Physical and Medical needs

Some children who experience physical and medical difficulties have no problems in accessing the curriculum and in learning effectively. There is a wide range of physical and medical disabilities and children cover the whole ability range. Some children are able to access the curriculum and learn effectively without additional educational provision. Their difficulties may mean they need some short term support, but it should not be assumed that they have special educational needs


Some children’s physical/medical needs cannot be met by universal, whole school or class approaches over a sustained period of time. Physical difficulties or impairment may arise from:

·         physical, neurological or metabolic causes such as cerebral palsy, achondroplasia, or spina bifida

·         severe trauma, perhaps as a result of an accident, amputation or serious illness

·         degenerative conditions, like muscular dystrophy (Duchenne)

·         moderate or severe gross motor and/or fine motor dysfunction in conjunction with other learning difficulties e.g. dyspraxia and autistic spectrum disorders

·         moderate or severe difficulties with fine and/or gross motor movements without any specific attributable causes


Physical difficulties may result in:

Difficulties in safely accessing the physical environment, facilities and equipment, whole school and class activities (including assessments, practical lessons, information and communication technology), difficulty in achieving independent self-care skills, difficulties in communicating through speech and other forms of language, emotional stress and physical fatigue.