Monday, July 28, 2014

Physical-Motor Disability

Physical-motor disability is a disability affecting the ability to control muscle movement which often limits mobility and motor tasks (UNESCO, 2009). These individuals primarily have difficulty with gross and fine motor tasks, may experience limitations to their strength, speed, endurance, coordination and dexterity, and usually require the use of wheelchairs and crutches, due to medical/health condition or a loss/dysfunction of arms and/or legs.
The conditions under physical-motor disability generally fall under neuromotor impairments and musculoskeletal or orthopedic conditions (Mastropieri and Scruggs, 2000; Bryant, et al, 2008).
Neuromotor impairments involve damage to the nervous system. These include conditions like cerebral palsy, polio, spina bifida and epilepsy.
Musculoskeletal or orthopedic conditions on the other hand involve damage musculo-skeletal system. Common examples include arthritis, paralysis, limb loss, reduced function of one or more limbs, including skeletal disorders such as dwarfism and scoliosis.
While the degree of the disability varies from every individual, consideration to the nature and severity of the condition, and the type and extent of the accommodations required for the individual are taken into account. In addition, their needs and strengths can be affected both by the environment and a changing physical condition (e.g. access to ramps, provision of specialized furnitures, flexibility of work/classroom environment).

Sometimes, physical-motor disabilities do not lead to difficulties in academic or intellectual functioning, though students having this disability may require some considerations. For the student to be eligible for special education services, the physical-motor disability must affect the student’s educational performance.

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