Additional needs are difficulties a child may experience due to physical, emotional, behavioural or learning disability or impairment that causes them to need extra help or support. Such as in education or recreation.

Factors which may result in a child having an additional need are biological and environmental. Biological factors mean “a child may need additional support because of genetic causes (a faulty gene) or developmental causes. (Something went wrong in the womb while the foetus was growing)” Meggit C and Bruce T Childcare and Education (2015) Some examples of developmental causes are irradiation, rubella and thalidomide. Examples of common genetic factors are colourblindness, cystic fibrosis, sickle cell anaemia. These conditions are caused by abnormal genes; dominant, chromosomal and recessive defects.

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Down’s syndrome is a chromosomal defect as they have one extra chromosome, 47 instead of 46. This condition is long-term so the person with Down’s syndrome will always have it. There are many physical, intellectual, language and speech, emotional and social characteristics that people with the genetic disorder may have such as:
– Shorter fingers
– Simian crease or single palmers crease
– Hearing or sight impairments
– Shorter stature
– Thyroid problems
– Bowel disorders
– Weakened immune systems
– More susceptible to gaining weight, therefore, more likely to develop type 2 diabetes
– More susceptible to heart defects and strokes
– More likely to experience abuse as they are more vulnerable
– Can be very overly affectionate and trusting of people they do not know
– No spatial awareness
– Eyes slanted downwards
– Rounded face
– Slower development in all areas
– May find it harder to communicate
– Smaller, flatter nose
– Low-set, small ears
– Small, more open mouth so tongue may be protruding
– A smaller head that is partly flattened in back

Cystic fibrosis is a hereditary condition meaning it was genetically inherited. Cystic fibrosis is a recessive gene defect. This condition is long-term. If both parents carry the faulty gene there is a 25 per cent chance of having a child with cystic fibrosis, a 50 per cent chance the child will be a carrier of the condition but not have it themselves and a 25 per cent chance the child will not have the faulty gene or the condition.

https://www.cysticfibrosis.org.uk/~/media/images/what-is-cf/cf-carrier-640×360-diagram.ashx?h=auto&w=500&la=en&hash=FA310FBD12C231DC6B23739D5796AA5E3F8E89E7

Some of the symptoms of this are;
– Persistent coughing, with some phlegm
– Poor weight gain or growth although good appetite and food consumption
– Salty skin
– Frequent lung infections
– Wheezing and shortness of breath
– Bowel problems
– Male infertility

A congenital condition, a condition present at or before birth, is cerebral palsy. This condition is long-term. Cerebral palsy is “marked by impaired muscle coordination (spastic paralysis) and/or other disabilities, typically caused by damage to the brain before or at birth.” https://www.google.co.uk/search?ei=3qfdW4-_AcfZgAaqn6LIDA&q=definecerebral+palsy&oq=definecerebral+palsy&gs_l=psy-ab.3..0i7i30k1l10.4029.4694.0.4831.6.6.0.0.0.0.100.448.5j1.6.0….0…1c.1.64.psy-ab..1.5.346…35i304i39k1j0i13k1.0.YIfKSLTrS88 (Date accessed 3/11/18) There are three main types of cerebral palsy: ataxic, athetoid, spastic cerebral palsy. The most common is spastic cerebral palsy.
Some symptoms of this condition include;
– Speech problems
– Shaky hands
– Hearing impaired
– Muscle tone either too tight or too floppy
– Lack of muscle coordination
– Some involuntary movements
– Exaggerated movements
– Slow writhing
– Convulsions
– Difficulty walking, may rely on a wheelchair
– One side of the body is easier to move or control so is used more
– Swallowing problems
– Difficulty eating
– Mental health conditions
– Abnormal touch or pain judgments
– Intellectual disabilities
– Delays in with motor skills milestones (mostly fine motor skills) such as pushing up on arms, eating independently, sitting unaided and drawing or writing

Environmental factors are the setting and surroundings the child has been brought up in and the negative or positive influences and impacts they have had on them. The external factors include; health-related, accidents, illnesses, lifestyle-related and social disadvantages.

