Young Adults With Special Needs in Group Living Situations

A few decades ago, it was expected that young adults with special needs (YASNs) would move directly from their parents care into a group home that would care for their special needs. While that option is much less normal today, it is still very much an option. There are few different kinds of group living that are appropriate for YASNs just leaving the nest.

Types of Group Living for Young Adults with Special Needs

• Boarding Home / ‘Supervised Living’: A large home owned by an agency that houses 5-20 people. The folks living there get regular but infrequent (often weekly) visits from a supervisor, and have on-call staff handy for urgent issues during the day and early evening, but are on their own overnight. Most such homes offer room and board for a flat fee, though there are many exceptions.

• Intermediate Care / ‘Group Homes’: Similar to a boarding home, but with 24-hour non-medical support available for the residents. Most often geared toward people with minor intellectual or developmental disabilities, and most often a single home will have aides trained to deal with a particular spectrum of special needs.

• Assisted Living Facilities: A facility that offers 24-hour medical support for the residents, including those who need assistance with basic Activities of Daily Life (ADLs) such as dressing or feeding themselves. A small (<10 bed) Assisted Living Facility is known as a 'Family Care' facility in many states.

Questions to Ask About a Group Home

While the categories of group living are fairly clearly divided by level of need, they don’t really tell you much about what day-to-day life is like in each kind of facility. That’s because there’s not really a lot of consistency between facilities; some offer just the bare minimum of state- and Federally- mandated support, and others are significantly more all-encompassing. So before you choose a particular home, be sure you know:

• What is the sense of community like between residents?

• How often does the facility schedule special events, community activities, and so on?

• What unique supports does the facility offer? (For example, do they have transportation available for shopping trips? How about to and from work?)

• How does the facility develop plans for residents with behavior issues? How involved are the residents in this planning process?

• How would you describe the relationship between the management and the local police, emergency responders, and neighbors? (NIMBYism is a big problem with group homes!)

• What can you do to incorporate as much of my old family routine into my new schedule as possible?

The Danger of Group Living: Abuse Is More Common

The one often-unexpected danger of group-living facilities is that, like nursing homes and similar places, there are more opportunities for abuse in group situations. While such situations are less common for young adults than with the elderly, they are particularly common when your special needs include an intellectual or emotional disability. If you’re considering a group home, make certain you talk about personal safety and how to appropriately respond to potential abusers with your family and caretakers.

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Effective Warm-Up Activity in Adaptive PE

Who do students remember the most? Teachers who are passionate. They put their heart into their lessons and connect life expectations/outcomes to their philosophy. Who do staff/supervisors remember the most? Teachers those work with students that have disabilities. Even though they do not receive an award at the end of the year (which they should) or a higher salary, their jobs are the toughest of them all. Even though they won’t go up to the teacher that is working with a student that has a disability and tell them they are doing a good job, in the back of their head they appreciate everything that teacher does.

Working in Adaptive PE class, it can be troublesome to create lessons that make students active. Some of them lack the psychomotor ability along with cognitive ability to perform a skill. Therefore, exercise is at a minimum because you want to create the simplest lesson possible. Well I am here to help that cause in creating an effective warm-up for adaptive PE.

Remember, when you work with a student that has a disability such as autism-if you are bored, they are bored. What is bored? Bored is doing daily walk/jog around the track, your basic calisthenics and static stretching that no one in the world wants to do. There has to be extra excitement and extra juice in your system to get them motivated. They are exceptional people and phenomenal individuals so make sure you treat them like one.

For a student with mental disorder, here is an example, instead of the boring warm-up routines get the kids excited right off the bat. Always make sure there is music playing because it will automatically neurologically stimulate the student’s brain and release endorphins. Give the student any size ball (depending the student, the ball can be hard or soft). Have them line up in a line so they can all see you (no we’re not doing sprints). As the instructor, have them start jogging in place with the ball (make sure you are performing this as well so the student’s understand what to do). They will mimic everything you do. Start jogging in place; raise the ball over the head, in front of you, behind your head. Stop and bring the ball down to their toes, spread the legs and bring the ball down to each foot. Then get things going again, start jumping up and down, high knees, hopping side to side. Stop and have them bring the ball around the body; around the legs, around the trunk, around there head. Praise students if they are accomplishing this task and/or there trying. Transition to having them walk/jog 10 yards (have cones or line to identify where they will be stopping). Changeover by placing the ball on the ground; Have them tap the ball back and forth with their feet. By doing this, you just transitioned right in soccer and ready to start your lesson for soccer. After they tap the ball between their feet, they can dribble now back where they started. The rest of the lesson is history in the making.

This can be transition into any activity. Same transition would apply for basketball, hand-ball, and volleyball. If you are not doing a lesson that implements a ball, this still will be an effective warm-up because if erases the student’s mind of fitness.

This is an excellent way to transition into a lesson. Use basketball, beach balls, volleyballs, tennis balls. Any ball is sufficed to shift into your lesson. Best of all, you will be creating the best fitness of all Fitness with distraction.

