Multiple Disabilities- Concept

Children With Developmental Challenges 3(2+1)

Lesson 30 : Severe/Multiple Disabilities in Children

Multiple Disabilities- Concept

  • Means concomitant impairments such as intellectual disability – blindness; intellectual disability - orthopedic impairment.
  • The combination of which causes severe educational needs that they cannot be accommodated in special education programmes solely for one of the impairment.
  • The term does not include deaf-blindness.

Some examples of multiple disabilities are:
- deaf - blind (visual impairment + hearing impairment )
- visual impairment + hearing impairment + mental retardation
- visual impairment + mental retardation
- cerebral palsy + mental retardation/ hearing/ speech/ visual problems.

Characteristics of children with multiple disabilities:

Children with severe and/or multiple disabilities may exhibit any number or combination of the following characteristics depending on the severity of cognitive delay and/or additional disabilities such as vision and hearing impairments, communication difficulties and physical disabilities affecting mobility, coordination, and/or fine motor skills.

  • Have a distorted perception of the world
  • Appear to be withdrawn and isolated
  • Lack the ability to communicate with his or her environment in a meaningful way
  • Lack curiosity and be deprived of many of the basic motivations
  • Have medical problems that lead to serious developmental delays
  • Be defensive to being touched
  • Have extreme difficulty in establishing and maintaining interpersonal relationship with others
  • Lack the ability to anticipate future events or the results of their actions
  • Have extreme difficulty in establishing and maintaining interpersonal relationships with others
  • Have feeding difficulties and/or unusual sleep patterns
  • Exhibit frustrations, discipline problems, and delays in social, emotional, and cognitive development because of the inability to communicate
  • Limited speech or communication;
  • Difficulty in basic physical mobility;
  • Trouble generalizing skills from one situation to another; and
  • A need for support in major life activities (e.g., domestic, leisure, community use, vocational).
Last modified: Tuesday, 17 April 2012, 7:26 AM