Invisible Disabilities You Should Know

What is an Invisible Disability?

According to the Invisible Disabilities Association, the term invisible disability refers to symptoms such as debilitating pain, fatigue, dizziness, cognitive dysfunction, brain injuries, learning differences, mental health disorders, as well as hearing and visual impairments. They are not always obvious to the onlooker, but can sometimes or always limit daily activities range from mild challenges to severe limitations and vary from person to person

Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)

 Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) is a neurological disorder characterized by a pattern of inattention and/or hyperactivity-impulsivity that disrupts functioning in both children and adults typically, a person with ADHD, the difficulties lies in the part of the brain that allows people to perform higher level task known as the executive function. 90% of people with ADHD also have an executive function disorder. This is the part of the brain that engages in goal-direction and self-regulations.

Two Types of ADHD:

Types of ADHD

Type 1: Inattention Without Hyperactivity

  • Trouble paying attention
  • Trouble following direction
  • Trouble following through with task
  • Easily distracted
  • Seems disorganized or careless
  • Slow to process information

Type 2: Hyperactivity Without Inattention

  • Trouble paying attention
  • Restlessness
  • Impulsive speech and action
  • Excessive talking
  • Difficulty waiting turns
  • May have a quick temper
  • Overactive

 Autism Spectrum Disorder

 Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) is a complex neurodevelopmental disorder that impacts social, speech, behavioral and motor skills. It is a spectrum disorder meaning it varies from person to person. No two people have the same symptoms. It is estimated that 1% of the population is diagnosed with autism.

 Dyslexia

Dyslexia is also known as a language-based disability. It is defined as difficulties with accurate and word recognition and by poor spelling which can affect reading fluency, reading comprehension, recall, decoding, writing, spelling, and sometime speech. Signs of dyslexia in adults include:

  • Poor spelling
  • Avoids writing task
  • Gifted and creative
  • Difficulty in following oral and written instructions
  • Difficulty staying on task
  • High level of frustration
  • Difficulty in retaining information
  • Test-taking anxiety.
  • Highly curious
  • Insightful
  • Curiosity
  • Good communication of stories read to them

 Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder

Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders (FASD) according to the National Organization on Fetal Alcohol Syndrome describes the range of effects that can occur in an individual whose mother drank alcohol during pregnancy. These affects may include physical, mental, behavioral, and/or learning disabilities with lifelong implications.

Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders is not a diagnosed rather, it is a term that is used to describe a wide-range of effects on a person whose mother drank alcohol during her pregnancy. Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders, show in three areas: abnormal facial characteristics, slowed growth and the central nervous system.

Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders affects each person differently. Signs and symptoms include the following:

  • Abnormal facial features including a smooth ridge between the nose and upper lip
  • Small head size
  • Shorter than average height
  • Poor coordination
  • Hyperactive behavior
  • Difficulty with attention
  • Poor memory
  • Difficulty in school
  • Learning disabilities
  • Speech and language delays
  • Intellectual disability or low IQ
  • Poor reasoning and judgement skills
  • Sleep and sucking problem
  • vision and hearing problems
  • Seizures
  • Processing information
  • Problems with the heart and kidneys
  • Poor concept of time
  • Trouble getting along with others
  • Staying on task

Sensory Processing Disorder

Sensory Processing Disorder (SPD, formally known as sensory integration dysfunction) is a condition in which the brain has difficulty in receiving information from the senses.

Signs and symptoms may include:

·       Oversensitive

·       Common sounds may be overwhelming

·       Uncoordinated

·       Hard to engage in conversation or play

What is Sepsis?

While Sepsis is a severe life-threatening medical condition, it can also affect people with disabilities. According to the Centers for Diseases and Control (CDC), Sepsis is the body’s extreme response to an infection. It is a life-threatening medical emergency. Sepsis happens when an infection you already have —in your skin, lungs, urinary tract, or somewhere else—triggers a chain reaction throughout your body. Without timely treatment, sepsis can rapidly lead to tissue damage, organ failure, and death. Sepsis kills more than 250,000 people a year with 1.5 million diagnosed each year.

Signs and Symptoms
  • An initial infection
  • Fever
  • High heart rate
  • heavy breathing

Severe sepsis occurs during organ failure. signs include:

  • decrease urination
  • breathing problems
  • body chills
  • extreme weakness

Sepsis is caused by:

  • Pneumonia
  • Kidney infection
  • Bloodstream infections.

if you work with an individual displaying any of these signs and symptoms, seek medical attention.