Common Warning Signs of Dyspraxia in Teenagers

Coping up with signs of Dyspraxia in Teenagers

An adolescent was already in a tough stage of his life, but when it comes to a teenager with Dyspraxia, it becomes even more difficult as all his actions are related to emotional, physical and educational needs. For them even more love, care, understanding and attention are required by the parents, teachers and friends. The condition may result in frustration, low self-esteem and impulsive behavior in the teenager due to inability to do many things like others. This constitutes dyspraxia symptoms in teenager.

How can Dyspraxia be detected in a Teenager?

They find difficulty in the major areas of functioning in life, such as emotions, intellect, language, movement, speech, social skills, perception and overall growth.

Dyspraxia symptoms in young Adults (Teenager)

  • Feeling clumsy
  • Hindering of motor skills like actions involving small to big movements
  • Overall performance is poor
  • Overall development is poor

Large movements also called Gross Motor skills

  • Improper Physical agility
  • Poor balance
  • Inability in coordination
  • Poor hand-eye coordination
  • Difficulty in coordinating fingers, hands, torso and other body parts
  • Difficulty in Driving, steering, moving hands and feet together etc.

Small movement also called Fine Motor skills

  • Writing is improper
  • Cannot handle small activities in grooming
  • Coordinating with electronic devices which involve fast movement like keypads, cell phones, calculators, mouse etc.
  • Inability to perform Daily Tasks such as washing, cleaning, cooking, dressing, brushing, household activities etc.

Speech

  • Difficulty in Voice control in pitch and volume
  • No Normal speech
  • Pronunciation is poor

Social-Emotional

  • Low self confidence
  • Difficulty in communication
  • Uncomfortable in physical movements

Perception

  • Tripping and falling over own feet
  • Frequent bumping into things
  • Inability to understand speed, weight a distance

Handwriting

  • Poor handwriting
  • Unable to stay in a straight line
  • Improper grip
  • Completing tasks on time
  • Slow in pace
  • Lack of quick muscle movement
  • Lack of coordination

If you even have an iota of doubt, whether your teenage sons or daughters might be suffering from this disorder, you will first have to consult your GP, who would, then refer you to a competent specialist who can make a positive assessment of the child and offer the right treatment. It is generally believed that dyspraxia cannot be completely cured. However, there are some therapies available to improve the motor skills of the children. A comprehensive Dyspraxia Symptoms and Treatment course will have to be followed as Treatment play an important role in shaping the future of the child

What is Althetoid Cerebral Palsy?

Cerebral Palsy usually called CP is actually a term that refers to a group of disorders that affect muscle coordination and body movement in patients. People especially children who are affected by Cerebral palsy will find that they are unable to move their limbs and have very little control over their muscles. Cerebral Palsy occurs because there is damage to certain parts of the brain, which control muscle movements in the body. Damage to the brain can occur anytime during the pregnancy term or during birth or just after birth. Any grievous injury to the brain can lead to cerebral palsy. Alcohol consumption, drug abuse and infections in the mother during pregnancy can also lead to cerebral plasy.

There are different types of cerebral palsy and one of them is Athetoid CP. A child who suffers from this particular disorder can be extremely intelligent than even other normal children. While the brain is highly active, teeming with intelligence the body just refuses to move. This is because the muscles in the body of the affected child refuse to conform to any movement because they are just too loose. The child thus does not have vertical stability and finds it difficult to perform simple tasks like even scratching his or her nose, brushing their teeth or even holding apen or spoon in their hands. The child will have to put in extra effort to focus on his or her muscle coordination so that he or she can get it to obey the commands.

A child with athetoid will be making all sorts of gestures on their face, which can be ugly to look at, simply because the poor child has no control over the muscle. Facial contortions, grimaces and drooling are the most common symptoms of this disorder. All kids with this disorder look like they are performing various dance movements when they actually are not. It is because the child’s feet are unable to carry the weight of the child and this causes him or her to keep pulling their legs upwards like a dance movement.

Patients with Athetoid CP will have knees that are bent inwards not allowing them any free movements because they keep touching each other. This will hinder them form walking, sitting or even trying to be upright for a longer period. You will find them collapsing.

What causes this problem, which is unlike other cases of CP? It is the Basal Ganglia, which is present in the midbrain. The Basal Ganglia are specialized structures which help in maintaining the body posture in an individual and helps perform automatic movements like arm swings during walks. Because the Basal Ganglia gets damaged it results in causing fluctuations in muscle tone through out the body of a patient affected by Athetoid Cerebral Palsy. The rapid change in muscle movement from high to low cause the body to become uncontrollable and movements become involuntary. These symptoms normally disappear when the child goes off to sleep.

Athetoid CP can be treated by various methods like providing speech therapy, music and dance therapy, physical therapy, yoga etc to the child. Muscle coordination can be improved tremendously with these therapies.