Special Needs

Information on different special needs - that you need to know for GCSE child development! Hope it helps! :D

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  • Created by: Emma
  • Created on: 13-06-09 20:17


Special Need:

Autism (Aspergers Syndrome):

  • Congenital (in the womb)
  • Symptoms may not show for 2-3 years
  • It is not inherited but may affect more than one child in the family
  • The child has serious communication problems


  • Emotional support
  • Organised/Structured environment
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Cerebral Palsy

Special Need:

Cerebral Palsy:

  • This is congenital but may occur during birth (if there is a lack of oxygen to the brain)
  • The brain is damaged - the Cerebrum is damages and this is the largest part of the brain and is involved with the senses, communication, thinking and voluntary movements of the muscles
  • The child may not be able to walk or talk properly


  • Physiotherapy
  • Operation (might be required)
  • Exercise
  • Massage
  • Drugs can be used to control spasms in the muscles
  • Braces to strap up joints
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Cystic Fibrosis

Special Need:

Cystic Fibrosis:

  • This is inherited (genetic)
  • It happens in the womb
  • 1 gene = carrier
  • The lungs of the child get blocked up with thick, sticky mucus
  • Digestive system is damaged


  • Physiotherapy by massaging
  • Pummeling back to release mucus
  • Anti-biotics
  • Inhalers
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Muscular Dystrophy

Special Need:

Muscular Dystrophy (MD):

  • It is inherited (genetic)
  • The mother (woman) is a carrier - so genetic screening/counselling would be advised as part of pre-conception care
  • It affects males
  • The muscles are very weak
  • Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy - most common form


  • Physiotherapy
  • Hydrotheraphy (this is done in the water)
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Spina Bifida 1

Special Need:

Spina Bifida:

  • This is happens in the womb (it's congenital)
  • The spinal cord/spine does not grow properly or is damaged or weakenend
  • The child may have difficulty walking
  • Some children have no mobility - paralysis of legs


  • Wheelchair
  • Walking aid/support
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Spina Bifida 2

Additional Information:

  • Folic Acid should be taken before pregnancy to reduce the risk
  • CVS (Chronic Villi Sampling), Cordocentesis and Amniocentesis tests can be done to detect this special need
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Haemophilia 1

Special Need:


  • This is inherited (genetic)
  • The mother is a carrier
  • Only males suffer from haemophilia
  • It is the inhability for blood to clot


  • Child should try to avoid knocks and falls
  • Blood transfusion
  • Blood clotting elements introduced into body
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Haemophilia 2

Additional Information:

  • This is also known as the Royal Disease as Queen Victoria was a known carrier of the disease and passed it onto her children.
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Downs Syndrome 1

Special Need:

Downs Syndrome:

  • This is congenital (genetic - happens in the womb)
  • It is not inherited
  • Downs Syndrome happens because the child has an extra chromosone (21)
  • The child has features that make them easy to identify


  • Slow learners
  • Speech therapy
  • Stimulation
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Downs Syndrome 2

Additional Information:

  • Tests can be done during pregnancy to detect Downs Syndrome - Amniocentesis test and CVS (Chronic Villi Sampling)
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Sickle Cell Anaemia

Special Need:

Sickle Cell Anaemia:

  • This is congenital (genetic)
  • Blood cells are a sickle shape
  • Blood cells can tangle causing severe pain (crisise)
  • A child with Sickle Cell Anaemia will lack energy/will be tired
  • The child will have slow growth


  • Drink plenty of fluids (keep hydrated)
  • Hospitalise during a crisise
  • Anti-biotics
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Hearing Impairment

Special Need:

Hearing Impairment:

  • Can be congenital
  • This can be caused if the mother gets rubella in the first 3 months of pregnancy
  • Can be caused by an accident


  • Ability to communicate (has trouble with)
  • Sign language
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Visiual Impairment 1

Special Need:

Visiual Impairment:

  • Can be congenital
  • Can be caused by an accident
  • Not usually hereditary
  • Can be caused if the mother gets rubella in the first 3 months of pregnancy
  • Can also be caused if the mother suffers from other illnesses/infections during pregnancy
  • The child may have an illness after birth that causes visual impairment
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Visiual Impairment 2


  • Ability to communicate
  • Braille
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