Implications of Physical Disability

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Cerebral Palsy
Cerebral Palsy affects people in different ways - some people experience minor motor skill problems, while others may be totally physically dependent. Messages from the brain can be distorted or mistimed causing increased muscle tension. Messages from the brain may also be mistimed, sent to the wrong muscle, or not sent at all. This affects the timing, quality and synchronisation of messages, generally resulting in erratic movement of the muscles. Only the message path between the brain and muscles is affected, not the muscles themselves. Early intervention and treatment can reduce the severity of the effects of the disability.

General appearance, muscle spasms
Mobility may need assistance of one or more people
Communication, speech
Nutrition : difficulty in swallowing, maintaining food for growth Social
Uncontrolled facial expressions – may cause drooling
Assistance with toileting, location of disabled toilet may be in a difficult or exposed position – discretion to be shown. Interaction with others needs to be planned with appropriate activities Emotional

Families ability to cope
Self esteem of student
Importance of integration/acceptance of peers
Level of dependence
Student knowing person working with them an unfamiliar person may cause apprehension Educational
Recognition of strengths
Medical condition awareness; medication, emergency plan School modifications to access buildings/toilets etc
Fatigue – slower writing speeds
Minor/major perceptual difficulties: eye-hand co-ordination, spatial perception, shape recognition Educational aids: communication boards, electronic devices Language difficulties: understanding ideas, sentence construction, interpreting...
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