Welcome to Sped Life Cebu!

Chat Box

Search This Blog


Thursday, July 31, 2008

Happy Walk 2008

February 25, 2008
Cebu City, The Philippines
From the Sped Advocates Society of USJR Cebu

The goal of Happy Walk is to promote understanding, awareness and acceptance of persons with Down Syndrome.








‘Happy Walk’ to raise funds for special kids

TO RAISE awareness on the needs and capabilities of persons with Down Syndrome, the Down Syndrome Assocation of the Philippines-Cebu Branch will hold the annual Happy Walk.

It will be on Sunday, Feb. 25, 2008

It will be from the Cebu Holdings Inc. lobby to the exhibit area of the Ayala Center Cebu activity center, where a program will be held.

Caregivers, teachers, friends and family members of persons with Down Syndrome may join the annual walk.


Registration will begin at 8 a.m. and the walk will start at 9:30 a.m.

Participants need to pay P50 for the food and drinks.

They will also receive certificates of participation.


Proceeds of the walk will fund activities of the association.

The group hopes to give the public a chance to engage with special children.

Questions about the activity may be referred to Monina Villanueva, the association’s Cebu branch manager.

One may call her at 238-0105 or 414-6210.

Skills and Livelihood Training For Hearing-Impaired Students

Mandaue's City Central School, which serves an economically depressed community, stretches its resources to reach its students' needs but is rarely able to provide individuals with hearing impairments and other special needs with the support they need to become independent, contributing members of society. Quota International of Mandaue's training program offers that support so all students can not only support themselves, but also pursue a trade that builds their self-esteem and gives a sense of purpose to their lives.


Since 2005, SPED (Special Education) students at the school have received training in the program of their choice: baking, manicure and pedicure, sewing, or massage. In past years, Mandaue Quotarians have built the infrastructure to sustain the program, including hiring a full-time training teacher and providing a training center complete with a kitchen sink and cabinets, plumbing and electrical installations, refrigerator, gas range, cooking utensils, and other supplies. Now, the club will take further steps to formalize the program, developing a training module in conjunction with local government agencies to accredit the training and register it with the Department of Social Welfare and Development, which will give the program access to more resources and opportunities.


Club-to-Club donations will help the program continue to grow, supporting the teacher's salary, events to celebrate students' accomplishments, and transportation to school. Funds will also be used to purchase equipment and supplies for baking (ingredients and utensils), manicures and pedicures (nail cutters, files, and polish), sewing (sewing machines, kits, and cloth), and massage (towels and lotions).

If you wish to donate to this project, please click here.


Oralympics starts today at Cebu City Sports Center

AROUND 400 differently-abled athletes take part in today’s Annual Sportsfest for the Differently-Abled dubbed “Oralympics 2003” at the Cebu City Sports Center. The events to be contested in the sportsfest, which drew the participation of four teams with nine member agencies making up each team are track and field, ballgames and parlor games.

The affair will start at 6:30 a.m. in front of the Fuente Rotunda, where the Green, Red, Blue and Yellow teams converge for the parade going to the CCSC.

After the opening program, elimination and championship games in track and field, ballgames, parlor games, immediately follow starting at 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Dr. Jorgen Y. Lim, dean of the Velez College of OT & PT, and Philspada Region 7 president and PSC regional coordinator Arnel Pasion will give the awards to the winners in the awarding ceremony at 4 p.m.

The differently-abled athletes who will shine in this competition will represent the Philspada Region 7 team in the national championship.

The member agencies composing the Green Team are the AVRC C, Cebu Braille Center, Zapatera SPED Center, Stages Center Inc., Lipata SPED Center, First High School for HI, Cebu Hope Center, Eversley Child Sanitarium and the Pinamungajan SPED Center.

Red Team is composed of the CSCST, Unity of Blind Massage Exp.1, Consolacion SPED Center, Catholic Mission for Deaf, Labangon SPED Center, Cebu Welfare Kahayag, Danao SPED Center, Eversley Child Sanitarium 2 and ADPATIC.

Blue Team is frontlined by HACI III, School for the Crippled Children, HANDS, Mandaue SPED Center, St. Martin de Porre Sr., Cebu Organization of the Blind, Naga SPED Center, Hospitaller Sisters and Eversley Child Sanitarium 3.

