SPOT C is an occupational therapy private practice which uses the Allen Cognitive Levels (ACLs) and the Allen Cognitive Disability Model (ACDM) in the assessment, individualised goal setting and treatment planning for people with a cognitive disability. It utilises the latest information on the ACLs, ACDM and Allen Cognitive Level Screen 6th Edition (ACLS-6) to assist a person with a cognitive disability.

What is a Cognitive Disability?

"A cognitive disability is a qualitative reduction in information processing that effects the functions of the whole person." Claudia Allen, 2015.

"Reductions in the whole person's ability to function are caused by biological abnormalities that reduce the physiological operations of the whole brain. Biology reduces the quality of concrete information that captures attention, shortens the length of sustained attention after it is captured, and slows the speed for processing the information." Claudia Allen, 2015.

What are some common causes of cognitive disabilities?

Reductions in how the brain works as a whole unit include physiological causes such as Alzheimer's disease, motor neuron disease, dementia, Asperger's syndrome, attention deficit disorder, autism spectrum disorder, bipolar disorder, acquired brain injury, cerebral vascular disorder, brain tumours, cerebral palsy, down syndrome, dyslexia, foetal alcohol syndrome, Huntington's disease, hypoxia, hydrocephalus, Lewy body dementia, multi-infarct or vascular dementia, multiple sclerosis, HIV/AIDS, Parkinson's disease and Pick's disease.

Does a Person with a Cognitive Disability Notice What Information They are Neglecting?

"You don't know what you don't know", is true in this case. Repeatedly pointing this out to them only annoys them at best.

How can an Occupational Therapist, using the ACDM, assist a Person with a Cognitive Disability and Their Carers?

Methods of modifying activities are created to design achievable lifestyles where they are happy and occupied. The qualities of information that captures their attention is identified and used to enable their best ability to function. Compensatory methods are utilised for information that fails to capture their attention and tasks which are too difficult so they and their loved ones don't need to worry. Keeping someone happy and occupied doing activities that they value, enjoy and captures their attention, reduces the burden of care on carers. Someone is less likely to find themselves in troublesome behaviour when they are positively occupied as opposed to having nothing to do. Having something positive to do also improves their quality of life.

A consultation service may be provided for Residential Aged Care facilities. Activities are designed that residents can do that they enjoy and sustains their attention. This is harder than it looks. This is a cost-effective way of managing challenging behaviour that is more humane than expensive sedation, sound proofing and suffering or being bored to death.

This is a private consultation service located in Sydney, Australia. The reports have been used in a medico legal context to assist in deciding what level of support a person requires in order to live in a least restrictive environment. Please contact Susan Pordage for further details.