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Case studies: healthcare needs

Four fictional case studies, in which we discuss new healthcare scenarios for children with developmental disabilities.
An illustration of our four case study characters. One teenage boy is holding his cheek. A girl is doing physio with her mother. Another girl is sitting and waving at us. A boy is wrapped in a blanket on the sofa.

In this step, we will reflect upon our four case studies previously introduced, as we further explore specialist and general healthcare needs.

An illustration of a boy curled up under a blanket on the sofa. He looks ill and upset. Case Study 1. Justin: Justin is six years old. He has a severe hearing impairment and has learnt sign language. He lives in the United States of America with his parents and siblings. Justin recently contracted a chest infection and needs to visit his local primary care physician. Justin’s parents are keen that he understand what is happening during the visit.

An illustration of a mother supporting her daughter in a physio session. The girl is on her back and her mother is stretching her leg Case Study 2. Thandi: Thandi is three years old and lives in Malawi with her family. She has cerebral palsy. Thandi requires physiotherapy and occupational therapy, but the two services are far away and located in the capital. Finding the money to pay for travel to the appointments is a real challenge for Thandi’s mother.

An illustration of a girl with Down syndrome. She is sitting cross-legged on the floor and waving towards us Case Study 3. Mai: Mai is nine years old. She has Down Syndrome and lives in Vietnam with her mother, father and sister. Mai has recently been diagnosed with epilepsy. She has been prescribed medication to help manage the condition. She and her parents would like specialist advice about how she can also make healthy lifestyle changes to continue managing her epilepsy.

An illustration of a teenage boy sat at the kitchen table with a half eaten plate of food in front of him. He is holding his cheek and grimacing in pain Case Study 4. Lucas: Lucas is seventeen years old and has autism. He lives with his grandmother in Brazil. Lucas has a toothache and will soon visit a new dentist for the first time. He is nervous about meeting someone new and isn’t sure what the dental check-up will involve.


For each case study, discuss the following:

  • What are the key challenges that these children will face in having their healthcare needs met?
  • What are the solutions that can be used to help overcome these challenges?

Please share your answers in the comments section below. We look forward to hearing your ideas.

© The London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine
This article is from the free online

Integrated Healthcare for Children with Developmental Disabilities

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