Resources

Recovering from Sepsis– NHS

Sepsis Overview– Science Direct

What is Sepsis?– Sepsis Alliance

Adult Provider Training Resources

Abuse and Neglect

Sexual Abuse of People with Disabilities

Sexual Abuse Definition-The ARC

Preventing Abuse of Children with Cognitive, Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities

Abuse and Neglect: Individuals with Developmental Disabilities

Choking/ Aspiration

Teaching Material on Choking

Arizona Department of Economic Security

Eunice Kennedy Shriver-Dysphasia, Aspiration and Choking

Ohio Department of Developmental Disabilities

New York State Choking Prevention Resources

Washington State Department of Social and Health Services

State Agencies Choking Alerts

Georgia Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Disabilities

Minnesota Mental Health and Developmental Disabilities 

New Jersey Health and Safety Alert Choking

CPR Training for Disabled Students

Fire Safety

Educational materials for people with disabilities

Fire safety and teaching people with intellectual disabilities

Fire Safety for Individuals with disabilities

Fire safety outreach materials for people with disabilities

Guide to teaching fire safety to students with disabilities

Incident Reporting

Incident/abuse, identification, reporting and processing 

Incident reporting for individuals with developmental disabilities

Incident response and reporting manual

Major unusual incidents and unusual incidents

Personal support worker incident report requirements

Overview of Developmental Disabilities

Introduction to developmental disabilities

Introduction to intellectual and developmental disabilities 

Introduction to developmental disabilities classroom participant guide

Orientation Manual for Direct Support Professionals

Van Safety

A guide for drivers of seniors and persons with disabilities

Oversight of Passenger Safety

Safe Transportation of People in Wheelchairs

Transportation Safety Awareness

Community Inclusion Resources

According the the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Disability affects approximate 61 million, or nearly 1 in 4 (26%) people in the United States living in communities. Disability affects more than one billion people worldwide.1,2 According to the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, people “. . . with disabilities include those who have long-term physical, mental, intellectual or sensory [such as hearing or vision] impairments which in interaction with various barriers may hinder their full and effective participation in society on an equal basis with others.”

While the road has made great strives in community integration, we still have a long way to go until full inclusion is met worldwide.  For some people with disabilities, participation may be only defined as being physically present in a community but without any connection such as going to a shopping store or attending an event. The next level includes encounters at a nail salon, bowling, shopping, etc and full integration includes connecting with others in the community such as hanging out with people at a sports bar with and without disabilities or attending religious services including becoming a part of the choir or serving as an usher.

The following questions created by the Council on Quality and Leaderships serves as a great barometer in  measuring the quality of community inclusion:

  1. Who do you know in your community?
  2. Who do you spend most of your time with?
  3. When you go places, who do you meet with?
  4. What kind of interactions do you have with people?
  5. What kinds of things do you do with other people?
The following are articles on the importance of community inclusion among individuals with disabilities and the definition:

5 ways to make community inclusion work– White Hawk Advocacy

A sharing of ideas on community inclusion for people with disabilities– University of Connecticut Center for Developmental Disabilities.

Community barrier to participation experienced by people with disabilities (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention ) CDC

Community Inclusion– newfdn.org

What does community inclusion look like? – National Disability Insurance Scheme

What is community inclusion all about and why does it matter?– Pioneer Center for Human Services

What Is Community Inclusion & Why Is It a Win-Win Scenario?– Community Mainstreaming

What We Mean When We Talk About Inclusion– Institute for Community Inclusion

The following are community inclusion ideas and suggestions.

11 Ways to Promote Community Support for Students with Disabilities– Brooks Publishing

13 ideas for making your community more inclusive – Union for Reform Judaism

Training Resources
The following includes a staff training module on community inclusion.

Community Inclusion Module– Illinois Department of Human Services

Neurodiversity in the workplace

Published by: JD SUPRA
Written by: Dentons

It is estimated that 15% of the UK population are neurodiverse. Many workplaces will already be accommodating neurodiverse employees but without the proper awareness and understanding of how best to support these employees

With Learning Disability Week taking place this month we have taken the opportunity to explore neurodiversity in the workplace and what employers should be doing. As a starting point, it is worth noting that ACAS has produced some very helpful guidance for employers, managers and employees.

What is neurodiversity?

Put concisely, people think differently. Neurodiversity is the way the brain processes and interprets information. One in seven people are neurodivergent, meaning that their brain processes information differently to most. Neurodivergence is experienced along a spectrum and has a range of characteristics which vary depending on the individual. There are various forms of neurodivergence but the most common are autism, dyslexia, dyspraxia and ADHD. While there tend to be certain expectations about the effects of each of these, they all cover a wide range of differences. Click here to read the rest of the story.

Summer Sensory Activities

June 20th mark the first day of summer. In many places with Covid-19 still looming around, summer fun may be limited but still there is always an opportunity to create sensory activities. the following links below are some suggestions. Some of the links show ways to create sensory bins using different themes. Enjoy and stay safe.

5 summer sensory activities

10 awesome summer sensory play activities

10 washing activities summer sensory play ideas

17 cool summer sensory activities that help kids

Ideas for summer sensory play

Must-try summer sensory activities

Sensory Summer

Spring and summer sensory bins

Summer Sensory Bins

Summer sensory play ideas for kids with ice and water