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Impact of disability and special requirements

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Explain the potential impact of disability on the outcomes and life chances of children and young people Impairments lead to disabilities, these can include sensory impairments, physical impairments, learning difficulties and social or emotional difficulties and the same condition can affect children differently so the impacts of disability can be unique to each child or young person. Outline below how disability can impact upon the outcomes and life chances of the children you work with. Think about the direct and indirect impacts for instance chronic medical conditions such as cystic fibrosis may mean periods of absence from school which will disrupt educational development. How disability can impact on the lives of children and young people

These are the potential impacts of disability on the outcomes and life chances of children and young people:

•Those with learning difficulties and those with impairments that affect their social and emotional development may find it difficult to relate to others and therefore lack friends and positive relationships. All round development and learning will also be affected.

•Those with chronic medical conditions or physical disabilities may miss educational opportunities due to the effects on their health, medical appointments, hospital stays and so on.

•Discrimination may limit the experiences and opportunities that are available to disabled children and young people (including the chance to learn, play and work). •The effects of stereotyping and discrimination can lead to low self-confidence and self-esteem.

•If family members find it difficult to cope, disabled children and young people may feel they are a burden, again leading to low self-confidence and self-esteem.

•Negative family attitudes can also have the same effect, for example, if a parent’s focus is on what’s ‘wrong’ with the child and what they can’t do, rather than focusing on what they can do and achieve, or if they see them as a ‘tragic victim’ of disability. (The media often portray this unhelpful image.)

•Meeting the needs of a disabled child can be expensive, and funded services vary from one local area to the next. In some families, a lack of money and resources may significantly limit the experiences of disabled children and young people.

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