Skip main navigation

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.
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
This article is from the free online

Integrated Healthcare for Children with Developmental Disabilities

Created by
FutureLearn - Learning For Life

Reach your personal and professional goals

Unlock access to hundreds of expert online courses and degrees from top universities and educators to gain accredited qualifications and professional CV-building certificates.

Join over 18 million learners to launch, switch or build upon your career, all at your own pace, across a wide range of topic areas.

Start Learning now