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Children with special needs 19 th October 2009. Possible causes of disability Hereditary factors Prenatal, birth and postnatal problems Childcare and.

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Presentation on theme: "Children with special needs 19 th October 2009. Possible causes of disability Hereditary factors Prenatal, birth and postnatal problems Childcare and."— Presentation transcript:

1 Children with special needs 19 th October 2009

2 Possible causes of disability Hereditary factors Prenatal, birth and postnatal problems Childcare and parenting factors Sometimes it is not possible to identify a clear cause

3 Recognising special needs At birth Through child health promotion and surveillance programmes By follow-up to a parent’s observation and concern By professional observation home/school Prenatally e.g. amniocentesis, scans etc. Following an accident or serious illness

4 Some possible causes of special needs Hereditary factors  Genetic inheritance e.g. Cystic fibrosis, sickle cell and thalassemia conditions, phenylketonuria etc.  Chromosonal inheritance e.g. Down syndrome, Fragile X syndrome  Sex- linked inheritance e.g. Haemophilia, Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy  Inherited disorders are passed on from parents to their children and are always present at birth even if not immediately identifiable

5 Prenatal factors Substances e.g. drugs, tobacco, alcohol Maternal infections e.g. rubella, toxoplasmosis, cytomegalovirus, listeriosis, HIV and some sexually transmitted diseases Threatened miscarriage

6 At birth Anoxia (lack of oxygen) Prematurity Postmaturity Low birth weight Difficult delivery Some examples are Cerebral Palsy, development delay, Erb’s palsy

7 Postnatal factors Infections – bacterial meningitis, measles Accidents/injuries – brain and spine Childhood cancers – leukaemia, retinoblastoma Child abuse of any kind Allergic reactions e.g. eczema and asthma

8 Childcare and parenting factors Frequent changes in primary carer in early years Emotional deprivation Family stress Difficulties with parenting Sometimes it is not possible to identify a clear cause for a special need

9 Key points to remember Conditions present at birth are said to be congenital Congenital conditions are not necessarily hereditary e.g. congenital heart disease, congenital dislocation of the hip Special needs may not become obvious until a baby grows and develops, hence the importance of health promotion and developmental assessments

10 Feelings/attitudes to a diagnosis of disability Class discussion Holland story

11 Cerebral palsy Introduction What happens? Types Diagnosis Management Approaches Implications/additional developments

12 Introduction It is not a disease but a complex physical condition affecting a child’s posture and movement It is caused by damage or failure of the brain to develop in the specific area that controls movement May cause hearing impairment and perceptual difficulties but not learning difficulties

13 Introduction continued Not usually inherited and can occur in any family irrespective of race, social b’ground One in every 400 children It usually occurs at or immediately after birth, but also after brain infections The range of the effects of the condition is enormous – very mild to severely disabled Associated difficulties can include; epilepsy, hearing impairment, visual impairment (especially squints), speech problems, perceptual difficulties and possible learning delay

14 What happens? Before birth  Infections e.g. toxoplasmosis, rubella  Failure of the placenta to develop or function effectively Around birth  Prolonged or very difficulty labour  Prematurity  infections After birth  Head injuries  Infections e.g. meningitis  Brain tumours

15 Types of Cerebral Palsy Whatever the reason for the damage to the brain, it does not get worse; however it does not recover either 3 main types;  Spastic cerebral palsy  Athetoid cerebral palsy  Ataxic cerebral palsy

16 Spastic cerebral palsy Affects 50-60% of all children with CP Damage occurs to the cortex of the brain Results in abnormally strong tension in certain groups of muscles and sometimes pain Areas affected are;  Arms – often pressed against the body, fists clenched  Legs – may be less involved, may only affect walking (legs wide apart, arms outstretched). May be poor balance, slow laboured movement. Severe involvement may result in ‘scissoring’ of legs

17 Athetoid cerebral palsy Occurs in 20-25% of children with CP It results from damage to the basal ganglia which results in involuntary, uncoordinated and uncontrolled movements of muscle groups Thought to be made worse by emotional stress All limbs may be involved. Movement is uncontrolled, jerky and irregular, accompanied by twisting movements in the hands, involving the fingers and wrists If legs are involved then the child may walk in a writhing, lurching, stumbling manner with arms moving in an uncoordinated way Speech may be difficult to understand as the child’s tongue and vocal cords are affected. The likelihood of hearing impairment is increased

18 Ataxic cerebral palsy Occurs in 1-10% of cases It results from damage to the cerebellum which is concerned with balance Child typically finds difficulty in balancing and co- ordinating movements Often gross and fine control is affected Child may walk with a high stepping motion Often nystagmus is present – rapid eye movement In addition to the 3 types of CP, around 15-40% of all children have a combination of effects

