Self- Injurious Behavior Resources

Working with individuals- both children and adults diagnosed with self-injurious behaviors can be challenging at the very least. Some examples of self-injurious behaviors include head banging, handbiting, and excessive scratching. There are many reasons why a student or individual may cause self-injurious behaviors including the inability to communicate needs, the environment, sensory issues and physiological issues. The following are articles on identifying cause of self-injury and ways to prevent it.

Autism, head banging and other self-harming behaviors– Autism Parenting

3 techniques to stop self-injurious behavior of children with autism– Steinberg Behavior Solutions

6 Strategies for Addressing Self-Injurious Behaviors– Wonderbaby

Effective evidence-based strategies to minimize self-injurious behaviors in young children with autism- CSUSB Scholarworks

Essential guide to self-injurious behavior and autism– Research Autism

Head banging, self-injury and aggression in autism– Treat Autism

Self-injurious behavior in people with developmental disabilities-crisis prevention.com

Self-injury in patients with intellectual disabilities- Nursing2020

Understanding and treating self-injurious behavior– Autism Research Institute

Understanding self-injury among autistic individuals- Good Therapy

 

Understanding and Treating Self-Injurious Behavior

Understanding and Treating Self-Injurious Behavior

March Day Habilitation Activity Ideas

March is the month of spring! A time to also develop creative ideas for St. Patrick Day and to recognize Cerebral Palsy Awareness Month, Trisomy Awareness Month, World Down Syndrome Day and Intellectual and Developmental Disability Awareness Month. Oops, I almost forgot about Purple Day for Epilepsy! a day for both staff and individuals to wear purple to program. The following are March observances, celebrations, events, and holidays to be used as ideas for your day habilitation program.

Click to download here

10 Valentine’s Day Fine Motor Activites

Here are some fun fine motor activities to do with your students. Children and adults with special needs often face challenges with coordination of the small muscles that affect writing, and grasping objects. These activities will help students both strengthen and maintain abilities in fine motor control and dexterity. For these activities, you will need the following supplies:

  • scissors
  • construction paper
  • glue or paste

50 Easy Valentine’s Day Crafts and Activities- From the Thrifty Kiwi

Brain-Building Valentines Activities– From Integrated Learning Strategies

Heart Bunny Rabbit Craft– From Crafty Morning

Valentine’s Day Fine Motor Activity– From No Time For Flash Cards

Valentine’s Day Fine Motor Activity– From The Resourceful Mama

Valentine’s Day Fine Motor Activity for Preschool– From Pre-K Pages

Valentine’s Day Fine Motor Sparkle Craft –  From The OT Toolbox

Valentine’s Day Tree Paper Craft– From Housing a Forest

Valentine’s Day Scissor Cutting Practice Tray– From I heart Crafty Things

Valentine Heart ORCA Whale Craft- From Crafty Morning

Free President’s Day Activities

Here are some free activities to work on to honor President’s Day. This article includes 3 activities. the first is a President trivia activity. This activity gives the student an opportunity to look up information on past Presidents using their research skills on the computer.

The second activity reinforces counting skills. The student will first identify the coins and then will count each box and place the correct number in the box below. The third activity focuses on fine motor skills giving the student the opportunity to trace and identify the word of each coin.

 

Download the links below:

president day trivia

president day trivia answers sheet

counting presidents

president trace.coins

 

February Day Habilitation Activity Ideas

February has arrived!! here in the northeast, it is seasonably warm , but still the month known for groundhog and valentine’s day. The following are February observances, celebrations, events, and holidays that can be used as ideas for your Day Habilitation Program.

Keep in mind the following when planning activities for individuals with special needs:

  • People with intellectual/developmental disabilities are more likely to learn when using a multi-sensory approach which includes engaging people on all levels where they are able to use some of their senses. For example a cooking activity should include, allowing individuals to see what they are doing, taste, smell, and touch, etc.
  • Make sure each activity is broken into small steps
  • Use continuous probing
  • Provide prompting strategies such as independence, verbal, gestural, hand over hand and physical prompting.
  • Allow extra time to complete the task
  • Give immediate feedback including praise.

