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Building Better Hygiene

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Building Better Hygiene 1 Running Head: BUILDING BETTER HYGIENE Building Better Hygiene: A Teaching Project for Developmentally Disabled Amanda L. Branham, Danette Murphy, and Jennifer Nicholas Community Health Nursing 415 Building Better Hygiene 2 When most people look at those with developmental disabilities, they physically see different facial features, different body builds, overweight frames, and some with bad body hygiene. Because of their outward appearance, a lot of people don't take into consideration that these people have a mind and feelings, but at a different level of cognitive ability. Their level of learning has to be specialized in order for them to understand and actually act upon what they have learned. The main aspect of this specialized learning has to be repetition. The brain capacity of those developmentally disabled, even when it is a brain injury that occurred later in life, does not learn after only one lesson of teaching, but has to be taught repetitively over and over until the brain learns that this is a daily function that has to be maintained. A lot of teaching facilities for children don't have a lot of time during a year to teach all of what is expected. One day, at maximum, is spent upon basic life skills and daily functioning. There are more days spent upon how to multiply or divide double digit numbers, which those who are developmentally disabled are unable to comprehend because they didn't comprehend the single digit adding, let alone multiplication and division. Because of this type of teaching in early education, the repetition isn't done enough for them to understand and to remember. Even special education classes don't provide enough repetition to sustain the abilities for an optimal daily functioning level. When those children grow up, they may have the outward appearance of being unkempt, improper clothes, overweight, and bad hygiene. A lot of parents either don't think their children need special hygiene or medical care because they are mentally disabled or, Building Better Hygiene 3 which in most cases, they don't have the adequate funding. ...read more.


All participants at Harbor House have some type of developmental disability, for example, Building Better Hygiene 7 mental retardation, Down's syndrome, autism, seizure disorder, brain tumor or injury, etc and all are older than 21 years of age. Harbor House is an institution that provides programs and services to those with mental retardation. Their mission is to "enhance the lives of people with disabilities through employment, self-determination, education, and community building opportunities, with an emphasis on person centered planning, vocational training, and supportive employment." The staff of Harbor House strives to give a friendly place for disabled people to turn to for assistance. The institution provides job training, as well as, personal assistance for developing personal and communication skills. These skills will allow the participants to feel needed and will help them to be as self-sufficient as possible. Harbor House was founded in 1992 by the parents of eleven individuals with mental retardation. These parents were looking for a place that their children could turn to after they graduated high school at age 21. After this age, many institutions would no longer accept their children because they were considered adults; therefore they needed an adult facility that would still be able to provide services that were similar or built upon what they had learned in high school. Like many communities around the globe, adult assistance is hard to find and even harder to pay for. There seems to be a lack of funding in the government and a lack of participation needed from community members that are required for these facilities to be established. The parents came together to develop what is now known as Harbor House. Building Better Hygiene 8 Harbor House became a refuge for the individuals with mental retardation and had developed reliance upon their parents. It is especially hard when this reliance is established without any teaching of self-sufficiency and then something happens to the parent and the child is left to fend for him or herself. ...read more.


The results ended with a majority of unhealthy foods being less expensive and when taken into consideration the amount of the supplemental income as listed above, healthy foods almost seem to be out of reach as far as money is concerned, especially for a month's supply (Appendix B). Building Better Hygiene 12 Harbor House staff gave verbal compliance to try and implement the participants to brush their teeth after he or she eats, which in worse case, they would have brushed their teeth at least once for that day. The food pyramid mounted in the kitchen or community room, magnet/doorknob hangers, and food comparison chart will be left for the participants to use and if parents need something to go by to decide upon healthier choices. There will be a copy of two lesson plans for nutrition education that the staff may decide to use with participants in the future, along with a copy of all teaching papers used for the implementation of the program. Building Better Hygiene 13 References Schneider, C. (2003, September 24). Crusade for adults is needed as well. The Courier- Journal, p. D:3. Mandrola, J. (2004, October). The most important nutritional factor in heart disease? Kentuckiana Health Fitness. Retrieved October 12, 2004, from http://www.healthmag.com/story.cfm?story_id=5858&departmentid=20&publicat ionID=18.com Rimmer, J. H. (2004). Exercise; program improves physical fitness in adults with down syndrome. Obesity, Fitness & Wellness Week, p. 430. Fisher, K. (2004). Health disparities and mental retardation. Journal of Nursing Scholarship, 38:1, 48-53. Anderson, L.L., Lakin, C., Mangan, T.W., & Prouty, R.W. (1998). State institutions: thirty years of depopulation and closure. Mental Retardation, 36(6), 431-443. Horwitz, S.M., Kerker, B.D., Owens, P.L., & Zigler, E. (2000). The health status and Needs of people with mental retardation. New Haven, CT: Yale University School of Medicine and Special Olympics, Inc. Silver, S. (2000). Periodontal problems in down's syndrome. The Lancet, 355, 812. Rimmer, J. (2004). Aging, mental retardation and physical fitness. Retrieved on October 12, 2004, at http://www.thearc.org/faqs/fitnessage.html Beange, H., Nicholas, L., Parmenter, T. R. (1999). Health targets for people with an intellectual disability. Journal of Intellecutal & Developmental Disability, 24, 283-298. ...read more.

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