Thursday, June 13, 2024

How To Help A Child With Physical Disability

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Helping children with physical disabilities

The following are some practical tips for teaching students with physical disabilities.

  • Remove obstacles and arrange furniture to ensure clear passage to where you will sit and conduct any meeting.
  • Consider an assistive device as an extension of the persons personal space.
  • Remember that most power wheelchairs are controlled by a hand-held device and should be left for the individual to control.
  • If a conversation is expected to last longer than a few moments, suggest an area nearby that is comfortable for all parties to be seated.
  • Speak directly to the person, not to an accompanying support person.
  • If you are not sure what to do, ask, Can I help?

What Are The Child Disability Tax Credit And The Child Disability Benefit

These two programs are related but different. Firstly, the Child Disability Tax Credit is a tax credit based on the taxes you paid or will pay annually. This means that you will not receive any DTC if you have not filed or paid any taxes for that year.

Meanwhile, the Child Disability Benefit is a program that is meant to directly assist Canadians with raising their children with impairments. This means that you are still able to receive the CDB even if you have no taxable income for the year.

The reason that these two programs are normally put together is that your eligibility to receive CDB is reliant on your eligibility to receive DTC.

NOTE: Registered Disability Savings Plan

While not directly related to the Child Disability Tax Credit or the Child Disability Benefit, once a person is eligible to receive the Disability Tax Credit he/she is also eligible to open an Registered Disability Savings Plan account. An RDSP account is similar to the RRSP wherein a portion of your deposited money is matched by the government.

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Finally Trust Your Knowledge And Instincts

Whatever the needs of the children in your classroom, learn to trust your instincts and rely on your professional expertise and judgment. Be willing to seek help from others who have valuable experience and knowledge to share with you. These are important things you can do not just for children with disabilities but for every child in your classroom!

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Watch And Interpret Facial Expressions

Children often use unique facial expressions, sounds and body language to communicate. For example:

  • smiling, frowning or pouting
  • turning their head away to mean no
  • using their eyes to point to people or objects.

It is therefore important to remember:

  • nearly every sound and action your child makes is meaningful.
  • all children communicate differently.

Support For Parents With A Physical Disability

What Is Ataxic Cerebral Palsy (CP)?

You can get support to carry out parenting tasks like feeding, bathing and dressing. The type of support you need depends on your disability, but there are many services, technologies and assistive devices that can help with daily family life.

If you need support, contact a disability advocate or an NDIS local area coordinator.

A disability advocate is someone who can help parents say what they want for their families. They can also help parents find and understand information about supports and services.

An NDIS local area coordinator is someone who works with the NDIS. A LAC can help parents understand how the NDIS works. They can also help parents find and use community supports, services and activities, as well as other government services.

You can also speak to your GP about local support services and health or disability professionals. This might include occupational therapists, who can give you ideas for adapting your physical environment to your particular needs.

Sharing your ideas and experiences with others in similar situations can also help, especially if you feel isolated. A great way to do this is by joining a face-to-face or an online support group.

If you have a physical disability, you might be able to get funding from the National Disability Insurance Scheme for support services, home modifications and equipment.

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Tap Into The Expertise Of Special Education Professionals

If a child has an identified disability or developmental delay, he receives services specified in his Individualized Education Program . The childs teacher should either be given a copy of the IEP or opportunities to review it. Dont hesitate to ask the special education teacher, early intervention coordinator, or administrator to explain anything that is confusing. They can help you adapt and modify your curriculum, physical space, materials, and educational expectations so the child can participate as fully as possible in classroom routines and activities. These professionals can also support you in identifying the childs strengths and interests, helping you find relevant ways to connect your teaching to each child.

Speech, physical, and occupational therapists who work directly with a child can also brainstorm adaptations and modifications with you. For example, for a child who has difficulty with balance and large motor control, a physical therapist could provide a special chair for the classroom and work with you to find other comfortable seating options that let the child be part of the group.

Talk About Who Is Helping Your Child

Rather than focus on all the bad things about your childs disability, talk about all the people who are making a big effort to help them. Discuss how scientists are researching the condition and what theyre hoping to discover.

Also, talk about how their physicians, therapists, teachers, and coaches are invested in helping them reach their greatest potential. Remind them there are many people on their team supporting their efforts.

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Focus On Your Childs Strengths

Dont let all your conversations be about your childs disability. Invest a lot of time into talking about strengths, too.

Tell people if they are good at math or a talented artist. Make it clear that their disability doesn’t define them.

Make sure they know that a physical disability doesnt have to keep them from succeeding in school and a learning disability doesnt mean they cant excel academically. They just might need some extra help in reaching goals.

