Both physical and health impairments are considered disabilities when they interfere with education and other daily living. Physical impairments include those caused by congenital abnormality impairments caused by disease and impairments from other causes. Health impairments include disease and/or chronic illness.
With so many different conditions under the category of Physical and health impairments, there are also lots of diverse causes. C.P. and Spina Bifida can be caused by abnormal brain growth. Some other disorders are caused genetically, the result of an injury, poisoning, hormonal abnormalities, while some are still unknown.
It is important to find out what is the underlying disease or disorder that causes the physical and/or health impairment in or to truly define the characteristics. Some characteristics can include adaptive equipment, limited movement, shortened endurance, and extra medical needs.
For children with physical and health impairments or traumatic brain injury, they might need slightly different support from the teacher. They often need an interdisciplinary team of professionals to aid in all of their special needs. For example, a student may need a physical therapist to work on their gross motor goals, an occupational therapist to work on fine motor and self-help skills, and a speech therapists to work on any difficulty with language. To help the students become more self-competent, the teachers and therapist(s) can help the child learn to take care of their own special medical needs. Although students with physical disabilities, health impairments, and traumatic brain injury may need a larger interdisciplinary team, it is important to note that, forty-five percent of students with physical and/or health impairments are educated in a regular classroom. It is important for the student’s special needs instructors or regular education teachers to account for the child’s needs and keep the environment open for wheelchairs and/or any other medical device that the child may have. It is also important to keep the child comfortable in their learning environment, so that they can focus on their education. This includes prioritizing safety and using assistive technology when possible to better accommodate the child’s needs.