Programs that offer any of a variety of therapeutic interventions, which may be used singly or in combination, to address the range of social, language, sensory and behavioural difficulties experienced by children and adults with autism and related disorders. Because of the spectrum nature of autism and the many behaviour combinations that can occur, treatment approaches must be tailored to meet the individual needs of each person. Included are behavioural and communication development approaches such as Applied Behavioural Analysis, TEACCH (Treatment and Education of Autistic and Related Communication Handicapped Children), PECS (Picture Exchange Communication Systems), Pivotal Response Treatment (PRT), Floor Time, Social Stories and sensory integration; biomedical and dietary treatments including psychiatric medications, vitamins and minerals (such as Vitamin B6, magnesium and essential fatty acids), treatment using the hormone secretin and special diets; and various complementary therapies such as music, art or equestrian therapy which may be used on an individual basis or integrated into an educational program.
Consumer controlled, community based, cross disability, nonresidential agencies designed and operated within a local community by individuals with disabilities that provide an array of independent living services. All CILs provide five core services: information and referral, independent living skills training, peer counselling, individual and systems advocacy and transition. In addition, many CILs also offer transportation services, mobility training, personal assistance, housing and home modifications, recreation services, vocational programs, assistance in obtaining assistive technology equipment and other individualized services designed to increase and maintain independence.
Programs that provide comprehensive rehabilitation services that help people who have specific types of injuries or other impairments to achieve their maximum level of functioning.
Programs that identify infants, toddlers and in some cases, preschoolers who show evidence of or are at risk for lags in physical development, cognitive development, language and speech development, psychosocial development or self-help skills, and provide or coordinate the delivery of an enrichment program in order to minimize the potential for a developmental delay and to meet their current developmental needs. The program may include early identification activities (child find); a developmental evaluation; a review of family concerns, priorities and resources; meetings with the family to develop an individualized family service plan; service coordination to ensure that the individual and his or her family receive needed services which may include but are not limited to physical therapy, occupational therapy, audiology, health/medical services, nursing services, nutrition services, psychological services including specialized play groups or therapy sessions, counselling, speech and language assistance, special instructional services, transportation, and parenting skills development; and ongoing evaluation of the child's progress and his or her changing enrichment needs. Included are "birth to three" programs and federal, provincial or local programs that address the needs of slightly older children or children not otherwise eligible for "birth to three" programs.
Programs for individuals with developmental disabilities that focus on enabling the individual to attain his or her maximum functional level and which may serve to reinforce skills or lessons taught in school, therapy or other settings. Services may be provided in the individual's home or outside the home in community-based settings.
Programs that assist people who have disabilities to learn the basic skills of daily living through individual and group counselling and instruction, experience and practice in coping with real or simulated life situational demands; or through the use of assistive devices, special equipment and specialized assistants. Services include but are not limited to training in the ability to travel about the community alone; to live independently in a private residence; to maintain health through self-care and use of medical services; to live within personal income; to maintain acceptable grooming and appearance; to deal with legal, family or social problems; and to cope with other requirements for successful independent living.
Programs that provide intensive rehabilitative services on a 24-hour basis for patients who are severely disabled as a result of injury or disease. Services include a thorough evaluation of the person's abilities and disabilities and the development and implementation of a rehabilitation plan which may incorporate physical, occupational, speech and/or other types of therapies; education about modifications in lifestyle which may be necessary including information about diet, exercise and stress reduction; guidance in using adaptive devices which maximize the person's functional abilities; and counselling for the person and/or significant others to facilitate a positive adjustment to the person's current condition. Inpatient rehabilitation services may be provided by general acute care hospitals or skilled nursing facilities.
Programs that evaluate muscle strength and endurance, functional mobility, neuromuscular coordination, flexibility, joint range of motion, cardiovascular fitness and reaction time and oversee, under the direction of a physician, a program of therapeutic exercise and education designed to improve the quality of life, health, fitness and independence of medically-stable individuals in wellness, sub-acute, extended care or home settings.
Dedicated spaces or rooms where sensory stimulation can be controlled (intensified or reduced), presented in isolation or combination, packaged for active or passive interaction, and matched to fit the perceived motivation, interests, leisure, relaxation, therapeutic and/or educational needs of the user. Included may be lighting effects, sensory activities (e.g., blowing bubbles or finger painting), tactile experiences, sound effects, rhythmical music, tasting experiences and more. MSEs offer people with sensory processing disorders such as autism, brain injuries, dementia and other challenging conditions the opportunity to enjoy and control a variety of sensory experiences.
Programs that evaluate the task performance skills of individuals who may be having difficulty engaging in self-care, work, play or leisure time activities and help people across the lifespan participate in the things they want and need to do through the therapeutic use of everyday activities (occupations). Occupational therapy services typically include an individualized evaluation, during which the individual/family and occupational therapist agree on the person's goals; customized intervention to improve the person's ability to perform daily activities and reach their goals; and an outcomes evaluation to ensure that the goals are being met. Common occupational therapy interventions include helping children with disabilities to participate fully in school and social situations, helping people recovering from injury to regain skills, and providing supports for older adults experiencing physical and cognitive changes.
Programs that help people who are blind or who have visual impairments develop the fundamental spatial concepts and skills that are necessary for maximum mobility and independent living. Instruction focuses on moving safely and purposefully in the school, home or community environment; and usually includes procedures for street crossings, travel in unfamiliar areas, utilization of public transportation, and appropriate use of aids such as sighted guides or canes. Training for persons who want to acquire the skills to be a sighted guide may also be provided.
Programs that evaluate joint motion, muscle strength and endurance, heart and lung function and the ability of people to perform activities of daily living; and utilize the therapeutic properties of exercise, heat, cold, electricity, ultraviolet, water, manipulation and massage to improve circulation, strengthen muscles, reduce pain and restore mobility to people who have been disabled by a stroke, arthritis, back or spinal cord injuries or other debilitating conditions. Physical therapists practice in a variety of settings including hospitals, private offices, outpatient clinics, rehabilitation centres, developmental centres, home health agencies, schools and pediatric centres.
Programs that provide comprehensive diagnostic and treatment services for individuals who have speech and/or language problems, neurological disorders or diseases or disorders of the middle, inner and outer ear; larynx; tongue; mouth; or other structures whose coordination and appropriate functioning are necessary for speech and/or hearing.
Rehabilitation oriented fitness programs that develop individualized exercise routines and other fitness activities for people with acute or chronic health conditions such as arthritis, congestive heart failure, diabetes, Parkinson's disease, physical disabilities or other problems which affect their physical functioning with the objective of mitigating the effects of their condition; improving muscle strength and endurance, flexibility, and cardiovascular health; losing weight, if desirable; and reducing the risk of health problems such as heart disease, high blood pressure, osteoporosis and depression. Included are gym and home based therapeutic exercise programs and aquatic therapy.
The above terms and definitions are part of the Taxonomy of Human Services, used here by permission of INFO LINE of Los Angeles.