Developmental disorder

“My name is Camilla and I am 43 years old. I live with my partner Daniel in an apartment in a group home. It's lovely having the staff close by, because they look after the laundry and my money - just so long as they don't come and bother us too often. I work at the Sunflower Café. Sometimes I get to work at the hotel as well, and when I do I splash out and get a taxi there. It's good to work, but hard, especially when you have to make sandwiches or clean the coffee machine. Because I'm so good at singing, I'm also a member of a choir. Some weekends I go to see my mum and dad, and when I do I buy scratch lottery cards! I have Down's syndrome and I'm 'mad and proud'!”

Developmental disorder is also known as intellectual disability or cognitive disability, and it means that you have difficulty understanding and learning certain things. Having a developmental disorder affects your entire life, but good routines and aids can make daily life easier. A developmental disorder may be the result of many different causes. It is quite common to have other diagnoses at the same time as a developmental disorder. It could be epilepsy, CP (Cerebral Palsy), Autism or other disabilities such as impaired vision. It is also common to have heart problems, depression, sleep disorders, eating disorders and obesity.

What can it be like to live with a developmental disorder?

  • You may have difficulty knowing when things need to be done and in what order, so it's easy to become passive.
  • It is easy to miss out important parts of what you are supposed to do because you have been distracted by something else.
  • You might often forget things that are going to happen or already have happened.
  • You might have difficulty managing money and understanding abstract things.
  • You might “run away” sometimes.

There are different degrees of developmental disorder:

  • A mild developmental disorder means that you can cope with most things yourself, but still need help with some practical things such as managing your finances and time.
  • With moderate developmental disorder, you can usually talk and understand the sort of thing that is involved with daily life. You need support from people who make sure that you are all right and help out with e.g. food, clothes, times and finances.
  • If you have a severe developmental disorder, you are unable to talk, but instead express how you feel and what you want using your body, your voice and facial expressions. You need assistance from people you know in order to be understood.

In Sweden, roughly one in every hundred people has a developmental disorder. About a third of these have a moderate or severe intellectual disability.
Having a developmental disorder means struggling with abstract thought, in other words the ability to perform mental calculations and consider consequences. It takes longer to learn and understand various things. However, you have the same need for security and love as anyone else, but you might express your feelings in a different way.
Exercise and the chance to have new experiences mean that people with developmental disorders can improve what they can as well as their ability to be involved in various areas.

How can we help you?
A developmental disorder is not a physical or mental illness. There is no cure, but it is possible to compensate for functional disability by means of good routines and various aids.
We at Abilia can help you when you feel that you no longer have control over what is happening in your environment. We have a wide range of different digital calendars that can support you in your daily life. For example, by getting an overall picture of your day and how it is structured, following clear instructions in order to be able to do things by yourself, being reminded of things that need to be done, getting support with money management, sense of time and theoretical concepts. You can feel confident even when you are away from your home because you can take your calendar everywhere you go. There are built-in functions such as emergency management. This means that you can quickly press a button if you feel afraid or if you suddenly get ill, and you will be given immediate help with what you should do and who you should contact. You can also keep a check yourself on how you are and check your stress level with the help of various questionnaires that you yourself compile to meet your own needs.

Our aids are also a great help for those around you, as they can be informed of how you are, what you are doing and if you are trying to run away – all without them having to be in the vicinity.

Below you can see some of the products for you with developmental disorder:

 
 Lightwriter SL40Emfit Epilepsy Alarm