Definitions of Words Used in Rehabilitation Programs

Acute Care
The phase of managing health problems which is conducted in a hospital on patients needing medical attention.
Acute Rehabilitation Program
A comprehensive rehabilitation program based in a medical facility. Emphasis is on the early phase of rehabilitation, which begins as soon as the patient is medically stable. Treatment is provided by an identifiable team in a designated unit.
Adaptive/Assistive Aids and Equipment
Special devices that assist in the performance of self-care, work or play/leisure activities, or physical exercise.
Advocacy Organization
A group of individuals who can listen to your problems and ideas and help you find solutions or make decisions. They can guide you through an application process, request special services or treatment, obtain financing for equipment, or resolve disagreements on school issues.
Advocate
An individual who defends and speaks for the best interests of the child.
Case Manager
The case manager helps the child and family to find appropriate medical, rehabilitation, and support programs. The manager also assists in coordination of these services, while keeping track of insurance benefits and cost of care. This professional may coordinate with various professionals and agencies, advocate on behalf of the patient, and arrange for the purchase of services where no appropriate programs are available.
Children with Special Health Care Needs
Children with chronic medical conditions and/or acquired disabilities that significantly impact on home and school life and require ongoing services from professional services.
Congenital Disability
A disability that has existed since birth but is not necessarily hereditary.
Developmental Disability
Any mental and/or physical disability that begins or appears before age 22 and may continue indefinitely. It can limit major life activities. This includes individuals with mental retardation, cerebral palsy, autism, epilepsy (and other seizure disorders), sensory impairments, congenital disabilities, traumatic injuries, or conditions caused by disease, such as polio and muscular dystrophy.
Disability
Inability or limitation in performing tasks, activities, and roles within the range considered normal for a person of the same age, gender, culture, and education. It may refer to a physical, mental, or sensory condition.
Discharge Planning
Children may need medical care or therapy after they leave the hospital or rehabilitation program. A social worker or designated discharge planner helps children and families with planning and arranging for this care to occur. Recommendations are made by the physician, nurse, physical therapist, occupational therapists, speech therapists, and other health care providers involved in the child's care. These recommendations are organized into a discharge plan.
Disposition
Plans for where the child will live after discharge from the hospital and who will be able to help that child.
Down's Syndrome
A form of mental retardation and congenital abnormality caused by improper division of genetic material during fetal development.
Durable Medical Equipment
Home care equipment that can be used over and over again. Examples are hospital beds, ventilators, IV poles, wheelchairs, and walkers.
Evaluation
Assessment of the problems and capabilities of an individual. Also includes recommendations for dealing with the problems.
Impairment
Loss and/or abnormality of cognitive, emotional, physiological, or anatomical structure or function; includes all losses or abnormalities.
In-patient
The child resides in the hospital while receiving treatment.
Intensive Rehabilitation
An active, multi-disciplinary rehabilitation program provided for several hours daily, using a team approach.
Licensed Nursing Assistant (LNA)
A health care worker who works under the supervision of the nursing staff. Nursing assistants provide personal care, monitor vital signs, transport patients, and help promote independence.
Mental Disability
All the recognized forms of mental illness, severe emotional disorders, or mental retardation.
Mental Illness
A condition where there is loss of social and/or vocational skills due to impaired thought processes or emotional distress.
Out-patient
The child lives at home but returns on a regular basis for one or more therapeutic services.
Physiatrist
Pronounced fizz ee at' rist . A physician who specializes in physical medicine and rehabilitation.
Referral
The process of directing an individual to an agency or professional for service.
Rehabilitation
Program to reduce or overcome deficits following an injury or illness, designed to assist the individual to attain the optimal level of mental and physical ability.
Rehabilitation Engineering
Use of technical advances, physics, computer science, and other scientific devices to aid in improving the quality of life for the person with a disability. Examples include computerized communication boards and mechanically-assisted wheelchairs.
Rehabilitation Technician
The person who uses rehabilitation engineering to improve patients' quality of life.
Residential Care
Care provided in a 24-hour residential environment outside the home; includes 24-hour provision of or access to support personnel capable of meeting the child's needs.
Special Education
Specially designed instruction that meets the individual needs of the child.
Subacute
The prefix "sub" means under, below, or less than. A subacute condition is one which has not reached, or has already passed through, the acute phase.
Subacute Rehabilitation Program
A subacute rehabilitation program may follow acute rehabilitation. It is not necessarily hospital based. There is an identifiable team and program with a specialized unit.
Support Group
A group established for families and/or persons with disabilities to discuss the problems they may be having in coping with their life situation and to seek solutions to these problems.
Vocational Services
Services to facilitate the transition to employment of vocationally disadvantaged adolescents who experience emotional, mental, physical, or social disability.