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A Beginner’s Guide to Common Medical Terms

A

AFO

ankle-foot orthotic, a type of hard, moulded plastic brace that provides rigid support for the foot, heel, ankle and calf

Anticonvulsant

medications used to treat seizures

C

CVI

cortical visual impairment, a neurological condition affecting the eyes- the structure of the eyes is fine, but there is an issue with the way the brain receive and processes the input from the eyes

D

DME

durable medical equipment, ex: wheelchair, bath chair, sleep safe bed, gait trainer, hoyer lift, etc

G

Gastroenterologist

Treats the esophagus, stomach, intestines and bowels

Geneticist

Diagnoses and manages hereditary disorders

H

Hippotherapy

a type of therapy done riding a horse. The belief is that not only will the person have fun, but it also gets to muscles that traditional physical therapy cannot get to for strengthening and supporting trunk (the part of the body that your legs, arms and head attach to) control

K

Ketogenic diet

a specific diet that involves regulating the ketones in the brain to change the way the brain uses “fuel”, and should only be done under the supervision of a physician

N

Neurologist

Treats nervous system disorders

Nutritionist

Specializes in food and diet recommendations and provides guidance on digestive complications.
Occupational Therapist: Improves daily living and fine motor skills of patients

O

Opthalmologist

Treats the eyes

Orthopedic Specialist

Monitor musculoskeletal system and assist with equipment recommendations

P

Physical Therapist

Works to improve muscle strength and function through physical movements, exercise, and stretching

Pulmonologist

Treats the respiratory system

S

Speech Therapist

Specializes in development of oral motor skills and communication

SMO

supra-malleolar orthotic, a hard, molded plastic brace that supports the heel and foot arches for better stabilization of the foot

Swim Therapy

physical therapy done in water, where the buoyancy of the water allows for easier movement of the limbs and provides gentle passive resistance to movements therefore strengthening the muscles

V

Vision Therapist

Adapts learning environments to accommodate perceptual-cognitive deficiencies

VNS Implant

Vagus Nerve Stimulator a medical device that is implanted under the chest wall with a lead that attaches to the vagus nerve in the neck. This device sends out a regular electric impulse to the brain to break up any potential seizure activity. It has been called a “pacemaker for the brain”, and can be discussed with a neurologist

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