Physical therapy

Priscilla S. Osborne, Meir Lotan

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


Individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD) often have to cope with an array of functional mental and physical difficulties in addition to their primary diagnosis. The physical therapist (PT) caring for this group of clients has to take into account the vast variability of syndromes, developmental and cognitive challenges as well as the medical complexity presented by our consumers with IDD. The result of such variability is infinite expressions of the IDD diagnosis combined with primary disabilities and secondary limitations that challenges the PT. The uniqueness of each consumer with IDD necessitates the initiation of a specific evaluation and an invention of a new and specifically adapted therapeutic management for each consumer. The PT working with this population needs to overcome a multitude of barriers sometimes masking the physical limitations in areas such as: behavioral symptoms, lack of motivation, cognitive limitations, complex medical challenges and aging. Due to such complexity the intervention approach recommended with this population would be a collaborative model that integrates the knowledge of all allied health professionals into a holistic care management. Despite the fact that individuals with IDD are multifaceted and challenging clients for the PT, literature regarding intervention approaches and guidelines for intervention with this population is limited and in most countries today, there are no structured educational programs that prepare the PT for such a challenge. The present chapter presents some basic concepts which will assist the PT working with these individuals as well as suggest some limitations in existing research and literature which is a prerequisite in improving future management for this group of clients.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationHealth Care for People with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities Across the Lifespan
Number of pages8
ISBN (Electronic)9783319180960
StatePublished - 1 Jan 2016

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Medicine
  • General Social Sciences
  • General Psychology


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