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A case study of a school child with mental, physical and medical conditions





Development disability Victims, are most vulnerable to mental disorders and are in dire need of special attention for the purpose of adapting to the complexities of this modern world. Family members, relatives and friends have a role to play, to give them hope, help them feel accepted, treasured and loved despite their predicaments. Development disability is a condition that results in physical or mental disabilities with substantial effects on their functioning. Some research has also reviewed a possibility of biochemical and genetic abnormalities that are linked with some of the vital metal disabilities, such as autism and diabetes.

Michael is a ten year boy of Caucasian heritage, currently a third grade student at hillside school. He is one of the few unfortunate kids with a physical, medical and mental condition. His parents, Mr. & Mrs. Madison are very loving and responsible parents who have vowed to help Michael get through. Being a financially stable couple, all the care and attention that Michael needs is given, to make him have a normal lifestyle. Mrs. Miller; his grandmother has been very instrumental and helpful in Michael’s progress both in his adverse mental and medical conditions.

After a normal pregnancy with no prenatal complications, Michael was seen to be in blooming health. It was at the age of five when his parents noticed some strange behaviors in him and after consultations from specialists, he was diagnosed with some acute mental condition; autism. This was a big blow to his parents who vowed to assist him through the tough times despite the devastating news from doctors that Michael might not fully recover from his mental condition. Autism spectrum disorder is a neurological disorder that affects development of children targeting their communication skills and their social relationship with others. At the age of six, his health conditions did get worse as he was seen to gain excess body fats. After serious medical examinations, he was diagnosed with type 2 diabetes. As if fate was not done with him yet, Michael broke his knee after slamming his leg in the living room chimney. This repetitive behavior of self-inflicting injuries whenever he got enraged almost made him lose his leg.

Michael had to undergo a 3-hour surgery on his knee but did not fully recuperate. The chief surgeon advised his parents to take him to some physical therapy sessions for as long as they could to make sure his condition improves. As for the mean time, he had to use some leg support to help him walk.

Apart from the physical therapy sessions, he had to frequent the hospitals to check his blood sugar and receive oral medications, strictly on a particular drug known as metformin, which he took a 500mg doze twice a day. His grandmother was very helpful and supportive to make sure Michael did not skip his prescription. On addition to his health problem, he also had a very serious allergy on peanut and his body would get pale and swollen whenever he came into contact with peanut. This forced his parents and the school fraternity to adhere to a special diet of peanut-free foods and low-caloric foods, particularly on plant produce. Type 2 diabetes was not something new in their family. His grandfather was also a victim and according to the family doctor’s opinion, Michael was vulnerable to inherit it because of his mental disability.

Rarely would Michael tour the town as he continuously enjoyed his own company. His physical condition would also restrict him but he had no problem running his errands. He used to feed on his own, take a shower or even visit the washroom without any form of assistance. He had a normal routine just like many of the other kids, despite his inequities. Michael could now communicate to others without so much trouble as opposed to his autism-incubation period, when communication was a problem. Earlier, he used to communicate by pointing at things but after a series of communication therapies, as advised by their doctor, Michael managed to recover his speech confidence. No harm had been done to his intellectual status and so he had no problem attending hillside school.

He got into the school bus every morning on his own but a special seat was reserved only for him. Hillside school was one of the best performing private schools where academic excellence was fundamental. Absenteeism was never condoned even to children with special needs unless under unavoidable circumstances that resulted to absenteeism. Teachers highly appreciated every child and they gave special attention to needy children.

In class, Michael would rarely concentrate in class activities. He would concentrate in his skillful drawings instead. At one point, he was asked by his math teacher to stop drawing during class activities. Indeed, he stopped, flipped the paper and stashed it in his back pocket. Few seconds later, he fished it out and continued drawing. Michael only responded when given one-on-one attention by the teachers. Apart from his inactive contribution to class activities, most of the teachers were intrigued by his drawings and even devised ways to help him nurture his talent. He drew almost anything out of his imaginations. His classmates also did receive advices and updates on his condition and how much Michael needs their support. They accepted and supported him to their abilities. This support helped him realize that folks were friendly and ready to assist.

At school, his teachers were updated on his medication and cautioned on the side effects such as diarrhea and vomiting if he took an excess dosage .They had to make sure he did his medication on time. Michael had to bring his metformin with him and an insulin shot was also made available at the school health center to be administered whenever mild diabetic attacks came by. The school clinic also did some frequent blood test to keep an eye on his glycogen level and by this, they helped reduce unpredicted future attacks on his sugar level. They even presided over his school meals to ensure his special diet was followed to the latter.

His social relationship with others was not that perfect but improving. He would not socialize much with other students unless he wants to. On several occasions, he concentrated on his drawings and delighted in them. Whenever anyone intruded his privacy without his consent and permission, he got enraged and destroyed anything at his disposal, even his fascinating drawings. Apart from his social problems, he seemed to enjoy his physical education class and the company of Mr. Brooke, his physical education teacher. He got exceedingly happy around him as he tried hard to participate in exercises despite his fractured knee.

Nowadays, he freely interacts with his parents and he tells them everything that happened in school. Earlier, he would even hurt himself and never say anything to them. His parents are currently very pleased with the improvements of Michael and are very optimistic that their child will fully recover. During the weekends, Mr. & Mrs. Madison take Michael for a walk and even assist him in home therapies to help him recover. This has made Michael have a positive perspective of life and has greatly contributed to his recovery.

It is important to understand that a classroom setup with a supportive environment is essential in supporting children with autism and diabetes. This classroom setting creates an atmosphere of social interactions that can help such students learn how to appreciate the existence of others and recognize them. The society should also learn to appreciate the range of other abilities in such victims and help them mobilize their abilities into strengths.


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Children. Journal of Abnormal Child Psychology, 20, 555–566

Smith, I., & Bryson, S. (1994). Imitation and action in autism: A critical review.

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environments. International Journal of Disability, Development and Education, 47(1), 25-38

Ward, J., Center, Y. & Bochner, S. (1994). A question of attitudes: Integrating children with

disabilities into regular classrooms? British Journal of Special Education, 21, 34-39.

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