Skip to 0 minutes and 10 secondsTOM SHAKESPEARE: Hello, and welcome to our course on integrated healthcare for children with developmental disabilities. My name is Tom Shakespeare. I'm Professor of disability research at the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine.

Skip to 0 minutes and 25 secondsHANNAH KUPER: And I'm Hannah Kuper, a Professor of epidemiology, and the Director of the International Centre for Evidence in Disability at the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine. We're your lead educators over this three-week course as we learn how to provide high quality healthcare for children with developmental disabilities.

Skip to 0 minutes and 44 secondsTOM SHAKESPEARE: Research indicates that around one in six children have a developmental disability, a term covering a diverse range of conditions, such as Down syndrome, cerebral palsy, and congenital hearing loss. These conditions, in interaction with environments, often limit a child's ability to engage in everyday activities, as areas of communication, learning, and mobility can be affected. Healthcare provides a foundation on which these children can realise their full potential. But unfortunately, they can experience difficulties accessing healthcare services. It's up to us to work together to improve inclusion and remove these barriers that make lives more difficult.

Skip to 1 minute and 30 secondsHANNAH KUPER: It's vital that healthcare providers are equipped to provide targeted, appropriate care to children with developmental disabilities and their families. Working within a network of other essential service providers will ensure children with disabilities are able to live stimulating, fulfilling lives as they enjoy their right to education, social inclusion, and community living.

Skip to 1 minute and 53 secondsTOM SHAKESPEARE: So over the next three weeks, we'll hear from experts, healthcare professionals, parents, and persons with disabilities as we look to enhance our understanding of healthcare for children with developmental disabilities. Through a range of videos, case studies, and discussions, we will learn about improving healthcare access for children with developmental disabilities, addressing a broad range of needs, including both physical and emotional well-being, effective communication with children and their families, and importantly, how to develop a strong network across a range of services to help children realise their fundamental human rights. To help you learn, we'll be using real world examples from across the globe, looking at a range of common developmental disabilities.

Skip to 2 minutes and 47 secondsHANNAH KUPER: The course is designed for healthcare practitioners, NGO workers, and other professionals who are likely to interact with children with disabilities in a healthcare setting. We want to welcome a diverse group of learners from various corners of the world who can bring unique experiences and perspectives. The course provides a wonderful opportunity to exchange thoughts and ideas, creating a real community of learning, and notably, a community of practice. High quality appropriate healthcare is a fundamental human right for children with developmental disabilities. Join us as we learn how to make this a reality.

Welcome to the course

Welcome to our course ‘Integrated Healthcare for Children with Developmental Disabilities’. Your Lead Educators are:

  • Hannah Kuper - Director of the International Centre for Evidence in Disability at the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine
  • Tom Shakespeare - Professor of Disability Research at the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine

Course overview

This three week course has been developed by the International Centre for Evidence in Disability at the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine, in collaboration with Fundação Oswaldo Cruz (Fiocruz), a public health research university in Brazil. We have received input from a large number of families of children with developmental disabilities, adults with disabilities, healthcare practitioners and other stakeholders from around the world in putting the course together.

The course is designed to improve integrated healthcare for children with developmental disabilities across the world.

Two girls sitting a desk in school looking with attention towards the front of the classroom Risper Tepeina (12) - at a mainstream school in Kenya. © CBM

What will we learn?

Over the next three weeks we will address healthcare priorities for children with developmental disabilities and their families. Together, we will aim to answer the following questions:

  • What are developmental disabilities and what do they mean for children and their families?
  • What are the healthcare needs of children with developmental disabilities?
  • How do we overcome barriers to healthcare access for children and their families?
  • How do we work with other service providers to promote a child’s right to healthcare, education and social inclusion?

Some of the topics we discuss will be easy for healthcare professionals to implement, such as improving communication with families and offering family-centred care. However, it’s important for us to recognise that some of the subjects discussed in this course are not within the control of individual healthcare professionals, but instead require changes to the health system as a whole (for example, the need for more specialist healthcare services).

We hope that by learning more about these issues, healthcare professionals can begin to make small improvements in their own practice, paving the way for improvements on a larger scale, that start from the bottom-up.

Four boys sitting on a ledge laughing together. There is a wheelchair in the background. Lonjezo Matitha (9) - in white shirt - with friends in Malawi. © CBM/Hayduk

How will we learn?

We will use a variety of learning techniques including videos, articles, discussions and simple ways to test your learning. You will hear from people with disabilities and their families, healthcare professionals, public health academics and international stakeholders, who will share their knowledge and experience with you.

Each step of this course will feature a ‘Comments’ section at the bottom of the page that you can use to share your thoughts and reflections. We are expecting learners from across the world and these discussions will help improve the learning for all of us.

When you are confident with the material and ideas covered in each step, please click on the pink button entitled ‘Mark as complete’ before using the arrow to continue. This will allow you to check your progress using the ‘Progress’ tab at the top of each page.

We have thoroughly enjoyed putting the course together and we hope that you will find the material thought-provoking, engaging and most of all, enjoyable!

Please help us improve this course

Join our course evaluation: Take a short additional pre-course survey.

This short pre-course survey has 14 questions and should take less than 10 minutes to complete. Your answers will help the course team better understand your learning needs and experiences, how well the course helps you achieve your personal and professional learning goals, and how we can improve the course in the future! There will be a short additional post-course survey at the end of our 3 weeks together and we may also, with your permission, invite you to a phone interview 3-6 months after the course ends.

Please note: Participating in this evaluation is completely optional and is not essential to completing this course in any way.

Many thanks! If you have any questions please contact the course evaluation team, Nathaniel.Scherer@LSHTM.ac.uk or Sally.Parsley@LSHTM.ac.uk.

© The London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine

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Integrated Healthcare for Children with Developmental Disabilities

London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine