Physiotherapy is a healthcare profession that aims to restore, maintain and develop maximum movement and function throughout life. This is essential in the area of intellectual and physical disabilities in order to promote maximum independence for every service user at every stage of life.
Description of Physiotherapy in the Brothers of Charity
Physiotherapists in the Brothers of Charity work with intellectual and physical disabilities in a variety of settings and with all age levels. This involves specific conditions such as cerebral palsy, Down Syndrome, chromosomal and genetic conditions, developmental and gross motor delays, balance and co-ordination difficulties, autism spectrum disorders as well as a range of intellectual disabilities.
Services are divided into specific areas such as;
- Early Intervention Services
- School Age Services
- Adult Services
These services are held within home environments, designated treatment centres or therapy rooms, special or mainstream preschools & schools, day centres and residential centres.
Each service user is individually assessed and recommendations are made accordingly to meet their needs. This includes the amount of physiotherapy input required, type of exercise plan required, need for referral to another member of the multidisciplinary team or need for orthotics or postural management. Therefore, physiotherapy is based on a consultancy role whereby all service users referred to the department are assessed but the recommendations are implemented by the family, staff or service user themselves.
Physiotherapy sessions can be an individual one-to-one session or group based sessions.
It involves gross motor development, postural management, orthotic and orthopaedic assessment and monitoring, sensory integration and management of respiratory conditions. As part of the consultancy role, physiotherapists are involved in training the individual, families and staff to carryout the exercise and treatment programmes, with periodic reviews from the physiotherapist. Therapies are based on clinical reasoning, assessment and best practice treatments to all service users. This also encompasses the wider psychological and social aspect of the individual and their family.
As every service user is completely individual the physiotherapy department covers a wide area of skills including neurology, respiratory, musculoskeletal, paediatrics & geriatrics, orthopaedics, biomechanics and the use of orthotics, postural management, sensory integration and the prescription of equipment.
Physiotherapists work as part of a wider multidisciplinary team with a client centred approach to the delivery of healthcare. This involves every key member of the service user’s life; family, teachers, special needs assistants as well as the medical and allied health professionals; doctors, nurses, occupational therapist, speech and language therapist, behavioural therapist, social worker and orthotist.