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.
Programs that teach people who are blind and other interested individuals to read and write using Braille, a system that uses raised dots to represent numerals and letters of the alphabet which can be identified by the fingers.
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 four core services: information and referral, independent living skills training, peer counselling, and individual and systems advocacy. 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 provide intensive rehabilitation services for medically stable patients who have sustained a significant loss of independent living skills a result of stroke, brain injury, spinal cord injury, multiple trauma, multiple sclerosis, Parkinson’s disease, ALS or other physical or neurological conditions; and require coordinated care and multiple therapies to address their extensive rehabilitation needs. Services include an evaluation of the person's abilities and disabilities and the development and implementation of a rehabilitation plan that may incorporate physical, occupational, speech and/or other types of therapies; education about modifications in lifestyle that may be necessary including information about diet, exercise and stress reduction; guidance in using adaptive devices which maximize the individual's functional abilities; and counselling for the person and/or significant others to facilitate a positive adjustment to the person's current condition. Patients receive therapy for several hours a day, up to five days a week and return to their communities each evening to integrate skills learned in therapy into their daily activities. Treatment teams may include physiatrists, physical and occupational therapists, rehabilitation nurses, speech and language pathologists, psychologists, vocational rehabilitation specialists, counsellors and case managers. Day rehabilitation services may be provided by general acute care hospitals or skilled nursing facilities.
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 that provide social and recreational activities for people who are recovering from surgery or a serious illness to help them gain confidence and readjust to living and/or working in the community.
Programs that offer a form of treatment for individuals who have movement dysfunction that uses the multidimensional movement of the horse to improve neurological function and sensory processing. The horse's walk provides sensory input through movement which is variable, rhythmic and repetitive. The resultant movement responses in the client are similar to human movement patterns of the pelvis while walking. The variability of the horse's gait enables the therapist to grade the degree of sensory input to the client, then use this movement in combination with other clinical treatments to achieve desired results. Hippotherapy can improve balance, posture, mobility and function; but may also affect psychological, cognitive, behavioural and communication functions. It is typically offered by physical therapists, occupational therapists and speech therapists who have been trained in the process.
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 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 financial assistance to help people with disabilities purchase an autism service animal, dog guide, mobility assistance service animal, psychiatric service dog, seizure dog, signal dog or other type of animal who has been trained to provide specific forms of support as well as necessary accessories such as backpacks and harnesses.
Programs that provide and train recipients in the use of animals who have been taught to help individuals who have disabilities increase their mobility and independence and/or maximize their ability to communicate effectively.
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.
Programs that provide comprehensive, intensive instruction that is designed to teach older adults and individuals with disabilities how to travel independently and safely using accessible public transportation. Skills include crossing streets safely with and without traffic signals, boarding the correct bus or subway, recognizing and disembarking at the correct destination, following directions, recognizing and avoiding dangerous situations and obstacles, dealing appropriately with strangers, handling unexpected situations such as re-routed buses or subways or getting lost, maintaining appropriate behaviour, using specialized equipment and/or devices, and recognizing the need for assistance and requesting help from appropriate sources.
The above terms and definitions are part of the Taxonomy of Human Services, used here by permission of INFO LINE of Los Angeles.