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Case studies: the broader needs of children with developmental disabilities

A discussion on the broader needs and rights of four case study characters, each children with developmental disabilities.
© The London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine

Up to now, we have focused primarily on the healthcare needs of children with developmental disabilities and their families. However, this is only one component of a child’s life and overall wellbeing.

We must address the broader needs of children with developmental disabilities and make sure they can access a wider set of services in order to maximise their potential and quality of life. Reflect on the case studies below. An illustration of a boy with a hearing aid is dancing next to a tv and holding a slice of pizz

Case Study 1. Justin: Justin is six years old. He has a severe hearing impairment. He lives in the United States of America with his parents and siblings.

An illustration of a woman holding a girl in her lap and singing to her

Case Study 2. Thandi: Thandi is three years old and lives in Malawi with her family. She has cerebral palsy.

An illustration of a girl with Down syndrome about to kick a football

Case Study 3. Mai: Mai is nine years old. She has Down Syndrome and lives in Vietnam with her mother, father and sister.

An illustration of a teenage boy standing next to his grandmother as they cook a big pot of stew. She is handing him an onion to put in

Case Study 4. Lucas: Lucas is seventeen years old and has autism. He lives with his grandmother in Brazil.


Using the case studies and information above, consider the difficulties these children may experience in:

  • Attending school
  • Inclusion in social activities with other children
  • Becoming employed in adult life
  • Vulnerability to bullying and violence
  • Personal care, such as bathing, dressing, eating

How are each of these linked to the long-term health and wellbeing of children with developmental disabilities? What kinds of interventions may help to improve inclusion in these scenarios?

© The London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine
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Integrated Healthcare for Children with Developmental Disabilities

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