Talk about all the things they’re good at and remind them of all the things you love about them. A child who can recognize;skills and talents is much more likely to feel competent and confident.

Helping Children With Learning Disabilities Tip : Take Charge Of Your Childs Education

Helping children with physical disabilities

In this age of endless budget cuts and inadequately funded schools, your role in your childs education is more important than ever. Dont sit back and let someone else be responsible for providing your child with the tools they need to learn. You can and should take an active role in your childs education.

If there is demonstrated educational need, the school is required by law to develop an Individualized Education Plan that delivers some educational benefit, but not necessarily one that maximizes student achievement. Parents who want the best for their kids may find this standard frustrating. Understanding special education laws and your schools guidelines for services will help you get the best support for your child at school. Your child may be eligible for many kinds of accommodations and support services, but the school might not provide services unless you ask for them.

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Helping Parents Deal With The Fact That Their Child Has A Disability

Being told that your child has a disability can be as traumatizing as learning of a family member’s sudden death. Many parents are stunned by such news. Receiving such a message can produce overwhelming emotions of shock, disbelief, anxiety, fear, and despair. Within that moment, research has shown that some parents cannot distinguish between the unconscious wish for an idealized normal child from an unthinkable, sudden reality of one who is not.

For some parents, just trying to comprehend the disparity between their desires for their child and the disability that exists compounds their emotional and intellectual efforts to adjust to the situation. They may feel grief, depression, or shame. Some may also ask questions of “why me” and conclude that they are being punished for sins or bad acts of the past. Depending on the severity of the disability and the magnitude of the demand for coping, a few parents may even contemplate death for the child or themselves These thoughts represent an all- encompassing need to achieve inner peace.

Be Matter Of Fact In Your Conversations

Putting too much emotion into your conversations will influence how your child feels. Expressing sadness over their limitations or anxiety over their future could cause your child to experience those emotions too.

Present information about your child’s disability in a matter of fact manner. Talk about the science behind your childs disability, or acknowledge that while other kids can take the stairs, they need to use an elevator. But dont insert too much opinion about those things.

Steer clear of lengthy lectures and long-winded inspirational speeches. Your child will learn more about their abilities and their future potential based on what you do, rather than what you say.

If you treat them like a capable kid, they’ll be more willing to see themself that way.

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Specific Ways Child Care Providers Can Support Children With Physical Disabilities

Here are some specific ways child care providers can support the learning of children who have physical disabilities.

Make it easy to move around in play areas.

  • Use heavy, stable furniture and equipment that cannot be easily knocked over.
  • Remove rugs that can be tripped over, or tape them down.
  • Arrange furniture and equipment with a wide aisle so children can move around more freely.
  • Provide a safe place for walkers, crutches, wheelchairs, or canes so other children do not trip over them.
  • Work with parents to find comfortable ways for a child to sit. A corner with two walls for support, a chair with a seat belt, or a wheelchair with a large tray across the arms are three possibilities that may help children with certain physical disabilities participate more fully in child care activities.
  • Make objects more steady. For example, secure paper, mixing bowls or wood blocks to the table or floor so they remain in place as the child paints, draws, stirs or hammers.

Adapt learning activities.

Teach classmates how to help a child with a physical disability.

Specific Ideas For Child Care Providers To Help Children With Physical Disabilities

Helping a child with disabilities

Working with children who have physical disabilities requires thoughtful planning for child care providers. Children with physical disabilities need different types and amounts of assistance and support in order to participate fully in their child care program. Child care providers who are including a child with a physical disability need to get input from the parents, professionals working with the child, and the child himself or herself. That input can help the child care provider make specific plans to accommodate the child in the child care program.

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Supporting And Empowering Family

Youre the heart of the family

Many factors can influence the well-being of a family. One factor is certainly the emotional and physical health of the parents. You, as parents, are definitely the heart of the family. You are the ones who deal with the issues associated with your childs disabilitydoctors, child care providers, family members, your childs school, the professionals who work with your child. You also maintain the household working to pay the bills, shopping, cooking, cleaning up, taking care of other children. Is it any wonder that many parents of children with disabilities report times of feeling overwhelmed?

Therefore, it is very important for you, as parents, to take some time to care for yourselves as individuals: getting enough sleep, eating regular meals, taking a short walk, and doing the things that you really enjoy, even if you can only squeeze them in occasionally. As one mother relates:

I would sometimes retreat to my tower and pretend that I had no responsibilities other than to amuse myself with a good book or a soothing tape. The respite usually didnt last more than a half hour, and it was never enough, but it helped me break the martyr pattern of thinking I was required to live and breathe only for my children.

Sharing the duties of providing care is also necessary, although couples report that they often have to work hard at communicating in order to achieve the we-ness that goes behind teamwork.