19 Other terms used to describe the affects of CP QUADRIPLEGIA – this is the most severe form of CP, all four limbs are affected HEMIPLEGIA – one side of the body is affected PARAPLEGIA – only the legs are affected

20 Diagnosis Early signs Asymmetry in movement or contour – creases in the groin and the axillae may be different on each side of the body. One hand or limb moves more freely than the other Listlessness or irritability Feeding difficulties – poor sucking or swallowing Excessive or feeble cry Long thin baby who is slow to gain weight

21 Diagnosis Later signs Failure to follow normal patterns of motor development Persistence of primitive reflexes Weakness Early hand preference shown (often before months of age) Abnormal postures Delayed or impaired speech

22 Good practice notes Parents anxieties about the progress of their child must always be acknowledged and investigated Knowledge of the norms of development are essential A child who is suspected of having CP will have a full developmental history taken and neurological examination by a paediatrician. An accurate assessment of a child’s abilities will be made in conjunction with a variety of professionals and in partnership with parents

23 Management Early diagnosis allows for the following; The development of a programme of care, specific to a child’s total individual needs and the identification of particular strengths Help to limit or prevent limb contractures (fixed abnormal limb positions) The development of maximum mobility, preventing restricted movement and faulty posture The identification and planning for any associated needs involving hearing, vision, speech and any learning disability A parent may be supported by a variety of professionals depending on the specific needs of the individual child

24 Ensuring physical comfort and developing mobility Handle affected limbs with care Try to maintain good body alignment Avoid situations that cause tension and stress for the child If a spasm occurs – don’t try and control it by force but gently rock the affected part instead Ensure you know how to lift correctly to prevent putting strain on your own back When helping the child to stand, place yourself in front to help balance. Ensure the child’s feet are firm to the floor with a wide base, check the body is leaning slightly forward and encourage to take their own weight

25 Working with the physiotherapist The PT will develop a programme using exercises and aids specific to the needs of the individual child The PT will also teach you how to lift a child to ensure the child has the correct safe support. This will help you to limit associated muscle tension and spasms which are different for each child Your role is to understand this and how to implement the care plan

26 Managing feeding Initially some babies need to be tube fed and this may lead to difficulties learning to suck A baby with CP may have fixed body positions or develop spasms. Consider this when supporting them at meal times In an older child, swallowing may be difficult – place food far back and to the side if the child cannot manage alone Aim to promote independence even if it is initially messier and takes longer Mealtimes should be sociable, friendly times with opportunities to interact and learn – e.g. taste, smell, tactile and language opportunities

27 Physical care Aim to promote independence in dressing Hygiene – non-slip bath mat; dental care particularly important; adaptations may be necessary as child gets older Toileting may be delayed because muscle tension affects ability to gain bladder and bowel control Sleeping – a special sleep position may be recommended The importance of play!!

28 General tips The child may take longer to learn a game The child may tire more easily Always praise and encourage effort A child with CP has the same needs as other children for love security, stimulation and protection. Always apply routine rules and discipline as with any child Treat the child as a unique and individual with their own personality, likes and dislikes – this is especially important if the child has a communication difficulty

29 Various approaches CONDUCTIVE EDUCATION Intensive teaching and learning system Specially trained ‘conductors’ provide the child with a fully integrated day, without disruptions, from different professionals The conductors role is to be aware of and develop all aspects of a child through the establishment of a strong relationship with the child Parents and carers play an important part in the programme – skills learned in the programme should be applied and reinforced in every day life

30 Various approaches THE BOBATH CONCEPT Designed to help the child move more easily It is integral to a child’s daily routine and uses play rather than ‘exercises’ It aims to improve posture, reduce stiffness, increase muscle control and limit random muscle movements Correct positioning and handling at all times is considered to be the key to enhanced movement Involvement of parents and carers is essential Persistence and effort is vital

31 Various approaches BOTULINUM TOXIN This drug lasts up to 16 weeks and is injected deep into the muscle either by local or general anaesthetic It works by blocking the signal that the nerves are trying to pass to the muscles For some children it allows for reduction of muscle tightness and freer movements It is thought that the drug enables the muscles to stretch and so may reduce the risk of permanent contractures It is used in conjunction with physiotherapy

32 Various approaches PATTERNING This aims to help the child’s mobility through a series of exercises that ‘teach’ the undamaged part of the brain to take over the functions of the damaged part Involves intensive, frequent and repetitive rhythmic stimulation (patterning) to their limbs for up to 8 hours a day The therapy is controversial and can exhaust and distress the child Requires huge time commitment

33 Implications/additional developments The range of disability in CP is enormous Drug therapy to control epilepsy Assistive technology  Switches  Communication aids


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