Sunday, July 23, 2017
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Frontline Issue 96
frontline 96

Articles

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by Jason Carragher

Hi, my name is Jason Carragher. I am 17 yrs old and I go to St Paul’s Special School in Beaumont Woods. I started when I was 6 yrs old and I have had a lot of problems with behaviour and also with my weight. I have always battled with my weight since I was a young child. At one stage I was 16 stone and was not healthy. I ate all the wrong foods and didn’t exercise a lot, but at the time I didn’t understand why my weight was an issue because I didn’t have the same thoughts as a normal child would have...

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Anne Maher on the benefits of a probiotic diet.

The term ‘probiotic’ has become a familiar one in recent years. However, it is not such a new concept and indeed in the early 1900s, Ilya Mechnikov was the first to propose the use of live microorganisms in maintaining bowel health and prolonging life. Now, the term probiotic is used to describe dietary microorganisms that are beneficial to the health of the host. It is not unusual now to be encouraged to take a course of probiotics along with or soon after a course of antibiotics...

Aisling Lennon and Kathy O’Grady say when parenting a child with intellectual disabilities or supporting an aging spouse, it is important that caregivers take the time to consider how they care for themselves.

On 2 July 2014, the Carers Association launched their Pre-budget Submission 2015, estimating that 187,000 people are providing care in the home in Ireland. Caring activities range from providing occasional assistance, to providing full-time care for an individual, be they a child or an adult. Caring can include supporting an individual with their physical care, assisting with the management of symptoms, and assisting with activities of daily living. Caring also involves providing emotional support for the individual...

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Dr Evan Yacoub, Consultant Psychiatrist, Brothers of Charity Galway, says that respite can take a number of different forms and it is important that services can deliver it in a flexible way.

This article outlines the daily challenges faced by families in caring for those with learning disabilities, and the corresponding need for respite services to...

Joe Wolfe explains that services need to focus more on the health and well-being of those with an ID

People with an intellectual disability are, in general, more likely to have poor health than their non-disabled peers (National Disability Authority 2011). This is recognised internationally and has received much attention over time. While there is an argument that sometimes this poorer health is related to the person’s disability, this is not exclusively the case. Indeed, there is growing evidence that the poorer health is often associated with, and influenced by, health inequality for people with intellectual disabilities...

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Andrew Wormald writes that moving older people with an intellectual disability away from congregated settings into dispersed community living can contribute to their loneliness.

The Causal Pathways as described by Hawkley and Cacioppo (2007) that through loneliness lead to decreased physiological resilience.

After spending a lifetime living in closed institutions older people with an intellectual disability are now being moved away from congregated settings into dispersed community living. For many this is indeed a very positive move, however concerns have also been raised about potential unintended negative impact on health and mortality at least for some (Kozma, Mansa & Beadle-Brown), 2009) Like immigrants in a new country some will reap the rewards and some will struggle to adjust. According to the Intellectual Disability Supplement to The Irish Longitudinal Study on Ageing (IDS-TILDA) around 50% of respondents experienced some degree of loneliness and 15% reported that they felt lonely most of the time...

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Michael McKeon, DCU School of Nursing and Human Sciences says that, for those with an ID, walking is one answer to a sedentary lifestyle.

Research suggests that although the health of people with ID has improved over the past 30 years, they still have higher rates of both primary and secondary medical conditions, undiagnosed diseases and unmet health needs compared to the non-ID population (McCarron et al. 2011). One of the most significant current discussions in intellectual disability concerns the health risks from inactivity which lead to increase risk factors for non-communicable diseases such as type-2 diabetes and heart disease (Taggart and Cousins 2014). People with ID do not meet current physical activity guidelines and have high inactivity and poor fitness (Phillip and Holland 2011). Along with low rates of physical activity, poor diet and secondary health conditions contain their abilities to be active (RCN 2011)...

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Ciara Willett, Suzanne Guerin, Fiona Keogh and Philip Dodd argue that because the current definitions of respite do not include a specific time frame for respite, the qualifying duration of respite is open to interpretation.

Over 5600 people with intellectual disabilities (ID) in Ireland use a form of respite each yeaer (Health Research Board 2011). Although respite provision in Ireland has substantially increased over the past 16 years, it is projected that an additional 1211 individuals will require respite from 2012 to 2016. The Department of Health reported that 8000 individuals received centre-based respite in 2009, with a total pay cost of e52 million, and a total estimated cost of e70-2 million. They suggested that alternative models of respite care might be more cost-effective than the centre-based respite method (Department of Health (2012) Value for money and policy review of disability services in Ireland). The policy and empirical literature explicitly states the need to increase the availability of respite, and carers of individuals with ID commonly request this resource...

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Adam Harris, AsIAm.ie founder, explains its role as Ireland’s online support and advocacy service for individuals and families affected by Autism and their professional supporters.

‘Back to School’ is a stressful time for many students and their families, with the competing financial, academic and emotional demands. However it can be particularly challenging for students on the Autism Spectrum. Students with Autism need routine, struggle with many sensory environments and can find it hard to communicate or socially interact with their teachers or fellow students. A new academic year, brings a new routine, new people, new environments and expectations and new social situations – which are the cause of much anxiety for many students on the Spectrum. Many students on the Spectrum will have found a previous academic year difficult, maybe because they were misunderstood, perhaps because they were bullied or struggled to keep up with the curriculum or demands of the school day—this will also have an impact on their anxiety levels as they settle into a new school year...

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Mary de Paor on why it is vital too that disability services should be vigilant to the problem of bullying.

I recently learned about the devastating and continuing effects that a friend’s cyber bullying has had for a woman and her whole family. Several years ago, Susan (not her real name) began to complain about ‘not nice’ texts and online messages she was receiving from a longtime friend (here called Anne). Both young women have moderate intellectual disabilities. Her mother suggested that Susan should delete the messages and tell Anne that she didn’t like them. But the problem persisted to Susan’s growing distress. Eventually her parents saw some of the vindictive emails, and belittling, taunting texts and voice messages...