Disability in Adolescence by E. Anderson

By E. Anderson

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The local authority has helped this family by re-housing, installing a lift, and putting a hoist in the bathroom, although Michelle said they did not make a great deal of use of the hoist because ‘Mum’s not very sure of it’. Although articulate, Michelle has many marked learning probems and intellectually was one of the least able in the study. Emotionally and socially she was only just entering the adolescent stage: her mother said that ‘the way she sees the world is about as a twelve year old’.

However, sexual 14 DISABILITY IN ADOLESCENCE functioning in males is innervated in such a complicated way that it is difficult to generalize and whether a male with spina bifida can have genital intercourse or father a child depends very much on the level and severity of the spinal lesion. About 90 per cent of children born with myelomeningocele are also likely to have hydrocephalus, or ‘water on the brain’. This means that the cerebro-spinal fluid (CSF) which normally circulates around the brain begins to accumulate.

A higher proportion of the cerebral-palsied than of the spina bifida children were attending ordinary schools (35 per cent compared with 20 per cent). Transfers between the two types of school were relatively uncommon, particularly from special primary to ordinary secondary (only four in all) and only ten children (9 per cent of the total sample) had transferred from ordinary to special schools at 11+. One of these was untypical in having come from the Caribbean to join her family, and no less than six of the rest came from the same LEA, an authority which had recently opened its own special school.

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