Children with physical disabilities may have problems with gross or fine motor skills, balance and co-ordination, or muscle tone. They may need extra help and support with everyday activities like walking, feeding themselves or holding a pencil.
A physical disability is any condition that permanently prevents normal body movement and/or control. There are many different types of physical disabilities. Some of the main ones include:
When a child has muscular dystrophy, this means that the muscle fibres in the body gradually weaken over time. Children can have different types of muscular dystrophy. The most common type is Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy which occurs only in boys. All types of muscular dystrophy are genetic even though other family members may not have the condition.
Acquired brain and spinal injuries
Physical disabilities may result from permanent injuries to the brain, spinal cord or limbs that prevent proper movement in parts of the body.
They may also have:
Cerebral palsy is caused by damage to the parts of the brain which control movement during the early stages of development. In most cases, this damage occurs during pregnancy. However, damage can sometimes occur during birth and from brain injuries in early infancy (such as lack of oxygen from near drowning, meningitis, head injury or being shaken).
Children with cerebral palsy may have difficulties with:
Children can have different types of cerebral palsy:
There is much more about Cerebral Palsy in the booklet 'Cerebral Palsy - an information guide for parents' written for the Royal Children's Hospital (Victoria)
Some children with physical disabilities will have other disabilities, such as intellectual, visual or hearing impairments. They may also have communication difficulties or other medical conditions such as epilepsy or asthma. When a child has several different types of disability, professionals talk about multiple disabilities rather than listing separate conditions.
The EYFS framework includes two specific points for providing written assessments for parents and other professionals, when the child is aged two and when the child turns five. We observe all children to monitor their progress across the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS). If we have a concern we follow the procedures as set out in the SEND Code of Practice 2015. The procedures form a graduated approach that recognises that all children learn in different ways and can have different kinds or levels of SEN. We recognise that parents know their children best and have a great deal to contribute. Parents’ views are valued and listened to and we operate an open door policy where parents are always welcomed. Where there is a concern we encourage parents to approach a member of staff where time will be supporting children with SEND made available to discuss any issues in a confidential and supportive environment.
We work with a range of outside professionals including Health Visitors, Early Years Help Advisors, Speech and Language Therapist, Advisory Teaching Service and Educational Psychologists to help meet the needs of individual children with SEN
How Can We Help?
It’s against the law for a childcare setting or other education providers to treat disabled children unfavourably. This includes:
At Learning land Nursery we have a duty to make ‘reasonable adjustments’ to make sure disabled children are not discriminated against. These changes could include:
Association for Spina Bifida and Hydrocephalus: www.asbah.org
Association of Wheelchair Children: www.wheelchairchildren.org.uk
British Council of Disabled People: wwwbcodp.org.uk
Council for Disabled Children: wwwncb.org.uk/cdc