Training Modules



Neonatal is the medical term for newborn. The most common neonatal disorders:

  • prematurity (birth before 37 weeks)

  • low birth weight ( less than 5lbs)

  • cerebral palsy

  • cystic fibrosis

  • Down syndrome

  • Susceptibility to sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS). HHA assist the mother, or the baby, or both.

The only safe place to leave a baby is in the crib or in an adult’s arms.

Always place an infant on his/her back to sleep to prevent aspiration and SIDS. When holding an infant upright you must support the baby’s head, neck and back with one hand at all times

When feeding an infant, the head must be higher than the body, always must burp a baby to prevent discomfort and vomiting.

Formula could be – ready to use or powdered. Warm bottles in warm water- never  in the microwave

When bathing an infant everything must be within reach and room has to be warm.

Umbilical cord care must be done to prevent infection.


Apnea (pg. 428)

Apnea monitor – alerts parents if breathing stops due to immaturity of the lungs or other reasons.

Children have the same basic physical and emotional needs as adults.

They also need plenty of exercise and sleep. Children with disabilities have the same emotional needs as other children, they need love, acceptance, reassurance, encouragement, security, guidance, constructive and consistent discipline.

Children experience stress due to variety of reasons- problems at home at school, unstable families’ illness.


Many factors influence how children respond to stress such as;

  1. How old the child is

  2. What is causing the stress

  3. How severe the stress is

  4. How long it lasts

  5. How often it occurs


Working with children

  • Introduce yourself

  • Maintain routine

  • Give comfort

  • Offer encouragement and praise

  • Do not make comparisons

  • Use positive phrases

  • Listen and answer

  • Do not force children to eat

  • Involve children in household activities

  • Recognize individual needs

  • Be non-judgmental


Infant – 0-12 months

Toddler- 1-3 year’s → learn to speak, gain coordination of their limbs, and learn to control their bladder and bowel. Toddlers love exploring →Lock all poisons and hazards.

Pre-school- 3-6 years→ learn to play in groups, learn right from wrong.

School age-6-12 years→ children development is centered on cognitive and social development. They begin to behave in ways that are common among their gender, and develop conscience, morals and self-esteem.





Mental Health (pg. 436)

A person who is mentally healthy is able to:

  • Get along with others

  • Adapt to change

  • Care for self and others

  • Give and accept love

  • Deal with situations that cause anxiety and frustration

  • Take responsibility for decisions and actions

  • Control and fulfill desires and impulses appropriately


Mental illness is a real disease.

When working and communicating with mentally ill clients do the following:

  • Support the client, his/her family and friends

  • Avoid arguments

  • Listen carefully

  • Do not talk to adults as if they are children

  • Use simple clear statements and normal tone of voice

  • Be sure that what you say and how you say it shows respect and concern

  • Sit or stand at a normal distance from the client.

  • Be aware of your body language


Defense mechanisms (pg. 431)

Common defense mechanisms are;

  • Denial

  • Projection

  • Displacement

  • Rationalization

  • Repression

  • Regression


Anxiety (pg. 428)

Physical symptoms of anxiety and/or related disorders include;

  • Shakiness

  • Muscle aches

  • Sweating

  • Cold and clammy hands

  • Dizziness

  • Fatigue

  • Racing heart

  • Cold

  • Hot flashes

  • Choking or smothering sensations


Phobia (pg. 439)

Anxiety related disorders include:

  • Panic disorder (pg. 438)

  • Obsessive compulsive disorder–OCD (pg. 437)

  • Bipolar disorder ( pg. 429)

  • Schizophrenia (pg. 441)


Symptoms of Schizophrenia are:

  • Hallucinations (pg. 434)

  • Delusions (pg. 431)

  • Common treatments for mental illness are: Psychotherapy

  • Medications.


Substance abuse (pg. 442)

If you see something or suspect something report it to the supervisor





Developmental disabilities refer to disabilities that are present at birth or emerge during childhood.

A developmental disability is a chronic condition that restricts physical and/or mental ability.

Developmental disabilities include;

  • Down syndrome- is most often causing by an abnormal cell division, resulting in an extra nuclear 21 chromosome. A person with Down syndrome typically has a small skull, a flat round nose, small fingers, and a wide space between the first two fingers and first toes.

  • Cerebral palsy-clients have suffered brain damage either while in the uterus or during birth. They may have both physical and mental disabilities. Damage to the brain stops the development of the child.

Muscle coordination and nerves are affected. Clients move slowly, be gentle when handling parts of the body that may be painful.

  • Spina bifida- split spine part of the backbone is not well developed at birth

  • Autism-affects boys more often than girls. Appears in early childhood by age 3.

A diagnosis may be made after comprehensive testing.



HHA’s help teach clients self-care and assist with ADL’s 

Intellectual disability is the worst common developmental disorder.


People with an intellection disability develop at below-average rate.


Clients who have an intellectual disability have the same emotional and physical needs as others have, but, their ability to express their emotions may be limited.

Intellectual disability could be mild, moderate, severe and profound.

When working with a client with an intellectual disability:

  • Treat adults as adults regardless of their behavior

  • Praise and encourage often, especially positive behavior

  • Help teach the client to perform ADL’s by dividing    a task into smaller units

  • Promote independence

  • Encourage social interaction

  • Repeat what you say to make sure they understand

  • Be patient