The goal of this book is to provide teachers, early childhood professionals and others in education settings with accurate and timely information about a wide range of disabilities and special or additional needs which can exist in childhood. The focus is on disabilities and conditions which exist from birth or which present during the early to middle childhood phase (up to the end of the primary school period). There are hints and suggestions for what may be apparent in a child who has not yet been diagnosed with a particular condition, as well as details about where one condition may overlap with another. Surprisingly, this is the case with many disabilities, and can complicate the picture when it comes to both diagnosing and supporting the child who has more than one difficulty, affecting their learning and day-to-day functioning.
An example of this is ADHD, which can exist alongside dyslexia or oppositional defiant disorder. Some conditions, too, share signs and symptoms that are common to more than one. An example is low muscle tone, which is typically present in a child with Down syndrome as well as often being seen in a child with dyspraxia. Likewise, children with autism often present as having reduced motor coordination skills, which can be confused with a motor difficulty rather than as a possible indicator of their autism.
This book does not aim to provide all the information you will need on a particular topic. Rather, the goal is to set you on a path that will help you search for further information when it is needed. As each of the topics contains a number of ‘related terms’, the process of seeking additional information within this book and beyond is made considerably easier. The ‘red flags’ are also a pointer to critical information that you may not already know about a particular condition or disability, or which requires careful consideration in a preschool or school environment.
Early Years, 5-8 Years, 8-12 Years
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