Yellow, on the other hand, is made up of San Fernando, San Nicolas and Tabunok SPED Centers, Sunshine Center, Norfil Foundation, SOS Children’s Village, Eversley Child Sanitarium IV, Sidlakan SW and the Mandaue Association for the Disabled.JSV


Editorial: Haven

ANY visitor to the Special Education (Sped) Center of the Mandaue City Central School will initially disbelieve that this is a facility found in a public school in the country.

Quality Sped education remains expensive and inaccessible to many lower-income families. This is reinforced by the bias that sending a differently abled child who may have difficulty finishing school and landing a job is an indulgence that cannot be afforded by families, which prioritize their meager resources for educating the other “normal” children.

Mandaue City Central School has been trying to tip the balance in favor of children with disability. From two teachers handling Sped in the late 1970s, its Sped Center has made room through the years for children with special needs due to intellectual disability, as well as hearing and visual impairment. The school has 16 teachers handling the 314 special students presently enrolled, says Sped coordinator Delia Miñoza.

Several buildings house classrooms where the average ratio is one teacher for every 10-15 students, anomalous by the prevailing public school standard of 50-60 students for every teacher.

This beacon in Mandaue proves the sincerity of government and non-government organizations (NGOs) to bring about inclusive education for the disabled.

More inclusive education.

The National Statistics Office’s latest Census on Population and Housing estimates there are more than 940,000 Filipinos with disability.

In a World Bank conference paper, the Philippine chapter of Disabled Peoples’ International revealed that children now comprise up to 40 percent of all Filipinos with disability. “This implies that the country has some 376,000 handicapped children,” says the NGO.

According to a press release, Senator Loren Legarda introduced Senate Bill 941, which seeks to provide free special education to help rehabilitate and develop the country’s estimated 376,000 handicapped children.

Under Legarda’s proposal, special schools in every province, city and municipality will grant free pre-elementary and elementary levels of education, with free ambulatory equipment or devices and special services such as note-takers and readers for the blind, sign interpreters for the deaf and tutorial instruction.


The spirit of Legarda’s proposal is already being translated in havens like the Mandaue City Central School.

Aside from a curriculum that targets mainstreaming (integrating special students in regular classes), the Sped center promotes sports and vocational training.

Four of its athletes successively competed to join the delegation of 51 Filipinos participating in the 2007 Special Olympics World Summer Games held in Shanghai, People’s Republic of China last Oct. 2-11, 2007.

Against 7,500 athletes from 164 countries, Mizzel Dawa, Candice Sabang, Ira Chariza Luarez and Mariel Sherin Tan won medals or finished as finalists in the shotput event, running long jump and the 100-meter run.

Dawa and Sabang are trained at the school-based Sheltered Workshop, oriented in baking and entrepreneurship to prepare them for future placement in the workplace.

Foreign and local NGOs sponsor the school’s facilities. Miñoza acknowledges all forms of support, from Jose and Nena Gullas’ donation of software-enabled computers that make electronic literacy accessible to the hearing- and visually impaired to the services and donations of Sped apprentices from various schools. The school’s special computer literacy classes were boosted by the Gullases’ offer to shoulder the salary and benefits of a visually disabled computer education teacher.

More than public support and private grants, the Sped teachers’ commitment is the heart and engine of the institutional effort to build up special children for greater social participation.

Miñoza, for instance, has been handling Sped public school classes for nearly two decades. Her experience and training make her ideal for the US market where a critical teacher shortage, according to www.gmanews.tv, forces even school systems in the south, like Georgia, to offer $1,800 (or P73,224, at P40.68 to a dollar) signing bonus for a 190-day contract for fully certified Special Education foreign teachers open to relocation.

But Miñoza tells Sun.Star Cebu that she is staying put in the country. “There’s still much more to be done,” she says.



Editorial: Lifting disability bias

Monday, February 18, 2008

NOWHERE is a school’s impact more felt than in the area of inclusive education for persons with disability (PWDs).

Lifting the shutters of ignorance and bias, schools open doors for PWDs and their families. Special education (Sped) teachers evaluate the literacy needs of the differently abled child, provide the functional education to improve his or her participation in society, and link with nongovernment organizations (NGOs) that facilitate integration beyond the academe.

But schools are also influential in getting the rest of the studentry and their families to understand and empathize with PWDs.

Delia Miñoza, Sped coordinator of the Mandaue City Central School, recalls how PWDs received in the late 1980s a treatment far different from the one they receive now that the Department of Education (DepEd) has institutionalized disability-inclusive education.