Brothers and Sisters

Student Earned Income Exclusion

Usually, if you make too much money, your SSI benefit will either decrease or be eliminated altogether. There are some exceptions to this rule, however, which SSI calls exclusions.

One of those exclusions is the Student Earned Income Exclusion . This exclusion allows students to earn up to $1,930 per month, and up to $7,770per year, without having those wages count as part of their countable income.

You make $1,050 per month at a summer job. During the school year, you also make $350 each month at a work-study job. Since the money you make doesnt exceed the monthly and annual limits for the SEIE, your SSI benefit wont decrease at all.

If you drop out of school, you will no longer get the SEIE, and you will get a smaller benefit than you would if you stayed in school. Stay in school! Youll get more money thanks to the SEIE, and when you graduate youll get a higher paying job thanks to your degree!

In order to qualify for the SEIE, you have to be under 22, working, and regularly attending school. That usually means you have to go to school more than:

  • 8 hours a week for college students
  • 12 hours a week for grades 7-12, or
  • 12-15 hours a week for employment training

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Impact Of A Physical Disability

The impact of physical disability on learning will vary but for most students the issues of most significance relate to physical access, manipulation of equipment , access to computers, participation in field trips and the time and energy expended in moving around campus. ;Students may be affected in the following ways:

Access Information And Services

Difficulties in helping children with physical disability learn

One of the first things you can do that may prove enormously helpful, now and in the future, is to collect informationinformation about your childs disability, about the services that are available, and about the specific things you can do to help your child develop to the fullest extent possible. Collecting and using the information available on disability issues is a critical part of being a parent of a child with special needs. Fortunately, there is a great deal of information available on many disabilities and many disability issues.

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When It Comes To Learning Disabilities Look At The Big Picture

All children need love, encouragement, and support, and for kids with learning disabilities, such positive reinforcement can help ensure that they emerge with a strong sense of self-worth, confidence, and the determination to keep going even when things are tough.

In searching for ways to help children with learning disabilities, remember that you are looking for ways to help them help themselves. Your job as a parent is not to cure the learning disability, but to give your child the social and emotional tools they need to work through challenges. In the long run, facing and overcoming a challenge such as a learning disability can help your child grow stronger and more resilient.

Always remember that the way you behave and respond to challenges has a big impact on your child. A good attitude wont solve the problems associated with a learning disability, but it can give your child hope and confidence that things can improve and that they will eventually succeed.

Physical Disabilities Implications For Learning

Physical disability may have an impact on some or all activities to a greater or lesser extent. Students with physical disabilities may have problems related to movement, posture , grasping or manipulating objects, communication, eating, perception, reflex movements, and/or automatic motricity .

The initial barrier experienced by many students with physical disabilities is physically accessing the learning environment itself. For many students with physical disabilities the inaccessibility of buildings and surrounding areas is a problem.4

Students with physical disabilities and neurological conditions may also have perceptual difficulties that can take various forms. Some students have difficulty actually receiving information by hearing or sight, while others can see or hear, but cannot process the information they receive. This can cause difficulties with reading and writing, such as locating the correct place on the page, or moving from left to right when reading and writing.

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Use The Universal Language Of Music

In some cases, music can be a great way to bridge the gap between classmates of varying abilities and needs. Even if a child is non-verbal or has physical limitations, they can still connect with music because it is universally understood across the world. They can enjoy the antics and voices of their classmates, and they can connect with the words, even to songs that are silly. As children grow older, they may also be able to bond over the love of a particular genre of music or a band they both enjoy. This can be especially helpful for tweens and teens who are looking for ways to connect with a classmate with special needs.

Tips For Helping Parents Accept Their Child’s Disability

Chayton using his muscles
  • Relay a diagnosis with compassion and an appropriate degree of hope for the child and parents. Research findings show that the manner in which a diagnosis is explained to parents can have a profound and prolonged effect on the parent’s attitudes toward their child and professionals.
  • Ask parents how much and what types of communication they find helpful and build rapport with honesty and caring.
  • Encourage parents to ask questions and express their emotions.
  • Know the resources available to assist the child and parents.
  • Try to determine each time you communicate with the parents their level of adjustment and assess what they have been able to internalize and understand regarding what you have discussed.
  • Reinforce the practice of parent participation in helping their child learn and develop.
  • Readily admit to unknowns and seek answers to parents’ inquiries.
  • Understand and accept parental ascendance through the stages of adjustment as being a normal process and support them. However, adjustment can speed the process of achieving acceptance. It can, in turn, provide educators and related personnel with a majority of knowledgeable and supportive parents to assist them in the demanding tasks of reasonably meeting all children’s needs.

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