Physical disorders are confined to gross and fine disabilities. If there are no defects in any part of the body, it should be possible for a person to perform gross and fine motor skills. The gross motor skills include throwing, lifting, running, skipping and jumping etc. Fine motor skills involve activities such as cutting, writing, drawing, buttoning and lacing etc.
Physical disorders, therefore, refer to the inability of a person to effectively use his body. The disorder could be the result of amputations of the legs, arms or other parts of the body due to accident, disease or malformation etc.
TYPES OF PHYSICAL DISORDERS
The two main types of physical disorders are neurological or orthopaedic and musculoskeletal conditions.
- NEUROLOGICAL / ORTHOPAETIC CONDITIONS
The neurological conditions include cerebal-palsy epilepsy, spinal cord injury and spine bifida. These disorders result from infections on severe head injury during birth. Neurology “means” the study of the structure and diseases of the brain and all the nerves in the body which together make
- MUSCULAR SKELETAL CONDITIONS these conditions include muscular dystrophy, arthritis, cleft lip and cleft palate, polio and clubfoot. These disorders affect the muscles, bones and joints. Clubfoot is an ankle or foot deformity while cleft lip and cleft palate are ore openings in the lip and roof of the mouth respectively. They are present at birth hence congenital disorder.
CHARACTERISTICS / IDENTIFICATION OF PHYSICAL DISORDERS
- Children experience delays in gross and fine motor development. An example of this is individuals with cerebal-palsy who experience problems in voluntary movement.
- Epilepsy causes a person to lose control of the muscles temporarily. During major crisis the person experiences sudden jerking motion.
These jerking motions could make the muscles weak and wear away, thus resulting in limping.
- Children with muscular and skeletal condition encounter difficulties holding pencil or pen.
- Children find it difficult to cope with normal school without supporting programmers.
- Physically disordered children cannot perform normal routine work like walking washing, jumping running, throwing etc well.
- PHYSICAL DISORDERS
CAUSES OF PHYSICAL DISORDERS
(A) HEREDITARY CAUSES
- RHESUS FACTOR
When the mother’s RH negative blood and the fetus Rh positive blood meet, because they are biochemical incompatible, they fight with each other. The red blood corpuscles in the fetus blood stream are destroyed causing anoxia. This may lead to miscarriage or still birth. If the child survives, he may be partially paralysed.
Pregnancy results when there is fusion of 23 chromosomes from the father and 23 from the mother. These chromosomes contain the genes.
The chemical responsible for hereditary trait is found inside the genes called DNA. Each gene is responsible for a part of the body and that is why a child’s nose, for example, may look like that of the father or mother. When a particular gene is inactive, then that part of the body may not form fully or may not form at all.
(2) METABOLIC DISORDER
A metabolic disorder is the difficulty in breaking down a particular nutrient or chemical for the use by the body. When a child inherits an inactive gene responsible for breaking down calcium, then the child may weak bones which can result in physical disorder.
During the fires trimester of pregnancy it is very important for a pregnant mother to take a well balanced diet.
This is because during this time, the fetus depends solely on the mother for the supply of valuable nutrients necessary for it’s normal growth. The fetus gets the needed nutrients through the placenta and the umbilical cord. If the mother’s nutrition is bad in the first three months, it will seriously affect the growth of the brain and central nervous system.
- DRUG AND ALCOHOL, PHYSICAL DISORDERS
Pregnant woman who takes in drugs like thalidomide, APC and the guamine family during the first three month may give birth to physically deformed children.
- Wrong position of the fetus in the womb – if a baby is not well positioned for delivery and attempts to change position, physical disorder can result because the bones of the bones of the baby at that time of delivery are tender.
- Prolonged labour-when labours pains set in and the birth process delays. Oxygen supply to the baby cn be obstructed and in physical disorders.
MANAGING THE PHYSICAL CHALLENGED
- Arranged the classroom to facilitate mobility. Make sure sufficient space is allowed for students in wheelchairs or those who use crutches
- Allow physically challenged students to select their own seats in a place that is best to them.
- Classmates should be made to offer the correct kind of assistance when needed.
- Emphazise co-opeartion rather than competition by choosing tasks that require student to work together.
- Make the school environment friendly to the physically 0 challenged pupils.