Physical And Medical Needs (P+M)
Some young people who experience physical and medical difficulties have no problems in accessing the curriculum and in learning effectively. There is a wide range of physical and medical disabilities and children cover the whole ability range. Some young people are able to access the curriculum and learn effectively without additional educational provision. Their difficulties may mean they need some short term support, but it should not be assumed that they have special educational needs
Some young people's physical/medical needs cannot be met by universal, whole school or class approaches over a sustained period of time. Physical difficulties or impairment may arise from:
physical, neurological or metabolic causes such as cerebral palsy, achondroplasia, or spina bifida
severe trauma, perhaps as a result of an accident, amputation or serious illness
degenerative conditions, like muscular dystrophy (Duchenne)
moderate or severe gross motor and/or fine motor dysfunction in conjunction with other learning difficulties e.g. dyspraxia and autistic spectrum disorders
moderate or severe difficulties with fine and/or gross motor movements without any specific attributable causes
Physical difficulties may result in:
- difficulties in safely accessing the physical environment, facilities and equipment, whole school and class activities (including assessments, practical lessons, information and communication technology),
- difficulty in achieving independent self-care skills,
- difficulties in communicating through speech and other forms of language, emotional stress and physical fatigue.
Hearing Impairment (HI)
Many young people have some degree of hearing difficulty (identified by medical practitioners), which may be temporary or permanent. Temporary hearing losses are usually caused by the condition known as ‘glue ear’ and occur most often in the early years. Such hearing losses fluctuate and may be mild or moderate in degree. This may mean they need some short term support, but it should not be assumed that they have special educational needs.
Some young people's physical/medical needs cannot be met by universal, whole school or class approaches over a sustained period of time. Their difficulties may show themselves in the following ways:
persistently appearing to ignore and/or misunderstand instructions
difficulties in understanding or responding to verbal cues
difficulties in communicating through spoken language/interactions with peers and adults
difficulties with language-related topics and in understanding new/complex concepts
frustrations and anxieties arising from a difficulty to communicate, leading to associated behavioural difficulties and peer relationships
tendency to rely on peers, observing behaviour and activities to cue into expected responses
tendency to withdraw from social situations and an increasing passivity and absence of initiative
increasingly using additional strategies to facilitate communication.
Visual Impairment (VI)
Some young people may have visual impairment (identified by medical practitioners). Visual impairments take many forms and have widely differing implications for educational provision. Most young people's visual needs will be met by universal approaches. This may mean that young people need some short term support, but it should not be assumed that they have special educational needs.
Some young people's visual needs cannot be met by universal whole school or class approaches over a sustained period of time. These young people may have difficulty:
- accessing the curriculum
- reading the board from a distance
- reading normal print
- sharing text books and worksheets
- accessing computer software
- participating socially with other young people
- participating in PE and games as well as other aspects of mobility
- with independent working and self-help skills.
A few young people's needs cannot be met by universal or targeted interventions and support approaches alone. Their visual impairments may range from relatively minor conditions to total blindness.
Their visual impairment may mean that they have:
- significantly reduced visual acuity (6/18 or worse) in both eyes which cannot be corrected by glasses.
- a defect in the field of vision e.g. tunnel vision or loss of central vision.
- a deteriorating eye condition. Other diagnosed eye conditions.