as functional birth defects.  Many of these conditions affect multiple body parts or systems. Nervous system disabilities are birth defects that affect the functioning of the brain, spinal cord, and nervous system, which can impact intelligence and learning. These conditions can also cause problems such as behavioral disorders, speech or language difficulties, convulsions, and movement disorders.  Some of the common nervous system disabilities include: Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities (IDDs) - The term IDDs describes a certain range of scores on an IQ (intelligence quotient) test. IDDs can result from a number of different conditions, including (but not limited to): Down syndrome a set of mental and physical characteristics related to having an extra copy of Chromosome 21, Fragile X syndrome the most common inherited form of IDDs caused by a defect in a specific part of the Fragile X Mental Retardation-1 gene that causes the body to produce low amounts or none of a certain protein.  Without the protein, the brain doesn’t develop normally’. He further said’ Autism Spectrum Disorders are a range of problems that can affect a person's communication skills, social skills, and intelligence. Because autism is diagnosed on a spectrum, people with this condition can have mild symptoms or severe symptoms; but they all have a type of autism. Sensory-related problems are often a key part of complex birth defect patterns. Metabolic Disorders, This group of functional birth defects affects a person's metabolism, which is the way the body builds up, breaks down, and otherwise processes the materials it needs to function. Some infants born with degenerative disorders appear normal at birth, but then lose abilities or functions due to the in condition. In these cases, the defect is usually not detected until an older age, when the child or person starts to show signs of loss of function. Some degenerative disorders are the result of metabolic disorders. Degenerative disorders can cause physical, mental, and sensory problems, depending on the specific defect. Many developmental disabilities have no cure, but there are often ways to treat the symptoms.  For example: Children with Down syndrome can often benefit from speech therapy, occupational therapy, and exercises for gross and fine motor skills. They might also be helped by special education and attention at school.  Surgery can also help correct heart defects. People with Fragile X syndrome can get help to reduce or eliminate some of the learning, physical, social and emotional, speech and language, and sensory problems common in Fragile X. The sooner those with Fragile X get help, the more they can learn and the better their outcomes’ Rathinasamy concluded. 
Dravida Selvi, a senior Development person mentioned ‘There are a variety of treatment options to help with the symptoms of autism spectrum disorders.  This may include behavioral, occupational, physical, and speech-language therapy.  In addition, educational specialists can help guide the child’s school experiences. Girls with Rett syndrome can be treated for some of the problems associated with the condition. These treatments generally aim to slow the loss of abilities, improve or preserve movement, and encourage communication and social contact. Treatments may include help from physical therapists, occupational therapists, and speech-language therapists.  Other options, such as medication or surgery are also effective for treating some of the symptoms of Rett syndrome. Treatment for hypothyroidism, or underactive thyroid, includes daily oral hormone treatment.  The most effective treatment for PKU is a special diet that carefully limits the protein phenylalanine (Phe).  Education and training opportunities for people with developmental disabilities have expanded greatly in recent times, with many governments mandating universal access to educational facilities, and more students moving out of special schools and into mainstream classrooms with support. Supports of this type also include assistance to identify and undertake new hobbies or to access community services (such as education), learning appropriate behavior or recognition of community norms, or with relationships and expanding circles of friends. Most programs offering at-home and community support are designed with the goal of increasing the individual's independence, although it is recognized that people with more severe disabilities may never be able to achieve full independence in some areas of daily life. Other types of support for people with developmental disabilities may include: therapeutic services, such as speech therapy, occupational therapy, physical therapy, massage, aromatherapy, art, dance/movement or music therapy, supported holidays, short-stay respite services transport services, such as dial-a-ride or free bus passes, specialist behavior support services, such as high-security services for people with high-level, high-risk challenging behaviors, specialist relationships and sex education services, Employment support usually consists of two types of support: Support to access or participate in integrated employment, in a workplace in the general community. This may include specific programs to increase the skills needed for successful employment’ she concluded. Earlier student Athithiya welcomed the participants and Tamil Priya proposed vote of thanks.-Etram News Service.

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