Multiple Disabilities

Students with severe or multiple disabilities face many challenges in life, let alone in school. While these students generally share similar qualities - difficulty in speech, communication and physical mobility - how they are addressed is unique to each child. A great deal of resources and support must come from school. Although there are many challenges, schools have a unique opportunity to provide skills which will transfer into all aspects of their lives - school, extracurricular, occupations, and leisure time. To enhance the effectiveness of this training, schools must work with the community and family so that these skills can be practiced in the environment in which they will be used, because students with multiple disabilities have difficult transfering skills from one context to another. Furthermore, the connection between classsroom teachers and service providers must be close, so that there can be a seamless flow of information and resources.

Some shared goals for all students with multiple disabilities is to help increase their independence and their ability to make choices about their lives. In so doing, schools help to ease the burden of the disability and to ensure that these students have the sort of control over their lives that their disabilities prevent them from having over their bodies.

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by Cary Sabados