Most of us are familiar with the term rehabilitation, which is the process of reteaching someone a skill they’ve already fully developed, such as walking again after an accident.
Habilitation, though similar in scope, is a different type of service. According to the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA) habilitation refers to services that assist those who may not have developed certain skills, such as a child who is not talking as expected for his or her age or an adult with intellectual disabilities or disorders.
Put simply, habilitation helps individuals at different points in their life address functional abilities. These specialized services enable people to learn, keep, or improve skills that may not have fully developed.
The Consortium for Citizens with Disabilities (PDF) suggests that habilitation services help patients live an independent life at home and in their community.
BAYADA Habilitation is an accredited program that helps clients with a variety of developmental disabilities, such as autism spectrum disorders, intellectual disabilities, or cerebral palsy.
Our approach to habilitation involves teaching clients to do things for themselves.
We work to help our clients live a safe and independent life, while offering periodic relief for family members and caregivers through respite services.
Last year, Jeanne Wilcox, professor of speech and hearing science at Arizona State University, spoke passionately about the importance of habilitative services during a congressional briefing. Click here to read more.
"Habilitation is not about waiting for an individual to fail to develop essential skills," said Wilcox, who serves as vice president for academic affairs in speech-language pathology at ASHA. "Rather, it is focused on making sure that at-risk individuals develop foundational skills to help them achieve more complex functions throughout their lives."
She concluded by saying "Habilitative services aren’t a luxury. They are a wise investment in human potential for about 43 million people or 14 percent of our population."
To learn more about our habilitation services, visit our BAYADA Habilitation page.
To find a location that offers habilitation services near you, visit our Locations page.