About Multiple Disability
When a child has several different disabilities we say, that he/she has multiple disabilities. For example, a child may have difficulties in learning, along with controlling her movements and/or with hearing and vision. The effect of multiple disability can be more than the combination of two individual disabilities.
A child who is multiple disabled should receive help as early as possible so that she can be helped to achieve her potential, and so that her disabilities will not become worse.
The child will be slow to make progress and will have difficulty in generalizing. It is important that we are patient and that we set realistic goals that are small and achievable, as the child can learn only in small steps with a lot of practice and repetition.
Because children with multiple disabilities have problems with all muscle movement, with understanding and often with seeing and hearing as well, communication is very difficult for them.
Often we may not know how much a multiple disabled child is understanding, and her attempts to communicate may be unfamiliar to us and may pass unnoticed. For these reasons we may wrongly label a child as being mentally handicapped when she is not. We must try our best to assess a child's understanding and expression to ensure that she is not wrongly labeled.
Some examples of multiple disabilities are:
- Deafblind (Visual Impairment + Hearing Impairment)
- Visual Impairment + Hearing Impairment + Mental Retardation
- Visual Impairment + Mental Retardation
- Cerebral Palsy + Mental Retardation/ Hearing/ Speech/ Visual problems