Cerebral Palsy and Secondary Issues

Cerebral palsy affects people differently including; learning disabilities, intellectual disabilities, behavioral challenges, Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), and Executive Function Disorder. People with cerebral palsy often have medical issues as well including, epilepsy, hydrocephalus, swallowing difficulties, vision problems, aspiration and constipation.

Seizures
  • a seizure is a sudden, out of control event that can cause involuntary movement.
  • It occurs when there are bursts of abnormal electrical activity in the brain which interferes with normal brain functioning.
  • The brain constantly sends unusual electrical messages very close together.
  • Inform the participants that seizures are the most common of associated problems.
  • Experts believe that seizures are the result of scarred tissue in the brain.
  • About 50% of people with cerebral palsy suffer from seizures.
  • Epilepsy is more common in the child with spastic quadriplegic
  • Complex partial seizures are the most common in people with cerebral palsy
  • in most cases, it is unknown the cause of seizures.

Cases which the cause is known include

  • Serious brain injury
  • Lack of oxygen
  • Bleeding in the brain
  • Infection in the brain including meningitis and encephalitis
  • Inflammation of the brain
  • Co-occurring conditions that involve an intellectual or developmental disabilities

Treating Seizures

  • Try to keep calm and make sure the person having the seizure is comfortable and safe from harm.
  • A seizure can last from a second or several minutes

Do Not:

  • Do not hold the person down or try to stop his or her movements.
  • Do not put anything in the person’s mouth. This can injure teeth or the jaw. A person having a seizure cannot swallow his or her tongue.
  • Do not try to give mouth-to-mouth breaths (CPR). People usually start breathing again on their own after a seizure.
  • Do not offer the person water or food until he or she is fully alert.

After the seizure:

  • After the seizure ends, the person will probably be groggy and tired. He or she also may have a headache and be confused or embarrassed. Try to help the person find a place to rest.
Vision Issues
  • The term blindness refers to complete impairment of vision
  • Visual impairment refers to diminished vison or low vision but not total blindness.
  • A person’s right side may include problems with muscles that control the right eye making it difficult for the affected eye to move from side to side.
  • People may appear to be crossed eyes.
  • Explain that people with cerebral palsy may have a condition called strabismus, where eyes do not line up and focus properly because of differences between the left and right eye muscles
  • May only impact one eye which happens to those whose cerebral palsy affect one side of the body.
Learning Disability
  • People with cerebral palsy may have a short attention span, motor difficulties, perceptual difficulties and language difficulties
  • This can impact literacy, numeracy and other important skills.
  • Learning disabilities may also affect fine and gross motor coordination
  • They may tire easily since they have to put more effort into concentrating on their movements and sequence of actions.
ADHD
  • A disorder of the executive function of the brain that allows a person to focus and organize
  • It is a developmental disability that occurs in approximately 3 to 5% of children
  • 19% of children with cerebral palsy will be diagnosed with ADHD
Hydrocephalus 
  • Enlargement of the fluid filled spaces in and around the brain known as ventricles
  • To correct the damaging effects, the fluid build-up is performed involving a shunt
Behavior Challenges
  • Children and adults with cerebral palsy may be more prone to having problems controlling their impulses as well as having difficulty with focus and attention
Hearing Loss
  • Birth injuries can cause partial or complete loss of vision and or hearing in many individuals
  • Possible result of physical damage to the ear due to inflammation of built-up
  • Senorineural hearing loss- nerves that transmit sound information from the outside world to the brain are damaged
Tube Feeding
  • Gastrostomy is used with children with significant eating, drinking and swallowing difficulties to ensure they received enough food and drink.
  • It is surgically placed through the abdominal wall to feed formula, liquids and medication directly to the stomach.
Intellectual Disability
  • Approximately 2/3 of people with cerebral palsy have an intellectual disability
  • 1/3 have Mild
  • 1/3- Moderate
  • 1/3- Normal IQ
  • Children with spastic quadriplegia are more likely to have an intellectual disability

How Impulsive of Me

Published by: Psych Central
Written by: Kelly Babcock

One of the hallmarks of ADHD is a problem with impulse control. Impulsivity is so common that we are known for it.

And some of the subtle ways that it impacts our lives often go unrecognized because being impulsive is usually only seen in the more explosive and dramatic examples of its manifestation in our behavior.

It’s not unlike the discovery years later that a sibling has a milder form of ADHD that went undiagnosed because, in constant comparison to the more challenged member of the family, they appeared to not be one of us.

So too with impulse, the behaviors that did not result in something exploding are not recognized as impulsive in comparison to that time when I … well, let’s not dwell on the past shall we?

So sometimes behaviors that are at their root impulsive do not appear to be because they aren’t dramatic. Click here to read the rest of the story

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

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.

Getting Self Help With ADHD

Published by: ADHD Man of DistrAction
Written by: Kelly Babcock

I’ve had ADHD all my life, I guess. Though, of course, when I was younger it would have been harder to detect, since both childhood and ADHD are afflictions denoted by being not completely developed yet.

The first sad thing about that statement is that it makes people think that we are childish.

The second, but bigger sad thing about that statement is that the childish thing is, though damned insulting, also accurate.

I mean, technically, of course.

Truth of it …

There is a freedom of spirit that comes with ADHD that we enjoy and that others are attracted to. We attract people because we are fun and somewhat exciting to be around.

Life is not dull around us. A person with ADHD can be a vortex of activity, a tornado of plans and schemes and attempts at instant gratification, and impetuous sudden decisions to have fun in yet another way.

