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Integrated Healthcare for Children with Developmental Disabilities

Discover how to improve the health and wellbeing of children with developmental disabilities.

8,207 enrolled on this course

Young boy with cerebral palsy from Malawi smiling at the camera

Support children with developmental disabilities to reach their potential

Despite their greater needs, children with developmental disabilities and their families often face barriers to healthcare access. Children with developmental disabilities must have access to high quality and appropriate healthcare, so they can realise their full potential and participate in their community.

This three-week course is designed to enhance your knowledge of children with developmental disabilities and help you to improve healthcare provision for a vulnerable group, by working in partnership with families and other essential services, such as education or social care providers.

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What topics will you cover?

  • Developmental disabilities and their effect on child development and functioning
  • The importance of early diagnosis and intervention
  • How to improve health and healthcare access for children with developmental disabilities
  • How to achieve equal partnership and effective communication in healthcare settings
  • The importance of family-centred care
  • The broader needs of children with developmental disabilities, including social inclusion and education
  • How to establish intersectoral collaboration with other key service providers

When would you like to start?

Start straight away and join a global classroom of learners. If the course hasn’t started yet you’ll see the future date listed below.

  • Available now

Learning on this course

On every step of the course you can meet other learners, share your ideas and join in with active discussions in the comments.

What will you achieve?

By the end of the course, you‘ll be able to...

  • Describe developmental disability and the impact of impairment and disability on children and their families
  • Explain how early intervention can improve long-term outcomes for children with developmental disabilities
  • Investigate the barriers and solutions to improve healthcare access for children with developmental disabilities
  • Explore the importance of trust and equal partnership with children with developmental disabilities and their families
  • Reflect on the broader needs and fundamental rights of children with developmental disabilities
  • Discuss how to collaborate with other service providers

Who is the course for?

The course is designed for healthcare professionals who may provide care for children with developmental disabilities, or other groups interested in the healthcare needs of these children. The course will be of particular benefit to:

• Clinicians (e.g. nurses, doctors, allied professionals), community health workers, healthcare managers and Non-Governmental Organisation (NGO) staff who provide treatment and care for children with developmental disabilities

• Other clinicians, professionals, researchers and students with an interest in healthcare services for children with developmental disabilities

• Teachers and other educators who want to learn about the health of children with developmental disabilities and their right to education, inclusion and social protection

• Trainers in academic institutions who are aiming to develop a practical course for healthcare providers in their setting

• Parents and relatives of a child with a developmental disability, who may be looking to learn more about a child’s healthcare needs

• Adults with a developmental disability, who may want to understand more about their own health and healthcare services

The course focuses on issues relevant to both high income and low- and middle-income countries and information can be adapted to your personal setting. Course materials will draw on examples from a variety of contexts, including Brazil, UK, India, and Zambia.

We look forward to welcoming learners from across the globe. Our aim is to develop a multidisciplinary network of learners, with a diverse range of experience, from which we all can learn.

Who will you learn with?

I am the Director of the International Centre for Evidence in Disability, and a Professor of Epidemiology. I have 15+ years of experience working in disability, mostly in low and middle income areas.

Professor of disability research at London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine. I have more than 30 years experience with the disability rights movement, and from 2008-2013, I was at WHO.

Who developed the course?

London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine

The London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine is a world leader in research and postgraduate education in public and global health. Its mission is to improve health and health equity worldwide.

International Centre for Evidence in Disability

The International Centre for Evidence in Disability is an international centre at LSHTM with expertise in disability research and teaching in the context of public health and development.

Fundação Oswaldo Cruz (Fiocruz)

Fundação Oswaldo Cruz (Fiocruz) is an education and research institution in Brazil, promoting the health, quality of life and social development of the nation’s population.


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Subscribe to Unlimited to access this course and hundreds of other short courses or buy just this course for extra benefits. Or, join with limited access.

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Automatically renews

Access hundreds of courses

  • Access to this course
  • Access to ALL eligible short courses
  • Learn at your own pace
  • Discuss your learning in comments
  • Tests to boost your learning
  • Digital certificate when you're eligible

Buy this course


One-off payment

Unlock your expertise

  • Access to this course
  • Learn at your own pace
  • Discuss your learning in comments
  • Tests to boost your learning
  • Printed and digital certificate when you’re eligible

Join with limited access


Try before you buy

  • Limited access to course content for 3 weeks

Find out more about certificates, Unlimited or buying a course (Upgrades)

Learning on FutureLearn

Your learning, your rules

  • Courses are split into weeks, activities, and steps to help you keep track of your learning
  • Learn through a mix of bite-sized videos, long- and short-form articles, audio, and practical activities
  • Stay motivated by using the Progress page to keep track of your step completion and assessment scores

Join a global classroom

  • Experience the power of social learning, and get inspired by an international network of learners
  • Share ideas with your peers and course educators on every step of the course
  • Join the conversation by reading, @ing, liking, bookmarking, and replying to comments from others

Map your progress

  • As you work through the course, use notifications and the Progress page to guide your learning
  • Whenever you’re ready, mark each step as complete, you’re in control
  • Complete 90% of course steps and all of the assessments to earn your certificate

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