Before the widespread recognition of the needs of slow learners and students with learning and other forms of disability, special students were often blamed as laggards purposely adding to the workload of teachers or disrupting classes with erratic behavior or poor self-discipline.

Miñoza recalled that many students spat, teased and baited differently abled students who became unruly or hyperactive when the lessons could not hold their attention. Because of disruptions and other classroom incidents, many parents of regular students complained to teachers or administrators that the inclusion of PWDs posed as hindrances, even threats, to their children’s learning or safety.


Through the passage of Batas Pambansa 232, or the “Special Education Act of 1982,” the state provides for access of education for all, regardless of physical and mental condition.

In schoolyear 2004-05, the Sped programs carried out by special schools, Sped centers, regular schools with Sped programs, and special classes served the needs of 156,270 children with special needs. According to www.deped.gov.ph, 49 percent or 77,152 of these students are mentally gifted or fast learners.

The remaining 79,118 (51 percent) are students with disabilities. The learning disabled are the most numerous at 40,260, followed by the mentally slow, the hearing impaired, autistic children, students with behavioral problems, visually impaired, speech-defective, orthopedically handicapped, chronically ill, and children with cerebral palsy.

According to the DepEd Cebu City Division, Sped services were initiated by the Zapatera Sped Center in 1975. Self-contained classes, as well as mainstreaming and inclusion in regular classes, are availed of by 244 students classified as mentally challenged, hearing impaired, visually impaired, multi-level handicapped, as well as those having cerebral palsy, Down Syndrome and autism. Of this population, 21 Sped adults are undertaking transition class for possible employment and assimilation outside the academe.

The Cebu City Division Sped data for schoolyear 2007-2008 also notes that, aside from Zapatera, there are six other public schools offering either Sped Centers or classes. The Labangon Sped Center has 16 hearing-impaired enrollees while the San Nicolas Sped Center serves 54 students with various disabilities. Sped classes are offered at the Bulacao Community School and Barrio Luz Elementary School.

Aside from a Sped class, the Don V. Rama Memorial National High School has nine mentally challenged adults enrolled in a transition class. For 84 hearing-impaired students, self-contained classes are offered at the First High School for the Hearing Impaired, opened in 1982.


The exodus of teachers, specially those with Sped training, has affected the government’s thrust for disability-inclusive education. Miñoza notes that the ideal ratio should be one teacher for 10-15 students in a Sped class to address the demands of special learning. This is compounded by the limited number of Sped teacher items in many schools’ plantilla.

While Sped trainings are given annually to administrators, Miñoza observes that personal will can also ensure that the trainings are re-echoed down the ranks of the teaching and administrative staff. Continuing education can upgrade Sped teachers’ techniques in working with students having disabilities. But Sped enhancement programs can also help regular teachers, as well as their students, ensure the success of inclusive education by extending the most basic of all: empathy and support for PWDs.



DepEd recognizes outstanding SPED teachers, centers

MANILA, Dec. 28 (PNA) – In celebration of 100 years of Special Education (SPED) in the country, the Department of Education (DepEd) has recognized the outstanding SPED teachers who have made the department’s SPED programs successful.

The recognition rites were held last Dec. 11 to 13 at Great Eastern Hotel, Quezon City.

Education Secretary Jesli Lapus said, “In our efforts to provide education for all, no one should be left behind, especially those with special needs.”

The awarding ceremony was part of a three-day conference on SPED themed: “Celebrating 100 Years of Special Education.”

The conference sought to review the policies, current approaches, and strategies in Special Education. Best practices were also highlighted in line with SPED’s centennial celebration.

The national winners for the Visually Impaired Category are Thelma Guariño from Bagong Silang SPED Center in Caloocan City who won third place; second placer Edgar Sagun from Candelaria Central School SPED Center in Zambales; and Arlene Ranile from Mandaue City CS SPED Center who won first place.

For the Hearing Impaired Category, Brenda Ebreo of La Union SPED Center, San Fernando City won the first place, followed by Phoebe Santiago of Legazpi City Division SPED Center, and Estrella Bautista of San Fernando Elementary School for the third place.

In the Children with Autism Category, Estrela Sartiga of Lipata Central School SPED Center won the third place, followed by Marife De Guzman from La Union SPED Center in second place. Maurina Jerusalem from Midsayap Pilot Elementary School SPED Center in Cotabato bagged the first place.

