5435 final discussion

  “Physical disabilities” is a term used to refer to impairments that interfere with a person’s mobility, coordination, communication, learning, or personal adjustment. This chapter discusses a representative sample of disabling physical conditions, including cerebral palsy, spina bifida, spinal cord injuries, and muscular dystrophy.  


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– Chapter Fourteen 

 “Physical disabilities” is a term used to refer to impairments that interfere with a person’s mobility, coordination, communication, learning, or personal adjustment. This chapter discusses a representative sample of disabling physical conditions, including cerebral palsy, spina bifida, spinal cord injuries, and muscular dystrophy. Health disabilities are conditions resulting in “limited strength, vitality, or alertness,” which are “due to chronic or acute health problems.” 

Use the question below to guide your discussion:

How do the physical characteristics of a disability influence the social, emotional, or educational needs of children with disabilities?

Submission Instructions:

 The Discussion Forum is a wonderful way to build a sense of community, discuss key concepts, and learn from others. You are required to post a response and a reply to one peer each week.

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· Post a minimum of one follow-up response by Sunday at 23:59 CST.

To receive full credit, your responses must demonstrate an understanding of key concepts; further the discussion by providing original and relevant insight; include a rationale, evidence, or example that supports your response/opinion; and, be free of significant mechanical errors.  Your peer responses should provide specific, constructive, and supportive feedback to extend classmates’ thinking and offer additional resources, opinion, and/or experiences.

Your initial post should be 300-350 words. Peer reply posts should be 150-200 words each. Conform to APA guidelines as you write your responses. In-text citations, as well as reference page citations, must be included for any professional journal articles, textbook quotes, video references, etc., used in your response.

*Grading rubric is listed. Click on show rubric.


Hardman, M. L., Egan, M. W., & Drew, C. J. (2014). Human exceptionality: School,
community, and family. (12th ed.) Cengage Learning

Response 1

The Individuals with Disabilities Act (IDEA) uses the term orthopedic impairment to describe students with physical disabilities and the term other health impaired to describe students with health disorders (Hardman et. al). A student with a physical impairment may have difficulty with managing the distance between different learning activities, with carrying materials, note taking, practical’s and may take longer to ask or answer questions.  The impact of physical disability on learning will vary but for most students the issues of most significance relate to physical access, manipulation of equipment (e.g. in a laboratory), access to computers, participation in field trips and the time and energy expended in moving around the school. Many students with physical impairments may need a Personal Emergency Evacuation Plan in case of an emergency (this is something I had not thought of). People with disabilities are also more likely to face social isolation, which carries its own health risks, including increased risk of death. When a person’s disability includes a mobility impairment, one issue that can arise is increased physical and social isolation. 

Students may have frequent or unexpected absences from class owing to hospitalization or changes in their rehabilitation or treatment procedure. Earlier periods of hospitalization may have meant gaps in schooling.

Much research has demonstrated that students with learning disabilities experience emotional distress related to their difficulties. Students with  disabilities tend to have higher levels of emotional concerns, such as depression, loneliness, and low self-esteem, than do their peers without disabilities.

There is cause for optimism for people with health disorders. There is on-going research and development efforts in many fields that are producing new person-specific medications, gene therapies, assistive devices, new surgical procedures and many more inventions that heighten an individual’s capacity to function more fully and to mitigate some of the effects of the health disorders (Harman et. al).


ADCET. Australian Disability Clearinghouse on Education and Training.

https://www.adcet.edu.au/inclusive-teaching/specific-disabilities/physical-disability (Links to an external site.)

Hardman, M., Egan, M., Drew, C. (2017). Human Exceptionality: School, Community, and Family.


Patrelle Jackson

YesterdayAug 8 at 5:52pm

Manage Discussion Entry

Hi Deborah,

I enjoyed reading your post. You have some wonderful ideas to share. Some students with physical disabilities have unique needs in terms of physical space or they may have difficulty using chairs and tables in the classroom.  There are some students that may require specialized transportation. These students experience challenges with daily living activities or may require extra time to complete task. 

