Physical and Health Disabilities

Low-Incidence Disabilities

Physical Disabilities

Definition: students who have problems with the structure or the functioning of their bodies that are so significant that they impact their educational performance.



11 % of all children in the U.S. receive special education services. Of this 11%, ONLY 0.09% of these students have physical disabilities that require special services.

Types of Physical Disabilities:

Neuromotor Impairments

-Seizure disorders

-Cerebral palsy (CP)

-Spinal cord disorders

-Muscular dystrophy

-Polio

-Multiple sclerosis (MS)


Muscular/Skeletal Conditions

-Juvenile arthritis

-Limb deficiencies

-Skeletal disorders

-Brittle bone disease

-Scoliosis

Characteristics of Physical Disabilities

  • Paralysis
  • Low/altered muscle tone
  • Unsteady gait
  • Loss/inability to use one or more limbs
  • Difficulty with gross-motor skills (Ex: walking, running)
  • Difficulty with fine-motor skills (Ex: writing, buttoning a shirt)

Education Interference (Physical Disabilities)

-Students with CP may have difficulty with writing due to their inability to control their motor function.


-Students with brittle bone disease may not be able to participate in physical education due to how easily their bones break.


-Students with spinal cord injuries may have difficulty with motor skills and find it difficult to navigate school hallways or classrooms.

Health Disabilities

Definition: students who have such severe health problems that they require special medical and educational services.



11 % of all children in the U.S. receive special education services. Of this 11%, ONLY 1.38% of these students have health disabilities that require special services.

Types of Health Disabilities

Chronic Illnesses

-Asthma

-Diabetes

-Cystic fibrosis

-Congenital heart defects

-Tuberculosis (TB)

-Childhood Cancer (Leukemia/Lymphomas)

-Blood disorders (sickle cell anemia/ Hemophilia)


Infectious Diseases

-HIV

-Hepatitis B

-STORCH (Syphilis, Toxoplasmosis, Other, Rubella, and Herpes)

Characteristics of Health Disabilities:

  • Fatigue
  • Mobility problems
  • Inattention
  • Coordination difficulties
  • Muscle weakness
  • Reduced stamina

Education Interference (Health Disabilities)

-Students with asthma may not be able to participate much in physical education due to the inflammation in their airways.


-Students with childhood cancer may be too ill to benefit from any school instruction.


-Students with hepatitis B may miss a lot of school due to their need for bed rest.

Living with Leukemia: Lauren Fights Childhood Cancer

Classroom Accomodations



  • Schedule flexibility is often a big help for students with physical and health disabilities, especially if they need medication.
  • Technology makes is possible for students to keep up with their peers if they are too sick to come to school. This is known as distance education.
  • Teachers can adjust tables, desks, and other furniture in their classrooms to reduce barriers to the physical environment for students with physical disabilities.
  • Proctor/note-taker
  • Communication devices

Home Accomodations

  • Push furniture out of the way and secure any loose objects (ex: rugs)
  • Install ramps or elevators
  • Create a schedule of when medication should be taken
  • Have a PT, OT, or Speech Pathologist come to the home
  • Schedule time to do homework/chores when the child is less fatigued

NDEP

The NDEP website is helpful for parents who want to understand diabetes and what they can do for their child who has been diagnosed.
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Cancer Center

The Cancer Center websites gives children comfort by showing them that they aren't alone in their fight. The website features facts about cancer, questions/answers, and cancer vocabulary to help understanding.
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Proloquo2Go - AssistiveWare

This app turns text-to-speech. The program generates speech by tapping buttons with symbols/icons or typing on-screen. It features a range real children’s voices from which to choose, and can be personalized with a combination of icons and photos. Best of all, this program is easy to customize and personalize on-the-go.

References

Cancer Center. (n.d.). Retrieved May 7, 2015, from http://kidshealth.org/kid/centers/cancer_center.html

Center for Parent Information and Resources. (n.d.). Retrieved May 7, 2015, from http://www.parentcenterhub.org/repository/accommodations/

Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center. (n.d.). Retrieved May 7, 2015, from http://www.cincinnatichildrens.org/default/

GUIDE TO REASONABLE ACCOMMODATIONS. (n.d.). Retrieved May 7, 2015, from https://disabilitycenter.fsu.edu/fac_guide.html#physical

Home | United Spinal Resource Center. (n.d.). Retrieved May 7, 2015, from http://www.spinalcord.org/

Section 504 Sample Accommodations and Modifications. (n.d.). Retrieved May 7, 2015, from http://optimalhearing.com/download/optimalhearingcom/2042-Section_504_Accomodations.pdf

Smith, D. D., & Tyler, N. C. (2014). Introduction to contemporary special education new horizons. Pearson Education.

When Your Child Is Diagnosed with Diabetes: Parents' Questions for the Health Care Team. (n.d.). Retrieved May 7, 2015, from http://ndep.nih.gov/teens/parentsquestions.aspx