There are volumes written on the medical nature and needs of children with disabilities. Much of the initial educational work done with this group of children was within a “medical model”, i.e. viewing the child from a more deficit, someone to be “fixed” or “cured” point of view. Oftentimes, the doctor or health care professional were the primary decision-makers in the lives of these children. This was true because in the beginning, most children with disabilities, regardless of their severity or type, were usually found in hospitals, not in schools or in their home communities.
Times, however, have changed in many areas and also related to the role medical personnel have in the lives of children with disabilities and their families. As with most children, these specialists continue to play an important role at early ages. For some children with disabilities, however, especially those with certain types of disorders (e.g. physical, more complex multiple disabilities or even sensory impairments), medical personnel will continue to be significantly involved throughout their lives for many reasons.
This website segment provides some basic overview information from a medical perspective on health concerns, psycho-social and family issues that can contribute to a better understanding of children with disabilities.
The Challenge of Children with Special Health Care Needs, I (21:22); II (17:54)