This blog article is an introduction to cerebral palsy. In the past, very few educational programs offered courses on specific information pertaining to disabilities. I am hopeful this is beginning to change. Ions when I started working in the field, I felt that there was simply not enough information so I started to do my own research by reading books, journal articles and talking to both professionals and parents.
Here, I have included a short PowerPoint presentation on a brief introduction of Cerebral Palsy. The objectives include, the definition, prevalence and causes, types and the causes. This format can be used in various ways including a teaching course since most of us are currently learning online, or as a self-study course. Below, you will find a quiz along with the quiz answers.
If you would like to print out a copy of the PowerPoint, Download here: Cerebral Palsy PowerPoint
Download quiz test here: cerebral palsy QUIZ
Download quiz test answers here: cerebral palsy QUIZ answer
Most news today whether it is social media, newsprint or broadcasting, focuses on the crisis of the COVID-19. It seems information changes everyday and we are still learning ways to protect ourselves. When the news of COVID-19 first appear, there was emphasis on the implications for people who have severe underlying conditions such as heart or lung disease and diabetes. The picture painted were people that were over the age of 65 who were more likely to be at risk for developing serious complications from COVID-19.
It occurred to me that very little information indicated that people with disabilities and special risk also fall under the high risk category. for us who are parents or professionals (in some cases both), we know the dangers of this deadly disease for children and adults with serious medical issues.
Many special needs children and adults have co-occurring issues including chronic heart disease, GI issues, diabetes, asthma, seizure disorders, GERD, and breathing issues.
For this reason, it is all the more reason to ensure that professionals, frontline staff and families know how to hand wash properly. The Powerpoint focuses on the transmission of the virus as well as the appropriate way to wash hands. You will find the link to the Powerpoint at the bottom of the page.
May Observances, Celebrations, Events and Holidays To Use As Ideas For Your Day Habilitation Program.
You can download the PDF format here: May Day Habilitation Activities
Studies show that most accidents occur in the home. There are a number of factors that increases this number in a residential setting. For example, Staff are responsible for providing care to more than one person and the may also be responsible for a number of other duties including, preparing dinner, giving out medication and working on performance goals. Given these factors, it is vital that attention and skill is given during bathing time. One minute away, could lead to a disastrous event.
The following is a training curriculum that serves to train staff (Direct care Professionals) on bath safety. I have included the lesson plan also in a PDF format and a demonstrative checklist. Once completed, staff should be able to show their competency level in bathing an individual safely. This training also satisfies and supports Core Competency 5 (safety) and Core Competency 6(Having a home).
Title: Bath Safety Training
This module is intended to provide direct support professionals with principles and strategies which will assist them in the preparation, supervision and assistance necessary to ensure the safety of people with developmental disabilities. The first section focuses on identifying and evaluating required staff supervision. Section 2 includes the responsibilities of staff during bathing time.
- Demonstrates steps to ensure all necessary bathing items are in the bathroom before preparing for bathing time.
- Evaluate the level of supervision needed
- Define the characteristics of a burn
- Distinguish temperature for bathing vs. showering
- Identifying the process of bathing residents to ensure the process is safely carried out.
- Explain the risk for people with disabilities
Maximum Group Size:
Training segment 10- competency portion should be conducted one person at a time.
Required Employees: Direct Support Professionals
- Competency test
Training: 1 Hour
|Objective 1: The participants will be able to explain bathing risk for people with disabilities|
The trainer will begin this session with a brief introduction on the magnitude of the problem regarding accidental deaths, bathing injuries including scalding. In your own words, please say the following:
Studies show that after the swimming pool, the bathtub is the second major site of drowning in the home including residential settings with seizures accounting for most of the common causes of bathtub drowning.
The National Safety Council reported that one person dies everyday from using bathtub in the United States. That more people have died from bathtub accidents than all forms of road vehicle accidents.
Injuries from the bathroom included slipping and falling when entering or exiting the bathtub or shower.
A study concluded by the State University of New York State found bathing difficulties included maintaining balance when bathing and making transfers.
Inform participants the following:
Near-drowning happens very quickly. Within three minutes of submersion, most people are unconscious, and within five minutes the brain begins to suffer from lack of oxygen. Abnormal heart rhythms (cardiac dysrhythmias) often occur in near-drowning cases, and the heart may stop pumping (cardiac arrest). The blood may increase in acidity (acidosis) and, under some circumstances, near drowning can cause a substantial increase or decrease in the volume of circulating blood. If not rapidly reversed, these events cause permanent damage to the brain
Ask – How much water does it take to drown?
Answer- inches of water in the bathtub. Any amount of water that covers the mouth and nose.
Who is at -risk?
Tell the participants the following people are considered high risk for accidents and drowning in the bathtub or shower:
- Older people
- Residence with a history of seizures
- Residents diagnosed with dementia or Alzheimer
- Residents who require assistance or supervision for mobility, transfer or ambulation.