In the Children with Mental Retardation Category, Edvin Cabrera from Integrated School for Exceptional Children in Iloilo City won the first place, followed by Virginia Amanon of Midsayap Pilot Central School in Cotabato, and Rosario Santos of Sta. Ana Elementary School SPED Center in Manila.

Lastly, for the Gifted and Talented Children, Nora Amowas of Baguio City SPED Center won the first place, followed by Efremelia Caronan of Tuguegarao East Central School in Tuguegarao City, and Ma. Fe Teresa Peñaflor of Dinalupihan Elementary School in Bataan who won second and third places, respectively.

The best SPED Centers were also acknowledged. The national winners are Paaralang Pag-ibig at Pag-asa from San Pablo City for the third place; ZAPATERA Elementary School SPED Center in Cebu City for the second place and La Union SPED Center in San Fernando City for the first place.

The Special Education Division, under the Bureau of Elementary Education (BEE), prepares instructional materials specifically designed for children with special needs. It also establishes linkages with agencies concerned with the education and welfare of these children. (PNA)



CSCST offers courses for the Hearing Impaireds

CEBU State College of Science and Technology (CSCST) main campus is offering Special Education-hearing impaired high school graduates a two-year course in technology.

The course includes majors in Computer Technology, Furniture and Cabinet-making Technology and Cosmetology.

Pinoy Votes: Sun.Star Election 2007

Applicants need to bring a certificate of good moral character, high school report card for incoming freshmen, transcript of record for transferee, two pieces 2X2 photo, testing fee of P200 and Mongol 1 pencil.

The admission examination will be on May 16 and 17 for the first batch and May 30 and 31 for the second batch, 8:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m., Guidance testing room,, 4th floor, CSCST Cebu City campus.

The admission test results will be given on June 4 to 8, 8:30 a.m., Sped room.


A parent-student consultant conference and orientation with adviser, L. Saladaga, and the guidance counselor, will follow.

Enrollees need to submit chest X-ray results, the original report card, among others. Classes will start on June 13.

For more inforamtion, one may visit http://www.cscst.ph, email inforamtion@cscst.ph, call 412-1474, 412-1400 local 177, 0916-6040635 or 0915-8240690.


Sped teacher to hold seminar

A FILIPINO teacher working in the United States will share his teaching experience in the Philippines.

Engr. John Rommel Uy, a former faculty member of the Cebu State College of Science and Technology (CSCST) Special Education Department and is presently teaching in the Safford School District in Arizona, USA, will conduct a seminar on June 28, 8 a.m. at the CSCST Main Campus Special Education Multimedia Center.

Uy will share his teaching experience on three topics—American educational process, Individualized Education Plan and its required components and assistive technology.


He will relate to special education students, graduates and the public his experiences in his one-year stint as a teacher in the US.

Uy is handling children with different disabilities in Arizona.

He recently passed the Arizona Teachers Board Examination.

With his love and concern for special children, he also brought state-of-the-art devices and equipment from America.

These will be set up at the CSCST Special Education Multimedia Center to upgrade the facility.

While on vacation, Uy is also giving Mathematics lessons to reviewees of the Licensure Examination for Teachers at the CSCST.


Tuesday, July 8, 2008

What is Cerebral Palsy?

Cerebral palsy is not a disease or an illness. It is a disability caused by damage to the brain that can take place before, during, or in the early days after birth. There are many causes of cerebral palsy which include an infection while still in the womb, such as the pregnant mother contracting German measles, a difficult birth, a genetic disorder, a bleed in the baby's brain, or the baby's brain forms abnormally for no apparent reason.

Research has not yet produced a full or adequate account of the causes of the condition, which is regarded as a disturbance of the central nervous system due to injury to the brain at some time. Damage to the brain may not only affect the child physically, but may result in visual, perceptual, auditory and learning disabilities. Some children may also have seizures (epilepsy). The physical disability may affect the child's interaction with and exploration of the world about him. It can also affect the child's ability to learn and develop intellectually, although this can often be minimised if the appropriate management is given.

Features of Cerebral Palsy
Most children with cerebral palsy have either spasticity or athetosis or a combination of the two.

Children with spasticity (hypertonus) feel stiff and may have difficulty moving, although their muscles are not paralysed. Some movement is possible but the variety is limited. This limitation prevents the child from participating in many activities. It is often difficult or impossible for children to stop themselves from falling if they lose balance.

