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Are There Special Schools for Children with Physical Disabilities?

Schools for children with physical disabilities may employ physical therapists.
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  • Written By: Christina Edwards
  • Edited By: W. Everett
  • Last Modified Date: 30 November 2014
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There are special schools for children with physical disabilities. These facilities are often better equipped than regular public schools to teach students who have disabilities. Although there are usually fees for these types of schools, they also have a number of advantages.

A school for children with physical disabilities caters to students who have difficulty learning in a typical classroom setting because of their disabilities. These schools typically have features that make it easier for a student with a mobility disorder to get around. This can include such things as wheelchair ramps, elevators, and handicapped-accessible bathrooms.

There are also schools for children with physical disabilities that impair their vision or hearing. Schools for the blind typically use braille textbooks and braille inscriptions indicating room numbers. Schools for deaf students often have sign language interpreters throughout the building to help the students. Sometimes, these blind students and deaf students go to the same school, but in separate wings.

Some of the first schools for children with physical disabilities were schools for the deaf and blind. In the 1760s, for example, one of the first schools for deaf students opened in the United Kingdom. A short while later, in the 1780s, a school for the blind was opened in France.

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Although public schools often have some modifications to make it easier for physically disabled students, special schools typically offer more specialized services, including specially trained teachers. Besides the physical aspects, such as ramps and elevators, schools for children with physical disabilities also employ more special education teachers. Unlike traditional schools, schools that cater to children with disabilities often have a much lower student-to-teacher ratio.

In addition to special education teachers, these schools often have a larger medical staff than ordinary schools. Nurses and doctors are available for students who may need more care than normal. There are often physical therapists available as well.

Choosing the right school for a disabled child will largely depend on the student's specific needs, as the offerings at these schools can vary greatly. Severely disabled children may benefit from a boarding school for disabled children. Students who are enrolled in these types of special schools usually stay at the facilities for extended periods of time. They are given a room and meals, along with entertainment and education.

Other schools for children with physical disabilities operate just like a traditional school. Students arrive in the morning, go through their classes, and leave in the afternoon. Some parents choose to enroll their disabled children in a special school half of the time and a traditional school the other half. This allows a disabled student to get the specialized attention he needs, while still participating in a traditional, mainstream learning environment.

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