Types of Physical Disabilities
Physical disabilities include a wide variety of disabilities that impact a person’s ability to carry out day to day activities such as walking, sitting, standing, washing and dressing, taking part in employment or education activities. They include conditions such as cerebral palsy, motor neurone disease, multiple sclerosis, spinal injuries or deformities, arthritis etc. A physical disability can be something a person is born with e.g. cerebral palsy or something they have acquired later in life such as a spinal injury through a car accident. People can experience cognitive difficulties alongside their physical illness although this is not always the case - for example a person can have cerebral palsy without any impact on their ability to think and process information.
A physical disability is considered to be something that is permanent and will remain an issue for that person for the rest of their lives. This makes it different from something like a broken leg or arm which will heal and allow the person to return to their normal lives.
How can Kate Meads Associates help?
If your child has a physical disability and it is stopping them from doing the things that they want to do then they would benefit from an occupational therapy assessment. An occupational therapist will visit you and your child either at home or school to find out how their disability is affecting them. They will work with you to identify goals and what your child would like to be able to do better – for example getting dressed, doing their school work, walking, getting up and down from a chair etc. They will identify the barriers which are preventing them from doing what they want to do and help you both to think about ways in which they may be able to overcome those barriers.
Kate Meads Associates’ occupational therapists are highly skilled in assessing posture and seating needs as well. Your child may need a wheelchair or a specialist chair for use at home or school and our occupational therapist will assess your child’s postural needs and identify what they need to help them feel comfortable and supported as well as providing recommendations for suitable equipment. In addition, our occupational therapist can assess your child’s mobility and identify ways to help them become more independent, should that be one of your/their goals.
Our occupational therapist will produce a detailed, yet accessible report within 10 working days of the assessment. The report will provide a summary of the barriers that get in the way of your fulfilling their roles and routines as they wish and make a number of recommendations that might help.
Therapies and treatment
Our occupational therapists are highly trained and experienced and are passionate about providing evidence-based interventions to improve functional performance. Each treatment plan will be individual, underpinned by occupational therapy philosophy, taking a person-centred and strengths-based approach. Our ultimate aim is to help a person to achieve their goals and improve their functional performance.
Your therapist will work with you and your child to understand their condition and establish strategies that develop their abilities and function. They will also help you both learn and put into practice techniques that will help overcome some of the barriers as well as enabling your child to focus on their roles and routines. These may include:-
- Development of fine motor skills - using hands and fingers to complete tasks such as handwriting, doing up buttons and shoe laces etc
- Development of gross motor skills such as walking, standing and getting up from a chair or a toilet
- Development of independent in daily tasks such as washing and dressing, cooking etc
- Support to take part in leisure activities and hobbies
- Wheelchair and seating assessment and support
- Implementing strategies in school / employment to help access education such as computer systems to record work e.g. specialist key boards, adapted computer mouse etc
- Providing recommendations on housing adaptations such as ramps etc
The occupational therapist will work with you and your child to identify whether it is possible / desirable to develop their physical skills or whether adapting the environment or an activity, using equipment, is a better option.
Do you or someone you know have difficulty…
- Taking part in daily activities because of a physical disability?
- Sitting comfortably in a chair or wheelchair?
- Accessing work or school because of a physical disability?
Please contact one of our occupational therapists on 01264 326308 for a free “no obligation” telephone consultation to discuss your needs and find out how we may help.