Children with athetosis move too much. They may have difficulty controlling their movements or maintaining their posture.



The Bobath Approach

The Bobath approach to the management of children with cerebral palsy was pioneered and developed by Dr Karel and Mrs Berta Bobath. Begun in the 1940's the Bobath Concept is now well known and accepted in many countries as one of the leading approaches.

The main aim of treatment is to encourage and increase the child's ability to move and function in as normal a way as possible. More normal movements cannot be obtained if the child stays in a few positions and moves in a limited or disordered way. The aim of management is to help the child to change his abnormal postures and movements so that he or she is able to comfortably adapt to the environment and develop a better quality of functional skills.

Change is Possible
Each child's postural (muscle) tone is changeable, not only in relation to activity and moods, but also in response to being handled.

The first stage towards achieving functional activity is to enable the child with spasticity to be less stiff and the child with athetosis to gain some control over their posture and movement.

Therapists can help parents to understand their child's needs. They are shown the most appropriate ways or positioning in helping their child to move and to incorporate these into the child's daily life.

Helping the Child to Progress
The able-bodied child can move about to explore the environment. In the first stages he learns about himself. He kicks and then brings his toes to his mouth. He plays with his hands and fingers; he fingers his food and handles objects, bringing them to his mouth. Without much help, and quite naturally, he moves from one stage of development to another. Each new experience prepares the way for the next until ultimately he can do the more complex tasks that are required of him as he grows up.

The child with cerebral palsy also grows and develops, but his pattern of growth and development are delayed or arrested at a certain stage. The brain controls all movements, so that when some part of the brain is damaged, as in cerebral palsy, the control is disordered resulting in movement problems. Each case is different from another and each child has to be treated according to his need. A child may be able to move his lower limbs more easily than his upper, or the other way round. This will interfere with his development. Sometimes many stages of movement development are missing altogether. If, for example, the child cannot lie on his tummy, lift his head up, or support himself with his arms he will not learn to use the muscles of his neck and his back which he needs for sitting up straight or standing up. This may also interfere with the control of breathing and speech.

If he uses one side of his body more than the other, e.g. rolling always to one side and not the other, his body will not develop symmetrically. This will make the development of balance, eye-hand co-ordination, perceptual skills and movements difficult. It can also contribute to the development of contractures, deformities and hip dislocation.

If a child can stand up only by stiffening his legs he will tend to stand on his toes and in time his legs will become even stiffer. He will also move about on the floor on his tummy, using his arms to pull himself along. This may result in his arms being bent too much at the elbows and therefore, at a later stage, he may find it difficult to stretch them out to reach for objects, or so support himself on his extended arms which is also necessary to get himself up from the floor in the future.

All these factors need to be kept in mind when considering each child. We need to look ahead to see what are the most essential movements required for the future and work to attain them. This means that each child, despite the severity or type of problem, needs a variety of movements and positions during the day - each child's family will be taught how to do this in the most effective and helpful way for their child.

If a child is unable to explore his environment he needs to be helped to do so. He needs to see, touch, feel and experience different situations, e.g. inside the cupboards, different textures and different environments. In all situations the child should be helped to participate as much as possible - there is usually something each child can do, no matter how small, to make him feel a part of what is happening. This helps the child to develop a sense of self-worth, responsibility and to develop independence.

Play is another way in which a child learns to develop appropriate behaviour and 'social rules' necessary for later adult life. A child engages in many types of play which are important for social intellectual and perceptual development. The therapist will help the families to develop their child's play by giving advice on the most helpful positions and ways of handling. Advice is also available about the types of toys and activities which will be of the most help at each stage of development for the baby, infant, pre-school and school child as well as the adolescent.

Thinking for Himself
Although some children with cerebral palsy cannot express themselves through speech, there are many alternatives to this. It is important that each child is encouraged to be a fully active participant in life in as many ways as possible. All children should be encouraged to think for themselves, to make choices and decisions, to have their own opinions, solve problems (with guidance only when necessary), and to understand the needs and desires of those around them.

As with any child it is important to provide the opportunity for these experiences (within limits!) so that each child can develop to be the individual that he or she is. It also helps, as with all children for a child to learn about discipline.

