Cerebral palsy learning issues and needs

Document Type:Coursework

Subject Area:Psychology

Document 1

He is of Indian origin, and he is the only Indian student in his class and is in a school whose population is dominantly American in origin. John's parents are among the people who entered the United States as immigrants after the WWII as laborers to offer cheap labor. The family background of John is simply characterized by poverty and great struggle for survival. He was enrolled in Sterling School under a sponsorship program for the poor students and those with special needs. The humble background and cerebral palsy condition were the main factors that were considered for John to secure a chance in Sterling School for his primary education. In Sterling School, racial discrimination against the non-whites is a common phenomenon. The white race is dominant in the school; John is compelled to swing against the current and turbulence of all sorts of discrimination to attain his educational ambitions. The cerebral pulse condition became worse when he was at grade five forcing him to stay out of school for two years. This explains the delay in completing primary education for the case of John. Body John has an unsteady gait, and his left limb is paralyzed; all these coming as a result of the exceptional cerebral handy condition. The left side of the body and hand are mildly affected and hardly allow convenient motion and grasping respectively. As such, walking of John in some areas within the school, more so in tall buildings, is a challenge. Some of the characteristics of the people suffering from cerebral palsy include; rigidity of the limbs and trunk, abnormal posture, unsteady walking, and unsteady movement (Rosenthal & Simeonsson, 2001).

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Individuals who suffer this condition normally have problems with swallowing of food. They also experience difficulties with eye muscle balance. These challenges make it difficult for learning to take place. A myriad of problems which include the cerebral palsy condition, poverty, and discrimination in school has caused stigmatization in John and hence negatively affecting his studies. A combination of these problems with cerebral palsy has lowered the performance of John as compared with other students in his class. He suffers from depression in many instances, and this affects his speed and depth of learning. Cerebral palsy is a disorder that affects the movement and balance as well as posture of the body (Lights & Nelson, 2015). Students are different as some can cope with certain negative situations while others are compelled to strive in their lifetime even on simple tasks.

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John is among those people who struggle to attain his academic dreams. He has the weakness of getting emotional, depressed and stigmatized from discrimination based on his condition and race. The poverty issues at home cannot allow him to attend learning institutions where children with special needs like his case are learning. In Sterling School, there are no supportive learning facilities for students with movement problems like the case of John who finds it difficult to move because of the cerebral palsy condition. Scholars argue that children with disabilities have the learning process affected and they struggle with some aspects regarding academic performance (Phillips, 2012). A discrepancy in the capability to achieve academically emerges between students with disabilities and those students that are normal. For the case of John, the stigmatization from racial discrimination and lack of a friendly learning environment considering his condition have been the source of poor performance in class.

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However, John has the main strength that has kept him moving all the days. He never loses hope, and he is always optimistic that something positive will arise despite his prevailing condition. Individuals with cerebral palsy experience walking and posture issues and this is also experienced by John. The 2D gait analysis will help John improve on several things like movement and posture. Another assessment technique is the Goal Attachment Scaling where the health professionals work in hand with the victims of cerebral palsy to get a work out goals during the intervention. This method is used along with others like the Individually Prioritised Problem Assessment (IPPA). Through goal attainment scaling, it is possible to measure the outcomes of psychosocial interventions. The IEP is a tool that can be utilized in a learning institution to address learning needs as well as issues affecting particular cases.

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In the IEP, special education programs are designed and implemented to take care of individual needs. For the case of John, the IEP will address the need of having a comfortable learning environment that is not disadvantageous to him considering his difficulties in moving. The design of classrooms will take into consideration the case of John and other students education-services that are to be extended to a child (John) will be listed and they will make the main content of the IEP. The special education-services listed in the IEP are informed of the special needs of an individual student under consideration (Rebhorn, 2017); John in this case. The suggestions, as well as requests that John will make directly in the IEP meeting, will be weightier than when coming from a third party.

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The desires and future goals will be inculcated in the designing of the IEP and the program will prove highly worthwhile to him. The teaching staff will be the key implementers of the IEP in the school setup. The teachers will present their assessment on John’s classroom performance, shortcomings, and the areas of interest to be included in developing IEP for John. The Special-Education teacher, General-Education teacher, and the school administrator will be crucial at the IEP meeting. In addition, the administrator has the authority to commit the required resources so that the facilities, environment, and services listed in John’s IEP can be provided. The development of the IEP will end with a generation of the IEP document. This document contains the decisions that are made at the IEP meeting.

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The IEP document is produced when all the parties that are involved in the IEP process have agreed upon the aspects discussed. Periodic reviewing of the IEP document is done and the progress of the child (John) monitored. If special attention is not given to these students with cerebral palsy, they may lag behind. The aisles and desks will be designed and positioned in a manner that John can sit and observe what the teacher is doing during the learning sessions. The teachers are also encouraged to reach these needy students to ensure that they are in the same level as the others. In areas where it is necessary for John to move using a wheelchair, it should be ensured that it is level and free of objects that can cause sliding and falling down.

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Further, the IEP for John should contain ways in which teachers will prepare John’s peers to understand his condition of cerebral palsy and help enhance socialization between them and John. The role every person including the school management, parents, special educators, general educators, social organizations, and other parties will play will be stated in the IEP. Moreover, John’s IEP should contain the opportunities available for him while in the school setting. The extracurricular activities that John can comfortably take part in should be outlined in his IEP. The system of sharing information in regard to the condition and progress as well as successful strategies for John should be part of the IEP. It is also necessary to ensure that the parents liaise with the teachers to ensure that there are emergency services for the students in case advanced medical attention is required for the students like John.

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One of the things that should be done is preparing the students to be financially independent. John needs to be supported by the teachers and the guardians to enable him to stand out. Being responsible and independent is also crucial for students like John so that he caters to his needs. John should be encouraged to make new friends and to learn to make more friends, by being sociable; it is possible to learn a lot of things that are important to the life of an individual. Conclusion In conclusion, cerebral palsy is one of the mental problems that affect the performance of most students. This assessment can be utilized to tell if John is responding to treatment and other interventions. Other assessment programs available for patients with cerebral palsy include; Gross Motor Function Measure, Mini-Assisting Hand Assessment, and Modified Tardieu Scale.

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All these are important for cerebral palsy like John. The students that suffer cerebral palsy can be assisted by the teachers and other students to make their lives meaningful. Creating a supportive and proper learning environment is important for these students. Stanton, M.  Understanding cerebral palsy: A guide for parents and professionals. London: Jessica Kingsley Publishers.

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