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Children's Medical Services - Special services for children with special needs
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Infant Toddler Development Training
Module 6, Lesson 4

Neurological and Orthopedic Conditions Overview

Incidence and Prevalence of Neurological and Orthopedic Conditions

The incidence of most neurological and orthopedic conditions is relatively rare. For example Duchenne's muscular dystrophy is estimated to occur in 1: 5600 male children and spinal muscular atrophy, type 1, may occur in 1:12,000 children. Even rarer are some of the bone conditions. As an example, osteopetrosis occurs in approximately 1:200,000 births.

little boy taking a bathBecause the disorders are rare, families sometimes must locate close to medical facilities that specialize in treating the conditions or must travel long distances for treatments or consultations. The ITDS can work with the service coordinator to assist the family in accessing information through the internet that relates to a child's specific condition. Many websites are suggested for the ITDS in this lesson. Information of incidence and prevalence of specific conditions is either included in the discussion of the condition or is referenced on a web page.

Health Issues and Treatments

Neurological and orthopedic conditions are some of the most complex conditions that may affect a child. Interventions may require more than two professionals who are best integrated in a multidisciplinary team. Interventions may be medical or therapeutic in nature. Rehabilitative therapies are often needed both pre- and post-surgery to enhance the outcome of function.

The developmental team that works with an infant and toddler who has a neurological or orthopedic condition must maintain contact with the primary medical home and all specialists (e.g., neurologists, orthopedists, therapists). The team may be asked to review requests for adaptive equipment or assistive technology and the ITDS, in conjunction with the team, can prepare for meetings by visiting the library or internet sites such as those listed at the end of this lesson. Because the conditions are rare, the ITDS must be prepared to do the individual research necessary so that supports for development fit into the medical and therapeutic activities of the child's daily routine. Usually there is a need to plan for more frequent breaks during intervention sessions. The ITDS can assist the family by linking them to support networks either through referrals to the Family Resource Specialist or to other parent groups.


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