Development of Independence
Some children with cerebral palsy may not develop full independence in activities such as dressing, eating/drinking, bathing, toileting and personal hygiene. Their mobility may also be restricted. Special equipment may be used for movement and positioning to help participation in these activities. The therapists can give advice on ways to help the child to participate maximally.

Some children with cerebral palsy have difficulty in learning to use speech. This may be associated with a general difficulty in learning to use and understand language, or primarily due to difficulty in controlling the co-ordination of the muscles of breathing and articulation.

Speech is one of many ways in which people communicate with each other. We all depend largely on the use of facial expressions, body language (movements associated with speech), eye movements and gestures to express ourselves. These are the foundations on which young babies begin to communicate long before speech is well developed.

The child with cerebral palsy should be encouraged to use all these aspects of communication together with vocalisation and speech to their fullest extent. It is important to avoid anticipating the child's needs and preferences as much as possible, and to allow the child to express himself by using vocalisation, looking or pointing. In as many ways as possible, it is important to talk and play with all children and this is especially so for the child with cerebral palsy. Interactions should be two-way, with the child given time to participate in and initiate activities and conversations.

A speech and language therapist can offer advice from the beginning to maximise all aspects of the development of communication. A child with limited speech development may be able to use quick eye pointing to communicate. Another child might communicate by the use of signing or pointing to symbols and pictures. These alternative ways of expression can help to reduce frustration of not being understood or heard, and often accelerate the development of speech and understanding of language.

Eating and Drinking
The development of more mature eating and drinking skills is an important basis for the production of speech sounds.

Many children with cerebral palsy have difficulties in learning to eat and drink. With careful positioning and handling, it is possible to make meal times easier as well as more comfortable, sociable, less stressful and safe (so that the risk of food going down the "wrong way" is reduced).

It is common for children with cerebral palsy to be very sensitive to touch around their faces and inside their mouths. This, plus the need for a child to have a balance diet, can make the meal times stressful and unpleasant socially. Some children can be fearful of meal times because early experiences have been painful or frightening.

As well as good positioning, the therapist can advise on the texture and presentation of food to help encourage more mature, efficient eating/drinking skills. It is also helpful for a child to put his fingers and toys into his mouth to build up tolerance to touch and reduce the level of over-sensitivity. Careful teeth cleaning also helps in this process.

The careful assessment and planning of meal times can be an enjoyable way of incorporating therapy into the routine of daily life.



The Bobath Concept


The Bobath Concept The post war era brought an increasing awareness of the need for rehabilitation, leading a burgeoning of interest in all aspects of rehabilitation. By the early 1950's a variety of treatment approaches specifically designed to address neurological disability came into being, most of which had a theoretical basis in neurophysiology.

The Bobath Concept was one of these approaches, its founders Berta Bobath a physiotherapist, and her husband Dr Karel Bobath. The Bobaths had the ability to learn from experience and to adapt their concept with the changing needs of their patients. This ensured that the Bobath Concept developed into a treatment approach that is relevant today and is one of the most widely used approaches.

Berta Bobath (nee Busse)
Berta Busse was born in 1907 and grew up in Berlin. From 1924 to 1926 she trained at the Anna Hermann School of gymnastics and dance and continued to be an instructress in gymnastics at the school until 1933, when the tide of opinion in Germany turned against liberal establishments such as the Anna Hermann School.

Berta was later to attribute her understanding of normal movement, exercise and particularly relaxation, to the experience she gained during this period. In 1938, the rise of anti-Semitism in Berlin caused her to flee Germany and she eventually took up residence in London. In London, she renewed her friendship with Karel Bobath with whom she had acquainted in her early teens and they married in 1941.

In London she began to use her skills as a masseuse and gymnastic instructor. In 1941 she gained employment at The Princess Louise Hospital for Children and began to study to become a Physiotherapist.

In 1943 while treating the portrait painter Simon Ewes, Berta began to develop a different way of treating spasticity which was, over time, to lead her into developing a concept of treatment, not only for the treatment of adults with hemiplegia, but also children with cerebral palsy.

Karel Bobath
Karel Bobath was born in Berlin into a family originating from an area in Austro-Hungary that had been absorbed into Czechoslovakia following the First World War.

Karel trained as a doctor at Berlin University, graduating in 1932. He was subsequently refused permission to practice medicine in Berlin. He followed his family roots taking up Czech citizenship and returning to medical school, he graduated for a second time in medicine in 1936.

