Learning Difficulties and Disabilities

This assignment is an extension of the presentation given. The child in this assignment has had to face many problems during his short life and I hope I will be able to address some of these in the course of this written work. Stuart is an eight years old who lives with his mum, dad and ten-year-old sister. Stuart has multiple disabilities, which include epilepsy, adhd and sleep deprivation. All three of these disabilities can have an adverse affect on Stuart’s life and can disrupt the everyday living of his life but this can also cause a ripple affect on Stuart’s family.

For example, If Stuart was to have an epileptic seizure he can sometimes lose almost a full day as when he comes round from a fit he will then sleep off the effects for hours at a time. This is were it can disrupt the family as Stuart suffers from adhd he finds it much easier to cope with living his life to a planned and very precise routine he finds it much easier to cope if he knows what he is going to do for that day and the days ahead. When Start has an epileptic seizure, this can disrupt the day’s routine that his family have become accustomed to using.

If Stuart does not sleep as long as expected his family still find it hard to slip back into the routine for that day and this can them be distressing to Stuart. The social model of disability can have some relevance to that part of Stuarts and the family’s social life as they find it very hard to be spontaneous as this can be upsetting for Stuart. In those sorts of situations, Stuart will be either very emotional or aggressive. The family do try to have as much of a social life as possible, they plan days out but even that can be a chore, as Stuart can sometimes get quite over excited and become loud.

When this happens, people will start to point or stare, as Stuart can get harder to control. This reaction Can have a devastating effect on Stuart and his family, his sister is the one who finds this sort of reaction really upsetting as she is reaching the stage in life were she is beginning to understand what people are saying and their reactions to her younger brother. She also feel that at times she has to compete for the affection of her parents “My sibling always gets the bigger part of my parents time and they always get away with everything because of their problems” (Meyer, 1995) .

Stuart’s sister’s reaction is quite common one Lobato (1990) states that it is a quite common occurrence for a brother or sister of a disabled child to feel a mixture of emotions ranging from love to hate and from jealousy to a strong sense of loyalty. Would Stuart be treated differently if he had a disability which is recognisable other than hidden? People just presume that a child with ADHD is just being naughty or loud and unruly. Have attitudes towards disability changed that much over the years or do we still treat disabled people as if they are second-class citizens?

Education plays a very important part of a child’s life whether they are able bodied or have a disability. Stuart’s family had to fight to let Stuart attend a mainstream school as the school thought he would be a distraction to the other children. In the Education Act (1944), it defines eleven different categories of disability, which included blind, deaf, physically handicapped, diabetic, maladjusted speech defective, partially sighted, delicate, epileptic and educationally sub-normal.

These categories are very discriminating, put disabled children into categories, and put labels on them. The Education Act (1944) did state that all education authorities should provide education for disabled children. The education that they would provide did not have to be in a mainstream environment. The education for a disabled child would normally have been conducted in an institution or hospital environment miles away from the child home. This would only then help to break the parental bond and spilt families up.

This report will attempt to identify and analyse the child’s needs indicated in the case study (see appendix Case Study). These needs will be further discussed with supporting literature around the issues of self -injury and the ability of children …

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