JP%20Chapter%2021 - Chapter 21 Accommodating Motor and...

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Chapter 21: Accommodating Motor and Sensory Impairments In Inclusive Settings
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Overview… Students with significant disabilities often have additional impairments such as visual loss, hearing impairments, and/or motoric impairments which can compound the challenges of providing effective educational programs.( Hoon, 1996…) Successfully including these students in general education requires a collaborative team effort and a willingness/ability to work in an integrated manner within natural environments for the students.
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Motoric Impairments of Students with Significant Disabilities Students w/significant disabilities may have physical disorders that complicate the learning process. Physical disabilities can range from mild to severe and can have varying impacts, depending on the severity. Some students may be able to ambulate, although slowly and with the use of a walker or personal support. Other students will not be able to stand unaided and will use a wheelchair for mobility purposes. Some students will have great difficulty using their hands to manipulate items. The more complex/limiting the disability, the greater the need to aid the student with assistive technology: I.e. switches, head pointers, adapted keyboards, and control units. Do not forget that each student is a unique learner with interests, strengths, and goals that defines him/her far more than any label or impairment.
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Physical Disabilities The most common physical disability of students with significant disabilities is cerebral palsy. It refers to damage to the motor cortex of the brain and results in an inability for the individual to control physical movements. Students may have a mild or severe degree of CP which can impact different parts of the body with varying degrees. Overall muscle tone will either be tense ( hypertonic) or limp (hypotonic ). Taut and rigid tone that restricts movement is referred to as Spastic CP. Uncontrolled and fluctuating movement is called Athetoid CP. Individuals may have a combination of these two types which affects different parts of the body.
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Physical Disabilities… Another common physical disability is Spina Bifida( a failure of the spinal cord to close properly).
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