Medical rehabilitation focuses primarily on the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of disabilities to help individuals live as independently as possible. Successful rehabilitation is influenced greatly by the positive belief that individuals can make up for the loss of one sense or ability through training, practice and focusing on their abilities rather than on their disability. Medical rehabilitation may include:
Early intervention is designed to help babies and toddlers meet their developmental milestones. Qualified professionals work with parents and children up to the age of three years old who are experiencing delays in their development. The goal of early intervention is for children to reach their highest level of development. Therapists work closely with parents and other family members to teach them how to help their young child learn the skills they need to develop as they grow such as rolling over, sitting up, picking things up with their hands, walking and talking.
Occupational therapy focuses on developing a person’s ability to do the things they need to do to take care of themselves. This includes a child’s or adult’s ability to do things such as bathing, dressing, eating, doing school work, managing a home or working. Easterseals’ licensed occupational therapists and certified occupational therapy assistants promote independence in self-care, work, school and play.
Speech pathologists, sometimes called speech therapists, help people learn speech and language. They also treat swallowing and feeding problems. Speech pathologists might help a stroke survivor regain their ability to talk, or might help a young child learn to speak. Speech pathologists also help people who cannot learn to talk to use augmentative communication devices like computer-based devices that speak for a person, or a board with pictures or words that a person can point to.
Assistive technology includes equipment and services that allow individuals with disabilities to overcome barriers in the home, on the job, at school or just about anywhere. Assistive technology can include such devices as programs that read a computer screen out loud for people who are blind, computer devices that speak for people who cannot talk or an organization system for someone who had had a traumatic brain injury.
Recreational therapy incorporates the goals of therapy for people with disabilities into fun, everyday activities. By using special techniques and equipment, programs provide leisure time and recreation such as individual and team sports, exercise and craft classes, adapted swimming, outings and camping.
The National Alliance on Mental Illness estimates that mental illness affects 1 in 5 families in America, and the American Academy of Pediatrics estimates that 12-25% of American preschool and school-aged children have an emotional or behavioral disorder. Without support for these individuals and families, the consequences can be serious, contributing to preschool expulsion, problems in school, difficulties at work, drug and alcohol abuse, and homelessness. There are many very effective interventions and treatments for mental health. Up to 90 percent of people who receive treatment experience fewer problems and a better quality of life.
Depression, post-traumatic stress disorder, childhood behavior problems, and Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD or ADHD) are some common mental health problems that might be experienced. Early screening and referral to services are important to a successful recovery. Some interventions might include cognitive behavioral therapy, group therapy, interpersonal therapy, support groups and other community services. Many individuals are helped with the prescription of specific medications.
Please contact Easterseals for more information about Medical Rehabilitation services.