Chapter 4. Clinical Operations

Clinical and Prevention Information Resources

Where can information be found on the treatment of patients with disabilities or other special health care needs?

The AAPD defines persons with special health care needs as individuals who “have a physical, developmental, mental, sensory, behavioral, cognitive, or emotional impairment or limiting condition that requires medical management, health care intervention, and/or use of specialized services or programs. The condition may be developmental or acquired and may cause limitations in performing daily self-maintenance activities or substantial limitations in a major life activity. Health care for special needs patients is beyond that considered routine and requires specialized knowledge, increased awareness and attention, and accommodation.

Examples of special health care needs include but are not limited to the following:

  • ALS
  • Amputation
  • Arthritis
  • Autism
  • Bipolar Disorder
  • Brain Injury
  • Cerebral Palsy
  • Cerebrovascular Accident
  • Dementia
  • Hearing Impairment
  • Major Depression
  • Mental Retardation
  • Multiple Sclerosis
  • Muscular Dystrophy
  • PTSD
  • Parkinson's Disease
  • Schizophrenia
  • Scoliosis
  • Seizure Disorder
  • Spinal Cord Injury
  • Substance Abuse
  • Trisomy 21
  • Visual Impairment

Numerous sources of information about the treatment of individuals with special health care needs are available, both in general and about specific conditions. Several of these resources are listed below:


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