Free Skip Counting by 5″s Worksheet

Learning to skip count helps students in many ways including seeing patterns in numbers and preparing students for more complex math skills including adding, subtraction and multiplication. It ialso helps students to learn how to count forward and backwards develop entry levels skills to developing money management skills.

Use the worksheets below to practice skip counting by five’s

counting  cherries worksheet

 

counting ice cream cones worksheets

 

counting sea shells

 

counting water bottles

counting stars

 

What You Should Know About GERD and Developmental Disabilities

Feeding problems are common in people with an  intellectual/developmental disability. For example, it is reported that 37% of individuals with diplegia or hemiplegia and 86% of individuals with quadriplegia experience GERD. It is very common in people with cerebral palsy and can show up as anemia, failure to thrive and reoccurring infections.

It is usually missed by people who have been feeding and serving food to individuals with disability due to its subtle signs.

What is Gastroesophageal Reflux? (GERD)

GERD occurs when the muscle connecting  to the esophagus is weak and opens under pressure, allowing the stomach contents to flow back into the esophagus. It is the acid from the stomach to the esophagus. this will irritate the lining of the esophagus and causes heartburn. Without treatment, GERD can cause complications.

What causes GERD?

GERD is usually caused by inflammation from the exposure of the esophagus to the stomach acid. The following can cause GERD:

  • diet such as fatty foods, coffee, peppermint and chocolate
  • decreased muscle tone
  • overweight
  • backup in blockage of the intestinal tract.

There are many reasons for the high incidence of GERD in individuals with intellectual disability including immobility and positioning, abnormal postures, medication use and excessive drooling.

What is a developmental disability?

A developmental disability is described as an assortment of chronic conditions that are due to mental or physical impairments or both. For example, you may have a child or an adult with an intellectual disability or perhaps a person diagnosed with cerebral palsy and an intellectual disability. It is also considered a severe and chronic disability that can occur up to the age of 22, hence the word developmental. A developmental disability can occur before birth such as genetic disorders (i.e. cri du chat, fragile x syndrome,) or chromosomes ( i.e. Down syndrome, Edwards syndrome); during birth (lack of oxygen) or after birth up to the age of 22 (i.e. head injuries, child abuse or accidents).

For people with limited communication, the following are possible signs of gastroesophageal reflux:

If you suspect GERD, make arrangements for the person to be evaluated by a physician.

Aspiration Precautions

Children and adults with developmental disabilities often face challenges with eating, drinking and swallowing disorders than the general population. It is estimated that adults with intellectual disabilities require support from caregivers during mealtime. It is common among people who have a diagnosis of cerebral palsy, intellectual disability, physical  disability and muscular dystrophy.

Dysphasia is a medical term used to describe any person having difficulty swallowing foods and liquids taking  more energy and time to move food from the mouth to the stomach. Signs of dysphasia may include:

  • Drooling
  • Food or liquid remaining in the oral cavity after swallowing
  • Complaints of pain when swallowing
  • Coughing during or right after eating or drinking
  • Extra time needed to chew or swallow
  • Reflux of food

Dysphasia can lead to aspiration. Aspiration is defined when food, fluid, or other foreign material gets into the trachea or lungs instead of going down the esophagus and into the stomach. when this occurs, the person is able to cough to get the food or fluid out of their lungs, in some cases especially with children and adults with disabilities may not be able to cough. This is known as Silent Aspiration.

A complication of aspiration is Pneumonia which is defined as inhaling food, saliva, and liquids into the lungs

According to the Office of People with Developmental Disabilities Health and safety Alert, factors that place people at risk for aspiration include:

  • Being fed by others
  • Weak or absent coughing, and/or gag reflexes, commonly seen in people with cerebral palsy.
  • food stuffing and rapid eating/drinking
  • Poor chewing or swallowing pills
  • GERD- the return of partially digested food or stomach contents to the esophagus
  • Providing liquids or food consistencies the person is not able to tolerate such as eating whole foods.
  • Seizures that may occur during eating and/or drinking.

