Learning and teaching are such important stages in a child and an individuals life. The information provided has been broken down into a number of different areas and life stages for your convenience. Please see the various pages on the right or links to the pages below.
There can be difficulties associated with hydrocephalus such as problems with concentration, reasoning and short-term memory. Hydrocephalus can also result in subtle effects such as problems with co-ordination, motivation and organisational skills. Physical effects such as visual problems, or early puberty in children, may also occur. These difficulties may affect child development. However, many of these effects can be overcome with teaching strategies or treatment where relevant.
When choosing toys and games for children with hydrocephalus or spina bifida, it is important to consider not only what will provide enjoyment, but whether the toy will also help all round development. There are aspects of play with toys or games which can be used positively for specific learning: to develop concentration; to emphasise sequencing (putting events or thought processes in step-by-step logical order); memory training; perception (size and shape); manipulation (the use of hand and fingers) and co-ordination (especially hand/eye co-ordination). Some of these are the specific learning difficulties that have now been highlighted as problems associated with hydrocephalus.
Most children with spina bifida and/or hydrocephalus will qualify for early intervention services. These services are available for infants and toddlers ages birth to five years old. They look at five areas of your children's development: physical development; cognitive development; communication; social or emotional development; and adaptive development. If your child is having problems in any of these areas, he or she may receive services designed to help them reach their full potential.
Pre-school children do not have a specific right to education. However, they are entitled to certain health services which are related to education. The Health Service Executive is responsible for providing psychological services and speech and language therapy services for pre-school children with disabilities who are assessed as needing these services. Assessments of children under the age of 5 are carried out under the assessment of need provisions of the Disability Act 2005.
Childcare Service for Your Child
If you are looking for childcare, you probably have a good idea of what you want - a place that is safe, happy, and loving, where children can learn and have fun. At the same time, childcare must also meet your needs. Childcare should be convenient, affordable, and offer care when you need it. Finding childcare that has the quality and convenience you want ‘at a reasonable cost’ can be a real challenge. It is rare to find the perfect situation but it is possible to find a very good situation that will meet your needs.
A child’s success in life depends upon support from many people; parents, teachers, peers and community members. Children with spina bifida already have a medical team in place, a group of professionals who work together to ensure optimal health. Equally important is an educational team, made up of teachers, parents, SNAs, NEPS, SENOs, (see Education Supports and Provisions on this page for more information about SNAs NEPS and SENOs) occupational therapists and even peers, to ensure optimal learning conditions.
Each child with spina bifida and/or hydrocephalus is different and therefore should have a teaching/training programme which is specifically designed to meet the individual needs of the child. How a child with spina bifida and/or hydrocephalus may be assisted to attain optimal potential is dependent on a structured, strategic classroom programme. The learning process may be slow but substantial progress can be made through patience and perseverance both on part of the child and the teacher.
Further and Third Level Education
Most Irish higher-level institutions have modern facilities and services in place to enable students with disabilities to play a full role in the Irish higher education system. The Equal Status Act of 2000 prohibits colleges from discriminating in any way against students on the basis of disability. This applies to all educational institutions, both public and private. If you have a disability, your first concern should be to decide upon the subjects that interest you and the higher education courses for which to apply. Once you have this decided, you can then investigate the kind of disability support that individual institutions provide.
For further information, support or advice you can contact the Educational Officer: firstname.lastname@example.org
APRIL 2014 - Circular from the Department of Education and Skills Special