One factor that negatively impacts a child’s development is substance misuse – a lifestyle choice. This has long-term effects on the child and these may include mental problems, illegal behaviour, poor socialization, unemployment, and incomplete illegal. This can be ill-usage of any substance not meant to have or use whilst pregnant (for instance drugs or alcohol) therefore leading to additional needs such as fetal alcohol syndrome and neonatal abstinence syndrome. The effects on a baby with one of these syndromes are devastating:
– Seizures
– Poor growth
– Birth defects
– Premature birth
– Learning disabilities (moderate to severe)
– Low birth weight
– Stillbirths
– Behavioural problems
– Facial abnormalities
– Poor physical coordination
– Poor judgement and logic skills
– Sleeping problems

Or even substance abuse when the child is young, not whilst pregnant. If an adult or parent in a child’s life is addicted to drugs or alcohol, it will emotionally affect them as they will feel neglected and distant from them. It also may affect their physical health in the future as they may follow the same path as their parents or guardians.
The long-term impacts on a child with parents or adults in their life who have a Substance Use Disorder (SUDs) could be:
– Feeling unsafe
– Feeling neglected
– Bad physical health when they get older and may follow their parents into that lifestyle and develop a SUD
– Poor behaviour
– Child protection services get involved
– Potential family break up
– Educational needs not met
– Relationship problems later on
– Family conflict
– Feeling isolated
– Poor mental health (Oppositional disorders, anxiety and depression)
– Problems with peers
– Legal problems
– School problems
– Abuse (sexual, physical, emotional or neglect)

Another factor which may lead to a child needing additional support is poverty – a social disadvantage. If a guardian is unemployed or doesn’t earn enough money long-term (due to health difficulties etc), it can really have an effect on the children and family’s health and lifestyle. Poverty can lead to a poor diet and nutrition for the children and family as they cannot afford most healthy, fresh foods for their children. Any bad eating habits acquired in childhood, are likely to stay during adulthood, therefore, has long-term effects. This will affect the child’s growth and development as they do not have the right nutrients to develop healthily. Poor nutrition in long-term can develop problems with obesity and being overweight and consequently type 2 diabetes or cardiovascular disease. The family may also be living in a house that is not suitable for the size of their family as they cannot afford a home big enough. This impacts the child because this means there is a lack of space to play and explore as the house will be overcrowded with people and items.e. Children in small accommodation with no garden or park nearby (walking distance as cannot afford to buy a car), may become unfit and unhealthy because of the reduced exercise. Moreover, the housing may be damp and unsanitary as it is hard for them to afford anything cleaner. Which impacts the family’s health in a way so that they develop conditions such as asthma or failure to thrive etc. Which in turn, may affect the children missing school due to their poor health which will decrease their social, emotional, speech and language and intellectual development. When the child goes to school, the family may not be able to provide all the equipment and money for school trips, therefore, will develop slower emotionally, socially – as they can’t do the same as their peers without the correct equipment – and intellectually – as they aren’t learning and exploring the same as their class pupils out on excursions. Finally, children who grow up in a household which is tight on money, are more likely to be involved with accidents with long-term effects.

https://www.verywellhealth.com/features-of-down-syndrome-1120462
https://www.cff.org/What-is-CF/About-Cystic-Fibrosis/
https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/cerebral-palsy/symptoms-causes/syc-20353999
https://www.cysticfibrosis.org.uk/what-is-cystic-fibrosis/what-causes-cystic-fibrosis
https://www.stanfordchildrens.org/en/topic/default?id=neonatal-abstinence-syndrome-90-P02387
https://www.stanfordchildrens.org/en/topic/default?id=fetal-alcohol-syndrome-90-P02122
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3725219/

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