Any physical force or maltreatment, abusive sexuality activity, neglect, emotional harm, or abandonment/separation experienced by an individual. It is your duty as a respite support provider to report abuse.

Active Listening
Is an intent "listening for meaning" in which the listener checks with the speaker to see that a statement has been correctly heard and understood. The goal of active listening is to improve mutual understanding.

Assistive Technologies
Devices that can enable people with disabilities to accomplish daily living tasks, assist them in communication, education, work or recreation activities, in essence, help them achieve greater independence and enhance their quality of life.

Attention Deficit Disorder and Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADD / ADHD)
ADHD is the most common of all the childhood psychiatric illnesses. It is a behavioural disorder with three major symptoms: inattention, impulsivity, and hyperactivity. Like other disorders the symptoms can be mild, moderate or severe.
Is a complex developmental disorder that typically affects a person’s ability to communicate, form relationships, and respond appropriately to the environment. Autism results from the neurological disorder that impedes normal brain development in the areas of social interaction and communication skills.

Bipolar Disorder
A person who has bipolar disorder has episodes of both mania and depression. The symptoms of mania include distractibility, irritability, grandiosity, racing thoughts, a decreased need for sleep, an increased speed of speech, poor judgment, increased risk-taking behaviour, and a break in reality testing, usually characterized by delusions and hallucinations.

Maintaining a degree of professionalism and being clear on your role when interacting with families. It is very easy for boundaries to be crossed if you are not careful.

Cerebral Palsy
Also known as CP, it is the result of injury to various parts of the brain which enable an individual to control muscle movement.

Bringing a respite support relationship to a positive conclusion.

Dignity of Risk
Being allowed the opportunity, within the bounds of physical safety of course, to try things and fail, and learn from these experiences.

Down Syndrome
Is a chromosomal anomaly that occurs in about 1.3 births per 1,000. Some common characteristics of individuals who have Down Syndrome are almond shaped eyes, with Brushfield spots on the irises, a single palmar crease on one or both hands, small features, and short limbs. Those who have DS also have a mental disability, but exceptional social intelligence.

Dual Diagnosis
Some individuals may have a mental illness AND a developmental disability. This is referred to as dual diagnosis. For example, an individual may have an intellectual disability and mental health issues (mental illness).

Is the general term for more than 20 different types of seizure disorders produced by brief, temporary changes in the normal functioning of the brain’s electrical system. Epilepsy, like other developmental disabilities, may result from brain defects during development which are caused by disease, brain injury, or toxic substances passed to the child during pregnancy.

Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD)
Previously known as “overanxious disorder,” GAD in children is characterized by extreme, unrealistic worry that does not seem to be related to any recent event. These children worry about everything. They are very self-conscious, feel tense, have a strong need for reassurance, and complain about stomachaches, headaches, diarrhea and other discomforts that don’t appear to have any physical basis.

Grand Mal Seizure
This one of the least common types of seizure; yet this the one that most people think of when they hear the word “epilepsy.” Impulses in the brain that are released during a grand mal seizure affect the total bodily system. During a grand mal seizure, the person loses consciousness and convulses usually for one to three minutes.

Intellectual Disability
Is attributable to any condition which impairs development of the brain before birth, during delivery, or in the early childhood years.

Meaningful Life
The ability to make choices that have an impact on your life. To choose what is important to you, what you wish to do, and how and when you wish to do it, as much as is reasonably possible given the situation.

Major Depressive Disorder (MDD)
In children and adolescents, MDD is characterized by at least two weeks of a nearly constant depressed mood severe enough to cause distress and dysfunction.

Medically Fragile
Those individuals who have complex medical needs. Examples include individuals who have serious medical concerns and may require oxygen, ventilators, feeding tubes and medications in order to maintain their health.

Muscular Dystrophy
This genetic disorder causes progressive deterioration of major muscle groups, usually beginning in the lower trunk and calves and eventually moving to the upper trunk and arms.
The inability to communicate verbally.

Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD)
Is an anxiety disorder characterized by pathological obsessions (involuntary thoughts, ideas, urges, impulses, or worries that run through a person’s mind repeatedly) and compulsions (purposeless repetitive behaviours).

Petit Mal Seizure
This type of seizure is a very brief discharge of energy from the brain. It may appear as quick nod of the head, a sudden lapse of activity, or an object dropped from a grasp.

Picture Exchange Communication System (PECS)
A system of pictures that can be used to communicate with someone who is non-verbal.

Psychomotor Seizure
This is characterized by stereotypic behaviours such as rocking on the balls of the feet, tapping or pounding a hand on a table or a wall, or some other repeated motor activity.

P.R.N. Medications
These are medications to be given as needed. These may only be administered when accompanied by a standing order signed by a physician.

Moving a person’s focus from a negative to a positive. It is often a good strategy for de-escalating conflict.

Respite Support
Primary care givers looking after someone who has intellectual and/or physical disabilities, autism, or are medically fragile, have a 24/7 job. They are at real risk of physical and emotional burn-out unless they can receive respite once in a while to do the things in life that most of us take for granted such as: going out for dinner, seeing a movie, going for a hike, participating in sports or other recreational activities, taking short trips, etc.

Respite support, having someone temporarily fill in as care giver, allows primary care givers to recharge their batteries and have a semblance of a normal life.

Respite Providers
Respite providers provide support for a child or adult who has any range of disabilities who requires some degree of assistance. The primary mission is to support and supervise individuals in the absence of the primary care giver and to, above all else, ensure their safety and well-being. Under the family’s guidance, respite workers are in charge while primary care givers take a break.

Separation Anxiety Disorder
Children who have Separation Anxiety Disorder are preoccupied with thoughts that harm is going to come to them or their parents. This disorder is often confused with depression, and a demoralized state. At the core of their anxiety is a perceived threat to the integrity of the family.

Serious Emotional Disturbance (SED)
The terms behaviour disordered, emotionally disturbed, and socially maladjusted are frequently used interchangeably to describe children who have emotional challenges and as a result may be extremely challenging for parents, teachers, peers, and others. Examples of disorders that might fall under the umbrella of SED are schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, major depression, attention-deficit / hyperactivity disorder, and conduct disorder.

Social Phobia
Is an anxiety disorder characterized by the persistent fear of being scrutinized and judged by others and of doing or saying something that will be humiliating or embarrassing. The key is intense self-consciousness.

Spina Bifida
Paralysis resulting from the damage to the spinal cord.