Tuesday, April 5, 2016

What is a Special Need?

To encourage parents to learn more about developmental disabilities like cognitive disability (formerly mental retardation), and autism, Grandma Jeddah will be posting throughout this month excerpts from her e-book Your Challenging Muslim Child with Special Needs, insha'Allah.

What is a Special Need?

Special needs is a broad term used to describe a wide variety of conditions or disabilities that certain people may be affected by and need assistance with. It is a condition in which a person has special requirements due to a learning, emotional, behavioral, or physical disability.  Individuals with special needs might need assistance for medical, mental, psychological or health problems.  Assistance can be in the form of special arrangements or accommodations, special education services, specialized services and support, or monitoring. The following is an incomplete list of disabilities that fall under the term of special needs:

·         Learning disabilities
·         Food allergies
·         Terminal illness
·         Motor disabilities
·         Visual impairment
·         Hearing impairment
·         Autism
·         Mental retardation/Cognitive disability
·         Alzheimer’s
·         Paralysis
·         Epilepsy
·         Cerebral palsy
·         Diabetes
·         Downs syndrome


What is a Disability

The definition of a disability varies depending on whom you ask and what agency is defining it. In essence, it refers to a person who has limited,  impaired, or a lack of ability to perform as most others do in the areas of a person’s  physical, learning, language, or behavioral areas. Essentially, a disability is a special need that an individual has. It might be said the terms are synonymous.  Disabilities can be caused by genetics, an accident, or unspecified causes. A disability can occur at any time in a person's life. It may begin in a fetus within the mother’s womb or in an elderly person who develops Alzheimer’s.

What is a Developmental Disability?

Similar to a disability, a developmental disability is a condition in which a person is impaired or lacks the ability to perform as most others do. The distinguishing factor between a disability and a developmental disability is that a developmental disability begins during the developmental period of a child. Thus, it is a condition that initially affects a child. However, the impact can and often does last throughout a person’s lifetime. A few examples of the most common developmental disabilities include autism, ADHD, cerebral palsy, Down syndrome and intellectual disabilities.

            Although a wide variety of developmental disabilities exist, in this book I will focus on primarily five, as these are the disabilities I have most extensive and ongoing experience with. These five disabilities are learning disabilities, mental retardation/cognitive disabilities, autism, ADHD and Tourettes syndrome. All five are developmental disabilities. Even though my primary focus will relate to these five disabilities, the information contained in this book can certainly be used for children with other special needs.

            Throughout this book, I will use all three terms--special needs, disability, and developmental disability—synonymously.

More excerpts continued, insha'Allah

Please click here to order http://www.grandmajeddah.com/Your-Challenging-Muslim-Child-with-Special-Needs-135.htm

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