Physical disabilities can be classified in different ways.
- Disabilities present in a child from birth. They are subdivided into
Hereditary - conditions
which are passed from parents to a child
embryological defects in the foetus.
occur in prenatal
(before birth) or perinatal period (during birth)
- Disabilities which develop later in the child who was born normal.
There are two reasons
Orthopaeadic disabilities can also be static and progressive
In static disability the condition remains the same all the time. e.g. paraplegia . In progressive disability the child starts with minor symptoms but as the years pass the disability gets gradually worse. In orthopaedically/ locomotor disabilities polio victims, accident victims (where limbs and trunk have been affected) and children who have congenital physical handicaps are included.
The mobility of a child with disability can be greatly improved by using various aids, appliances and equipments.
- Aid is a small, easily
handled, portable object which improves function e.g. cane, walking stick
- Appliance is purpose built
or custom made object e.g. shoes, artificial limb and so on.
- Equipment is a non-portable aid special playroom furniture or fitment made to suit the need of a child
It is very important to
maintain aids, appliances, equipments in perfect condition. There is
wide range of mobility aids etc. to facilitate the child. One of the most
important pieces of equipment is suitable wheelchair according to the
child's needs. There are also crutches, calipers, walking frames, sticks available.
In orthopaedically handicapped children, physiotherapy and occupational therapy are most important forms of treatment.