- Lack of understanding of one’s own physical and cognitive limitations.
The trainer will introduce the segment on scald burns. Tell participants that individuals with physical, cognitive and emotional challenges are at high risk for burn injuries due to mobility impairments, muscle weakness and slower reflexes. Further explain that, sensory impairments can result in decrease sensation in the hands and feet with the resident not realizing the water is too hot.
The instructor will discuss the following handout:
Time and Temperature relationship to Severe Burns
|Water Temperature||Time for a third degree burn to occur|
|155° F||1 second|
|148° F||2 seconds|
|140° F||5 seconds|
|133° F||15 seconds|
|127° F||1 minute|
|124° F||3 minute|
|120° F||5 minutes|
|100° F||Safe temperature for bathing|
|Objective 2: Define the Characteristics of a Burn|
In this section, the trainer will give the definition of a burn, Explain to participants that a burn is damage to the skin and underlying tissue caused by heat chemicals or electricity.
Further explain, Burns range is severity from minor injuries that require no medical treatment to serious, life-threatening and fatal injuries. Further explain that burns are categorized by degrees. Have participants turn to the handout on burns.
Superficial (first degree burns)
- Causes : sunburn, minor scalds
- Generally heal in 3-5 days with no scarring
- Minor damage to the skin
- Color- pink to red
- Skin is dry without blisters
Partial thickness (second degree) burns
- Damages, but does not destroy top two layers of the skin
- Generally heal in 10-21 days
- Does not require skin graft*
- Skin is moist, wet and weepy
- Blisters are present • Color – bright pink to cherry red
- Lots of edema (swelling)
- Very painful
Full thickness (third degree) burns
- Destroys all layers of the skin
- May involve fat, muscle and bone
- Will require skin graft for healing*
- Skin may be very bright red or dry and leathery, charred, waxy white, tan or brown
- Charred veins may be visible
- Area is insensate – the person is unable to feel touch in areas of full thickness injury
*Except for very small (about the size of a quarter) full thickness burns will require a skin graft to heal. The patient is taken to the operating room where all the dead tissue is surgically removed. Skin is taken or harvested off an unburned or healed part of that person’s body and grafted or transplanted to the clean burn area. In seven to 14 days, this grafted skin “takes” or adheres to the area and becomes the person’s permanent skin. The donor site (where the skin was harvested from) is treated like a partial thickness burn and heals within 1- to 14 days.
|Objective 3: Identify the process of bathing residents to ensure the process is safely carried out|
The trainer will discuss the importance of following the appropriate steps when giving a resident a shower:
When escorting a resident to the bathroom, the following items should be gathered and taken to the bathroom:
- Washcloth/bath sponge
- Body wash/soap
- Body lotion
- Hair shampoo
- Hair conditioner
The trainer will remind participants not to leave the participants in the bathroom alone under any circumstances for those requiring supervision.
Ask- What circumstance might a person leave the person alone.
The participant should respond- none.
Click on the link below to download the competency checklist:
Click on the link below to download the training in Word format
Working in the special needs profession often leaves little room for self-care and developing a healthy lifestyle including exercising, which why it is vital that you take the initiative and create an exercise plan that will work well for you.
Exercise is essential for your health and well-being for many reasons. For one, it helps to prevent disease. By moving one’s body daily, we reduce the risk of cancer, diabetes, and heart disease. A second reason is that it helps us control our weight. As we get older, we tend to slow down which causes us to burn fewer calories. Working in a profession which can take an emotional and mental toll, causes one to just want to go home and relax. However, exercising less and burning fewer calories can lead to obesity.
Benefits of Exercising
There are many benefits to exercising
- Improves memory and thinking skills. Research shows that working out on a regular basis boost the size of the hippocampus, the part of the brain responsible for memory and learning. This is done through aerobic exercises.
- Relieves stress. Although not fully understood, regular exercise reduces anxiety and depression disorders. It is known however that aerobic exercise is associated with the lower sympathetic nervous system which is responsible for accelerating the heart rate and raising the blood pressure.
- Boost energy. While little is known on the relationship between exercise and energy, studies show that people who exercise on a regular basis, are more likely to feel more energy than those who do not.
Four Types of Exercises
- Endurance. includes aerobic activities which focus on your circulatory system and helps to build your endurance. exercises include walking, jumping, and running.
- Strength. Also known as resistance training, serves the purpose of strengthening and toning your muscles. Exercises typically include weight lifting.
- Balance. Helps to improve balance and strengthen your core. Exercises include tai chi and yoga.
- Flexibility. Used for stretching your muscles and improving your range of motion. Stretching exercises are usually part of a warming up and cooling down routine.
Here are following at exercises that include the four types of exercises:
- Tai Chi
- Lifting weights
- Strength Training
- Jump rope
- Horseback Riding
- Ice Skating
- Jumping Jacks
- Jai Alai
- Kick Boxing
- Martial Arts
- Scuba Diving