13 | SCI in Adolescence and Peer Relationships

Adolescence: A Time of Changes and Challenges

General Introduction

For most teenagers, with or without disabilities, adolescence is a period of time full of rapid and dramatic changes that present many challenges. However, teenagers with disabilities face unique challenges that have implications for personal development, family and peer relationships, and healthcare.

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Gabi's Story

Gabi's Story

For 15-year old Gabi, living with spina bifida also meant living with paraplegia. Over the years she had learned to cope with many of the functional limitations associated with her health condition as well as to manage their impact on her lived experience.

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Capturing Gabi's Perspective on Her Functioning

Assessment

At the beginning of the rehabilitation programme (or Rehab-Cycle®) a comprehensive assessment was performed to identify Gabi’s and the rehabilitation team's perspective of her functioning status. The assessment later helped to define the goals that Gabi and her rehabilitation team decided to address during the intervention phase of rehabilitation.

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Learning to Become More Independent

Assignment and Intervention

Every intervention target that was determined during the assessment phase was allocated to corresponding member(s) of Gabi's rehabilitation team during the assignment phase of the Rehab-Cycle®. The respective team member was then responsible for addressing the targets with specific interventions during the intervention phase.

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Evaluation

At the end of the three-week Rehab-Cycle® a final assessment was completed, and Gabi’s progress in the intervention targets was evaluated to see whether the goals that she and her rehabilitation team set in the beginning of the Rehab-Cycle® were achieved.

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Learning Social Skills at Camp

Discussion

Those born with spina bifida are living longer. This means that more and more children with spina bifida are living into adulthood. Consequently, specific issues related to the transition from childhood to adulthood arise, and these issues need to be addressed.

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Literature

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