He worked in general paediatrics and paediatric surgery at The Children's Hospital in Brno until 1939 when the imminent invasion of Czechoslovakia made it necessary to flee to London.

Karel married Berta Busse in 1941. He shared Berta's fascination with trying to unravel and understand the problems of adults and children with neurological disabilities, and exploring how therapy would make a difference to their ability to move. By 1944, he had been appointed to the Cerebral Palsy unit at Harperbury Hospital and began a life long quest to understand how the treatment approach used by his wife worked.

Together they developed the Bobath Concept for the treatment of Children with Cerebral Palsy and adults with neurological conditions. In their lifetime, they travelled extensively, teaching and training tutors throughout the world. They both received many honours for their pioneering and innovative work. They died in 1991.



Special educational needs and disability

It is the ambition of the special educational needs (SEN) and disability division that every child with special educational needs reaches their full potential in school, and can make a successful transition to adulthood and the world of further and higher education, training or work.

To promote the welfare and interests of disabled children, and to improve the support they receive, this area of the site provides a wide range of SEN and disability advice and materials for teachers, parents and others working with children with SEN in England.

Among others, this site may prove valuable for parents, carers, schools, SEN governors, teachers, professionals and learning assistants.

Latest news 

Sir Jim Rose invited to make recommendations on the identification and teaching of children with dyslexia
On 6 May 2008, the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families announced that Sir Jim Rose has been asked, in the light of evidence, to make recommendations on the identification and teaching of children with dyslexia. He has also been asked how best to take forward the commitment in the Children's Plan to establish a pilot scheme in which children with dyslexia will receive Reading Recovery support or one-to-one tuition from specialist dyslexia teachers.

As part of taking this work forward, Sir Jim Rose has asked for some papers to be prepared which summarise relevant research evidence on some key questions he is considering. Suitably qualified and experienced academic researchers/advisers are invited to express an interest in undertaking this work.

May 2008: Revised guidance on the education of children with behavioural, emotional and social difficulties (BESD) as a special educational need is now available. It is intended to help schools and local authorities consider what support and provision are most likely to help remove barriers to the achievement, health and emotional well-being of children and young people with BESD.

April 2007: Please take our user-survey and help improve this website. Thank you.

March 2007: Promoting disability equality in schools: workshops for primary schools, special schools and pupil referral units

Promoting disability equality in schools is a new section of Implementing the Disability Discrimination Act in schools and early years settings. It explains to schools how to develop their Disability Equality Schemes.

In the summer term, the DCSF is holding a series of workshops for primary schools, special schools and pupil referral units. Attendees should include members of schools' senior management teams, governors and officers in local authorities with responsibility for supporting schools in meeting the Disability Equality Duty (DED). 

The workshops are free and lunch will be provided, but delegates will need to meet all other expenses themselves such as travel.

Delegates will benefit most from the event by bringing their current accessibility plans with them and details of any early work on their disability equality schemes. During the workshops, delegates will have the opportunity to use criteria to assess the extent to which they are meeting the requirements of a scheme. There will be plenty of opportunity to ask questions during the day. Clips from the DVDs in the resource Implementing the Disability Discrimination Act in schools and early years settings will also be shown.

To register for an event follow the link www.pauljamesassociates.co.uk/login.htm.

Use conference code: 975837 and password: pdes.

Alternatively, email the conference organisers at pdes@pauljamesassociates.co.uk or phone 0115 943 5589.

Places are limited and will be allocated on a first come, first served basis. Joining instructions, including an outline programme and location map, will be sent prior to the event.

Workshop dates

  • 8/06/07 East Midlands: Holiday Inn City, Leicester
  • 11/06/07 South West: Holiday Inn, Taunton
  • 18/06/07 East of England: Newmarket Race Course, Newmarket
  • 26/06/07 Yorkshire and the Humber: Holiday Inn, Harrogate
  • 2/07/07 North East: Marriott Gosforth Park Hotel, Newcastle
  • 11/07/07 West Midlands: Aston Villa Football Club, Birmingham
  • 18/07/07 London: Paddington Hilton Hotel, London.

Carol Foster-Middleton from the Department for Work and Pensions will attend some of the events to talk about research she is doing for a PhD. She intends to do a small case study of around six primary schools looking at how they are implementing the new public sector duty and developing their disability equality schemes. Carol is keen to talk to people at the event about any issues they have in relation to the new duty. The study will last three to four years, starting from this year.Carol can be contacted at the event, by email: carol.foster-middleton@dwp.gsi.gov.uk, or by phone on 020 7712 2157.

