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Treating Aging Adults With Genetic Causes of I/DD: Down Syndrome & ASD

presented by Cynthia N. Potter, PT, MS, DPT

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Disclosure Statement:

Financial: Cynthia N. Potter receives compensation from MedBridge for this course. There is no financial interest beyond the production of this course.

Non-Financial: Cynthia N. Potter has no competing non-financial interests or relationships with regard to the content presented in this course.

Satisfactory completion requirements: All disciplines must complete learning assessments to be awarded credit, no minimum score required unless otherwise specified within the course.

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Video Runtime: 83 Minutes; Learning Assessment Runtime: 39 Minutes

Individuals aging with genetic causes of intellectual and developmental disabilities (I/DD) such as Down syndrome and autism spectrum disorders have specific problems unique to these diagnoses. As more individuals with Down syndrome and autism live longer, and as the numbers of those diagnosed with autism spectrum disorders have increased, physical therapists and physical therapy assistants in all settings are likely to encounter these patients. An understanding of unique diagnosis-related issues that occur is key to developing effective interventions and health promotion strategies to support a high quality of life and maximize function in these individuals. This course will cover the common characteristics and clinical issues, with a focus on Down syndrome and autism spectrum disorders.

Meet Your Instructor

Cynthia N. Potter, PT, MS, DPT

Cindy Potter, PT, MS, DPT, has worked with children and adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities in many different practice settings, including early intervention, outpatient, preschool, school, community-based settings, and ICF/IDD facilities for 39 years. She earned a BS in biology and English writing from Allegheny College, an MS in health-related professions (developmental disabilities track)…

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Chapters & Learning Objectives

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1. Age-Related Changes in Those With Down Syndrome

This chapter describes the specific changes that occur with aging in those with Down syndrome that can affect function. This includes a focus on the issues of early onset of Alzheimer's disease and how it influences musculoskeletal, cardiovascular, and behavioral changes that can impact physical therapy care.

2. Age-Related Changes in Those With ASD

This chapter describes the specific changes that occur with aging in those with autism spectrum disorders that can affect function. This includes a focus on sensory, psychosocial, and behavioral considerations that can impact physical therapy care. In light of limited research available about physical function in those aging with autism spectrum disorders, the chapter will present best practice considerations.

3. Examples and Case Study: Developing a Plan of Care to Maintain Physical Activity and Motor Function

The examples and case study in this chapter demonstrate the incorporation of intervention strategies based on the specific problems and characteristics of individuals with I/DD with a genetic cause. A case study of a 53-year-old adult with Down syndrome living in a group home setting who has had an increased incidence of falls is presented. The use of the case study as evidence is described based on Sackett’s hierarchy.

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