Common Treatments and Therapies
Treatment of developmental disabilities can come in a variety of different forms. The best treatment regimens are the result of an individualized treatment plan formed by a team of health care multidisciplinary professionals. The plan will be based on the severity of the disability and should involve patients, families, teachers, and caregivers in all phases of planning, decision making, and treatment. The individualized treatment plan will take into consideration both the immediate needs of the patient, and the long term prognosis for development.
Behavior therapy is a type of psychotherapy that focuses on reducing behavior problems and promoting adaptation skills. Behavioral therapy uses psychological techniques to improve physical, mental, and communicative skills.
Cognitive therapy is the opposite of behavior therapy. Cognitive therapy focuses primarily on the thoughts and emotions that lead to certain behaviors, while behavioral therapy deals with changing and eliminating those unwanted behaviors.
Physical therapy (PT), or sometimes called physiotherapy, focuses on improving gross and fine motor skills, balance and coordination, and strength and endurance. Your child may be evaluated by a physical therapist to assess muscle and joint function, mobility, strength and endurance, oral motor skills such as feeding and talking, posture and balance, even the status of the heart and lungs.
Occupational therapy, or OT for short, is a treatment therapy that helps people achieves independence in all facets of their lives. If your child has physical disabilities or developmental delays, occupational therapy can improve their cognitive (thinking), physical and motor skills as well as address psychological, social, and environmental factors that impact your child’s functioning.
Speech therapy is a clinical program aimed at improving speech and language skills and oral motor abilities. This means talking, using sign language, or using a communication aid. Children who are able to talk may work on making their speech clearer, or on building their language skills by learning new words, learning to speak in sentences, or improving their listening skills.
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