How to recognize signs and symptoms of Aspiration:

  • Choking or coughing while eating or just after eating
  • Drooling while eating or just after eating
  • Eyes start to water
  • Shortness of breath
  • Fever 30 minutes after eating
Intervene immediate if there are signs of aspiration:
  • Stop feeding immediately
  • Keep the person in an upright position
  • Call 911 if the person has difficulty or stops breathing and no pulse
  • Start rescue breathing

Minimize aspiration from occurring by serving the appropriate food texture and liquid consistency. If you are not sure of the right consistency, check with your health care provider. The following are pictures of food consistencies.

Courtesy of OPWDD

Courtesy of OPWDD

Whole. Food is served as it is normally prepared; no changes are needed in
preparation or consistency

Courtesy of OPWDD

1 ” Pieces cut to size. Food is served as prepared and cut into 1-inch pieces
(about the width of a fork).

Courtesy of OPWDD

1/4 Pieces Cut to Size. Food is cut with a knife or a pizza cutter or placed in a food
processor and cut into ¼ -inch pieces (about the width of a #2 pencil)

Courtesy of OPWDD

Ground. Food must be prepared using a food processor or comparable equipment
until MOIST, COHESIVE AND NO LARGER THAN A GRAIN OF RICE, or relish
like pieces, similar to pickle relish. Ground food must always be moist. Ground meat
is moistened with a liquid either before or after being prepared in the food processor
and is ALWAYS served with a moistener such as broth, low fat sauce, gravy or
appropriate condiment. Hard, dry ground particles are easy to inhale and must be
avoided.

 

Courtesy of OPWDD

Pureed. Food must be prepared using a food processor or comparable equipment.
All foods are moistened and processed until smooth, achieving an applesauce-like or
pudding consistency. A spoon should NOT stand up in the food, but the consistency
should not be runny. Each food item is to be pureed separately, unless foods are
prepared in a mixture such as a soup, stew, casserole, or salad.

Aspiration Precautions

  • Make sure the person eats slowly and takes small bites of food
  •  Ensure the person takes small sips of liquids
  • Focus on the person’s swallowing
  • Make sure the person remains upright for a minimum of thirty minutes after eating

Williams Syndrome- Facts and Statistics

Click here to download PDF article

May is Williams Syndrome Awareness Month. It is a rare genetic condition that affects over 1 in 10,000 people worldwide. If you teach in a special needs classroom or work in an adult day habilitation program, it is likely you have experienced working and teaching a student or individual diagnosed with Williams Syndrome. Below you will find some interesting facts and statistics on the disorder:

  • It is a genetic condition that is present a birth.
  • It is a developmental disorder
  • Tend to have a mild or moderate intellectual disability.
  • It is also known as Beuren Syndrome and Williams-Beuren Syndrome.
  • The symptoms were first described by John C.P. Williams in 1961.
  • A year later, German Physician, A.J. Beuren described three new incidents of patients with similar facial features.
  • It is caused by the spontaneous deletion of 26-28 genes on Chromosome #7
  • The deletion is caused by either the sperm or the egg.
  • The deletion is present at the time of conception
  • The most common symptoms of Williams Syndrome includes unusual facial features and heart defects.
  • The diagnosis is typically confirmed after identifying facial features and genetic testing.
  • An individual with Williams Syndrome has a 50% chance of passing the disorder on to their children.
  • Williams Syndrome affects 1 in 10,000 people worldwide.
  • An estimated 20,000 to 30,000 people in the United States are affected.
  • It occurs in both males and females equally
  • It is found in every culture
  • Individuals with Williams Syndrome tend to be overly friendly.
  • People with Williams Syndrome often have difficulty with visual-spatial tasks
  • Congenital heart defects (CHD) occur in approximately 75 percent of children
  • By the age of 30, the majority of individuals with Williams Syndrome have pre-diabetes or diabetes.

 

 

References

Genetics Home Reference

National Organizations for Rare Diseases

William Syndrome Association