The educational, social, and emotional needs of children with disabilities are very important. Children with physical disabilities often have difficulties that go far beyond those in reading, writing, math, memory, or organization. When they experience constant struggle and failure along with physical limitations, students may develop negative self-esteem, even when others offer support and encouragement. Low self-esteem and a lack of confidence only serve to further interfere with learning and academic success and can reinforce a cycle of failure. For many, strong feelings of frustration, sadness or anger can lead to psychological difficulties such as anxiety and depression. It so important that these students have behavior management to help with those issues if they experience them. Having wrap around services will guide the success of children with physical impairments.(LD’s @ School, 2019).

(LD’s @ School, 2019). Social-Emotional Development and LD’s. Retrieved August 8, 2022. http://www.ldatschool.ca/learn-about-lds/social-emotional-development-ds/

Response 1

Shannon Etheridge

YesterdayAug 10 at 3:13pm

Manage Discussion Entry

There are variety of things that influence the social, emotional and education needs of a child with disabilities. But it also effects those around them, people such as family members. There are many influences that I had not considered when thinking about physical disability influences. According to Alexa Josphine, challenges include poverty, issues of access as well as social exclusion (2022).


Those who have a physical disability often live in poverty. According to Alexa Josphine, poverty as a social impact of disability is mainly due to a loss of paid employment (2022). A perfect example of this in my own life, is my child with born with a medical condition. That condition requires that we get scans done every three months on his kidneys, that is a full day of work that I must miss. So, in a school year, I miss 4 days for appointments, we only get 9 days in my district with pay. What about when I am sick, or my child is sick. There are days, I go without pay, and as a single mom this is not something I can do. I cannot imagine parents that have far more appointments have to do for their child with physical disabilities. Additional emotional stress on the child and family of those with physical disabilities. Divorce rates can be higher, and strain can often take place from other siblings. In my experience, siblings with no physical disability often feel left out or not as important to their parents. But it can also bring about a sense of cohesion and closeness within the family and community as awareness on how to cope with disability increases (Josphine, 2022). So, at times it can have the opposite effect on a family and its siblings. Social exclusion as a result of disability means a lack of belonging in a given social context (Josphine, 2022) is another influence. Students with physical disabilities often have barriers with interacting with someone. This limits them from being independent and able to expand their horizons.



Josphine, A. (2022, May 14). Social impacts of disability. The Classroom | Empowering Students in Their College Journey.from https://www.theclassroom.com/social-impacts-disability-8363316.html

Response 2

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Diane Dobritt

Diane Dobritt

YesterdayAug 10 at 1:30pm

Manage Discussion Entry

According to Rutgers School of Art and Science (2022), “Physical disability indicates any physical limitations or disabilities that inhibit the physical function of one or more limbs of a certain person. It can be temporary or permanent. The causes of this kind of disease are various. Any person can acquire it through accident, injury, illness post-surgery effects and heredity” (para. 1).  Students with physical disabilities can experience many barriers when it comes to social, educational, and emotional needs.  In my experience, I have seen students with physical disabilities treated differently by adults and peers simply because they look different or are unable to do something.  Sometimes we forget what they are capable of.  More times than not, students with physical disabilities do not experience cognitive delays.  This is not the case for all students, but some.  Unfortunately, we see their wheelchair, or walker or other devices they use and automatically think they are not capable.  This can very detrimental to their emotional well being, but also their education and success as well.  I have seen first hand as a preschool special education teacher how students with physical disabilities are treated differently, even by other special educators.  In fact, we have two students coming from early on with physical impairments and limited mobility.  With that being said, they do no display delays in the area of cognitive development.  I have been told they should be in the self-contained preschool classroom due to their physical needs.  The providers from early on think that they would make more gains if they had the interventions of the self-contained preschool.  Unfortunately, this is not the best mindset to have.  The interventions and supports they need can be delivered in the general education classroom with their peers.  It will do them hard if they are in a self-contained classroom.  They will always have  physical disability and this should not impact their educational placement.  


Konczal, E. (2022). Physical Disabilities. Https://Kines.Rutgers.Edu/Dshw/Disabilities/Physical/1060-Physical-Disabilities. https://kines.rutgers.edu/dshw/disabilities/physical/1060-physical-disabilities

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