Physical Impairment

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Physical impairments may arise from physical, neurological or metabolic causes that only require appropriate access to educational facilities and equipment: others may lead to more complex learning and social needs. Developmental co-ordination disorder/Dyspraxia affects fine and gross motor co-ordination (DCD). The child presents with greater difficulty than the majority of their peers in:

  1. Weak fine motor movements, poor pencil control resulting in slow and or erratic handwriting/drawing skills
  2. Difficulty in handling tools, eg scissors, rulers
  3. Weak gross motor movement; difficulties ‘planning movement; general body movement awkward and clumsy
  4. Weak motor skills and spatial skills leading to problems moving around the class environment
  5. Difficulty sitting up/sitting still due to weak core strength, weak proprioception and balance
  6. Difficulties running, jumping, skipping, kicking, throwing, catching, etc
  7. Weak spatial awareness resulting in poor layout of work on page
  8. Oral/verbal dyspraxia eg. difficulty in eating, dribbling, speech production, organising thought into spoken words and sentences

Physical impairments can significantly impact attainment due to difficulties of accessing and demonstrating learning. In the absence of other SEN and with the right support, attainment should be age appropriate.

Quality first Teaching

  1. Reasonable adjustments to school environment and building adaptations including accessible toilets, ramps, height adjustable furniture, grab bars, door handles, lifts, etc
  2. Class/subject teachers take responsibility for acting upon relevant information around individual students including:
    1. Well-organised classrooms with clear route ways
    2. Appropriate seating arrangements in relation to the teacher/teaching focus
    3. Adapting and modifying classroom tasks that require sustained and/or precise fine and/or gross motor skills
    4. Extra time for completion of tasks
    5. The use of assistive ICT
    6. Access to medical support, if appropriate
    7. Teachers talking to children and young people about their optimum/preferred learning styles
    8. Careful consideration of timetabling and location of rooms
  3. Schools support the use of low-tech aids or equipment (basic word processors, communication passport)
  4. Rest breaks, to take account of fatigue, built in to the day and movement breaks
  5. Differentiation for P.E and all movement based learning, practical activities, use of equipment as appropriate
  6. Pre writing skills- hand/finger/upper body strengthening exercises and preparing for writing, eg, posture, hand warm ups, etc
  7. Alternative pens/pencils/equipment-grips,
  8. Enlarged lined paper/frames especially maths for laying out
  9. Optimal seating position including correct size furniture and additional resources such as seating wedges and writing slopes

SEN Support

up to 5 hours individual teaching/13 hours teaching assistant support per week (or a mix of the two as appropriate) and/or the provision of equipment that is not normally available for:

  1. An assessment of child’s physical needs leading to an appropriately targeted intervention programme planned in partnership with the child and their family and as advised by an outside agency where involved
  2. Individual programmes of physical and occupational skills as advised by relevant specialists
  3. Support for accessing and demonstrating learning within the classroom
  4. Ensuring safe movement in the classroom and around the school
  5. Support for unstructured parts of the school day
  6. Support for wider whole school activities and social opportunities
  7. Providing differentiated activities for lessons involving physical skills (eg, PE)
  8. Providing support for self-help, eg, going to the toilet, dressing/undressing, lunchtimes, etc
  9. Baselines and subsequent progress accurately monitored and provision regularly reviewed and adjusted in line with progress over a sustained period (i.e., at least 2 terms).


Leicester CC Provision ideas