Physical and Health Disabilities
Types of Physical and Health disabilities:
Neuromotor Impairments- conditions caused by damage to the central nervous system (the brain and spinal cord). Examples of this are:
Seizure disorders (Epilepsy), Cerebral palsy (CP), Spinal cord disorders (Spina bifida/spinal cord injuries), Muscular dystrophy, Polio, and Multiple sclerosis (MS).
Muscular/Skeletal Conditions- impairments that affect the limbs or muscles.
Examples of this are:
Juvenile arthritis, Limb deficiencies, Skeletal disorders (Dwarfism), Osteogenisis imperfect or brittle bone disease, and Scoliosis.
Chronic Illnesses- a long-lasting condition that can be controlled, but not cured. Examples of this are:
Asthma, Diabetes, Cystic fibrosis, Congenital heart defects, Tuberculosis (TB), Childhood cancer (Leukemia/ Lymphomas), and Blood disorders (Sickle cell anemia/ Hemophilia).
Infectious Diseases- illnesses that can be passed from person-to-person and can be sometimes cured, but not always.
Examples of this are:
Syphilis, Toxoplasmosis, Rubella Cytomegalovirus, Herpes, HIV (Human Immunodeficiency Virus), AIDS (Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome), and Hepatitis B.
Only 0.09% of students who have physical disabilities require services and 1.38% of students that have health disabilities. Many conditions do not require a need for special education. Over ½ of physically disabled students attend their local schools and are a part of the regular school day 80% of the time.
Over 60% of students with health disabilities participate in general education more than 80% of the school day. Slightly less than 1% of all students with health impairments have chronic illnesses and their education needs to be delivered to them.
what its like living with a physical disability: epilepsy
what its like living with a health disability: Sickle Cell Anemia
Useful strategis in the classroom:
Make schedule more flexible
Extend due dates for complex assignments
Alternative settings for test taking
Improve classroom traffic patterns
Provide safe and secure place to store AT devices
In depth with technology
- Skype or teleconference important lectures and class discussions
- Establish communities of practice
- Create virtual classrooms
- Substitute word processing for handwriting
- Permit voice-to-text options
- Special or adaptive pens
- Book holders or page turners
Adapted computer keys
More information on accommodations
Useful strategies at home:
- The use of technology in the classroom can be carried on to the home environment, especially for students with physical and health disabilities who can’t always make it to school because a severe illness.
- Distance Technology, or accessing general curriculum with technology at home or hospital, can be achieved through…
Establishing communities of practice
Skyping lectures and class discussion
Creating virtual classrooms (i.e.. Blackboard)
Infectious diseases. (n.d.). Retrieved May 6, 2015, from http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/infectious-diseases/basics/definition/con-20033534
Smith, D., & Tyler, N. (2014). Introduction to contemporary special education: New horizons. Boston: Pearson Education.