Members of the DCSF with an interest in workforce issues will be attending the first London event and the events in Manchester, Birmingham and Harrogate to discuss the collection of disability data on the school workforce.

Jan 2007: Disability Equality Duty guidance

New guidance materials explain how the Disability Equality Duty (DED) can be implemented by schools. The guidance is available here.

All schools that have ordered their copy of Implementing the Disability and Discrimination Act in schools and early years settings resource were sent a copy of the DED guidance in December 2006. Subsequently, anyone who orders the DDA resource will receive this new DED section with it.

The materials can help schools to:

  • Understand their duties under the different Parts of the DDA
  • Raise awareness of the Duty
  • Develop their scheme through a staged approach
  • Develop their accessibility plan to meet the requirements of a scheme
  • Provide training and development activities on the Duty

Jan 2007: The Implementation Review Unit's (IRU) statement on SEN and disability — meeting need, minimising bureaucracy

The Implementation Review Unit (IRU) is the first ever independent scrutiny unit with a remit to cut red tape and reduce bureaucracy in schools. A report issued by the IRU examines ways in which schools and local authorities can fulfil their legal obligations in supporting children with SEN, while minimising paperwork and bureaucracy.

The report explains:

  • The legal obligations on schools in relation to children with SEN and disability
  • The flexibilities available to schools and local authorities

It makes clear that schools and local authorities can adopt working practices which:

  • Avoid the need for schools to write and review Individual Education Plans
  • Avoid local authorities asking schools to provide information which has been previously provided, where a school can confirm it remains valid
  • Combine planning, funding, delivery and accountability processes that maximise the range, quality and relevance of local provision while reducing unnecessary bureaucracy.

The IRU advice for schools is that legally compliant practice on SEN and disability varies. Some is more effective and less bureaucratic than others. If you best practice is not used in your area discuss the matter with your local authority.

Oct 2006: The Government's response to the Education and Skills Select Committee report on Special Educational Needs

The Government's response to the Education and Skills Select Committee report on special educational needs was published on October 11 2006. A copy of the response can be found here.


Contact the SEN team at the DCSF by email.

Last updated: 23 June 2008




Guidance and advice for parents

Special needs

special needs

Guidance and advice for parents

In general, whatever the problem, it is likely that you'll be able to find at least some advice, and at best some specific support. Just about every disability or condition that affects a child has a support group. This section should get you started in your search for answers.

Bigarrow Disabilty
      SmallarrowThe definition of disability
      SmallarrowHelp and support
      SmallarrowThe role of schools

Bigarrow Children in care
      SmallarrowAdvice for parents, foster parents and residential carers
      SmallarrowEducation in public care 

Bigarrow Children with medical needs
      SmallarrowAccess to education
      SmallarrowAdvice about support

Bigarrow Special educational needs (SEN)
      SmallarrowThe legal definition of SEN
      SmallarrowSchool transport policy
      SmallarrowHomework for children with special educational needs
      SmallarrowSpecial educational needs complaints 

BigarrowGrowing up, sex and the disabled teenager 
      SmallarrowInformation and support from UK charity Contact a Family
      SmallarrowBooklets for young people, parents and teachers

Bigarrow Support group details
      SmallarrowLinks to the websites of special needs-related organisations
      SmallarrowContact details for special needs-related organisations



Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Recruitment Date for July 2008 Los Angeles

CalStateTEACH Information Meeting
Sponsored by: CalStateTEACH
  County: Los Angeles
  Date and time: 7/8/2008 - 7/8/2008
7:00 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.
  Location and address: King Hall, D-3072 Please bring dollar bills for parking
CSU Los Angeles 5151 State University Dr
Los Angeles, California 90032
  Description: Discover CalStateTEACH and earn your multiple subject teaching credential!

CalStateTEACH is a California State University teacher preparation program.
Information Meeting participants will learn how they can earn their Multiple Subject teaching credential in an online and Internet supported California State University program. CalStateTEACH credential candidates are eligible to teach multiple subjects in a regular education self-contained K-12 classroom.
RSVP required to Carla Turpin at 323-343-6050
  Website: CalStateTEACH
  Contact Information: Carla Turpin, Credential Analyst
(323) 343-6050