All of these things are exactly why children have so much fun. Click here to read the rest of the story

 

Many doctors aren’t addressing safe sex, driver readiness with teens who have a history of ADHD

Published by: Philly Voice
Written by: Tracey Romero

Primary care doctors need to more closely monitor the health risks of teenagers with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder, particularly in regard to two classic teenage thrills – driving and sex, researchers say.

Children diagnosed with ADHD before age 10 are at increased risk for sexually-transmitted diseases and car accidents, previous research has shown. But a new Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia study found that only 1 in 2 teens with a history of ADHD receives a safe sex talk from their doctor. And far fewer discuss their readiness to drive. “Although doctors do a good job screening for many behavioral health risks, like suicide risk and depression, we need to be more aware of the dangers associated with driving and sexual health,” said Thomas Power, director of CHOP’s Center for Management of ADHD.

“For example, our previous research shows teens with ADHD are more likely to be involved in a car accident particularly in the first month after receiving their driver’s license, so this is definitely an issue that should be discussed with our patients.” Click here to read the rest of the story.

 

Everything You Need to Know Before Buying a Weighted Blanket

Published by: Forbes Magazine

It seems like every category of bedding is getting an upgrade these days, whether it’s in the form of memory foam mattresses or custom pillows.

Chances are you’ve heard friends or family discussing these new product types, or maybe even saw someone receive one as a gift this past holiday season. But while weighted blankets have exploded in popularity in recent years, this innovative product isn’t necessarily new — it’s long been used in the special needs community, helping individuals on the autism spectrum, among others. Still, it wasn’t until companies like Gravity Blanket brought their flagship designs to the broader public that people began thinking of it not as a niche medical device, but a general sleep aid for the wider community.

Want to learn what all the hype is about? Here’s everything you need to know about weighted blankets, from their many benefits to how you can find one that perfectly complements your style of sleeping. Click here to read the rest of the story.

Finding a Creative Outlet With ADHD

Published by: Psychcentral.com
Written by: Neil Petersen

Here’s something I think every ADHDer should try: a creative hobby of some kind.

For me, my main creative outlets are playing and writing music, but the range of creative hobbies you can try is limitless, from writing to drawing and photography to crafting.

Although creative projects can be a fun way for anyone to relax, there’s something about the way the ADHD brain works that seems an especially good fit to any hobby involving some kind of creative process.

The thing about creative activities is that they’re open-ended, and you have room to go in whatever direction your impulses take you. When you’re creating something new, taking off in an unexpected direction isn’t getting distracted, it’s just having a moment of inspiration!

If you’re like most ADHDers, you do many things in daily life that aren’t open-ended in this way. I mean, OK, everyday tasks such as grocery shopping can be a little open-ended, but if you get too creative with them, the results probably won’t be what you intended! Click here to read the rest of the story.

 

Developmental Disability Awareness Ribbons

Awareness ribbons in recent history began when Penney Laingen used the ribbon as a symbol of vigilance ( from the song, Tie a Ribbon Around the Ole Oak Tree) when she tied a yellow ribbon around the oak tree in her front yard when her husband, Bruce Laingen. a top-ranking U.S. diplomat was a hostage during the Iran hostage crisis in 1979. This was followed by the red ribbon during the AIDS epidemic and the pink ribbon bringing awareness to breast cancer.

Ribbons have long been used as a way to bring awareness and raise consciousness for a cause. Ribbons and disability awareness has evolved from brining awareness to various disability topics such as sensitivity, core information, inclusion and advocacy to including information in various formats including resources, activities and print information. People are using social media as a means to promote awareness including using hashtags and setting up Facebook pages specifically for disability awareness.

The Ribbons below in staying consistent with the Special Needs Resource Blog, focus on ribbons that bring awareness to developmental disability and special needs issues. Awareness is only a part of educating and training people on disability awareness. Any training activities should also include acceptance.

Awareness Ribbons

Autism Spectrum Disorder- The Autism ribbon continues to evolve overtime. The puzzle piece was first used in 1963 by a parent and board member of the National Autistic Society in London indicating the puzzling, confusing nature of autism. In 1999, the puzzle piece ribbon was adopted as the universal sign of autism awareness by the Autism Society reflecting the complexity of the autism spectrum. Overtime, the both the puzzle and ribbon have become a symbol for seeing autism as something that is puzzling an needs to be fixed rather than acceptance. A more positive symbol includes the infinity loop used as a symbol for acceptance rather than awareness.

Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)

Epilepsy

Cerebral Palsy

Down Syndrome

Purple Awareness Ribbon

epilepsy ribbon

Down Syndrome

down syndrome ribbon

Down Syndrome

Lime Green Ribbon

lime awarenss ribbon

Muscular Dystrophy

Spinal Cord Injuries

Orange Awareness Ribbon

adhd.ribbon

ADHD

Multiple Sclerosis,

Sensory Processing DisorderRett Syndrome

Blue Awareness Ribbon

hydrapany.ribbon

Apraxia,

Cri Du Chat,

Hydrocephalus
Light Blue Awareness Ribbon

Trisomy 18,

DiGeorge Syndrome

Observance Awareness Months

February

Turner Syndrome Awareness

March

Trisomy18

Kidney Awareness

Multiple Sclerosis

Cerebral Palsy

Developmental Disabilities

April

Autism

Auditory Processing Disorder

May

Apraxia

Cri Du Chat

Cystic Fibrosis

Williams Syndrome

June

Dravet Syndrome Day

July

Fragile X Syndrome

National Craniofacial Awareness and Prevention Month

September

Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy Day

Hydrocephalus

Sickle Cell Anemia

Spinal Cord Injuries

October

ADD/ADHD

Down Syndrome

Rett Syndrome

Sensory Processing Disorder

November

DiGeorge Syndrome

Epilepsy