We all worry or feel scared at times, but some kids may worry so much they avoid participating in activities, being with others, or going to places.
Kids with ADHD often experience challenges with attention and concentration. They may have difficulty maintaining their attention when doing tasks or playing.
Every child with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is different, there is no ‘one size fits all’ and kids will vary. Children with ASD typically have difficulties with socialising and communicating with others.
A child is considered ‘legally blind’ if they cannot see beyond six metres where someone with full 20/20 vision can see up to 60 metres. They are also considered ‘legally blind’ if their visual field is less than 20 degrees in diameter (versus 140 degrees for a person with normal vision.)
Cerebral palsy describes a group of disorders that affects the way a person moves. Cerebral palsy occurs when there is damage to the brain when it is developing, and it affects a child’s ability to control their muscles. It is the most common form of physical disability in childhood.
‘Deaf’ (capitalised D) is used to describe individuals who use Australian Sign Language (Auslan) to communicate, and who identify as members of the signing Deaf community. Deaf people often do not consider themselves as ‘hearing impaired’.
Children with DCD often find it more challenging to do movements than other children like everyday tasks such as brushing their teeth, using knives and forks, handwriting and dressing themselves.
Kids with intellectual disability have challenges with thinking skills, such as reasoning, problem solving, planning, and judgement (e.g. understanding and predicting risks). They can also have difficulties with academic and everyday skills (e.g. reading, writing, telling the time, doing maths, and handling money).
Physical disability is a broad term that can include any condition that has a lifelong impact on a person’s ability to move or control their body movements. Physical disability may impact a child’s ability to complete everyday tasks independently and participate in activities.
Attention describes many skills, including being able to concentrate for a long time, being able to stay focussed on one task without being distracted, being able to divide your attention between multiple tasks.
Sometimes children may behave in ways that could place the child or others at risk of harm or danger. This could involve physical actions (e.g., overly rough play, damaging equipment) or the way that a child interacts with others.
Cognition is another word for thinking or understanding. It includes skills like speed of thinking, attention, reasoning, and problem solving. Some kids might need simplified information, and they may take longer to understand, think and respond.
‘Communication’ is a broad term that includes many skills, such as talking, understanding what other people say, and body language. Body language includes using and understanding gestures.
Endurance describes how long a child can keep going with an activity before they become tired and need a break. Many different physical and health conditions can reduce a child’s level of endurance. For example, a child with a chronic health condition like asthma or heart disease, may tire easily. As would a child with a physical disability like cerebral palsy. Some medications can also make kids feel tired quickly.
Learning and memory describes the ability to take in, process, store, and recall information. This may be information that we have heard (e.g., spoken instructions) or seen (e.g., being shown the location of items). Learning and remembering information relies on many different skills.
Mobility describes the way a person moves or gets around. A child with mobility challenges may use mobility aids such as crutches, ankle or leg supports, a walking frame, or a wheelchair.
‘Motor skills’ describes our ability to control and coordinate movements. This can include fine motor control (e.g., small movements of the fingers and hands) and gross motor control (e.g., large and coordinated movements of the trunk, arms, and legs).
Each dance teacher and dance studio will provide rules and guidelines for safe participation in the dance style they teach. Sometimes a medical or physical condition will increase the risk of injury or harm from some physical activities.
Sensory describes the way the body responds to environmental stimuli or information, like sounds, textures, lights, smells, pain, and temperature. Kids who are blind or have low vision, and kids who are Deaf or hard of hearing, have reduced sensory awareness.
Socialising with other kids requires many skills, including talking and expressing thoughts and ideas, showing interest in others, sharing, taking turns, and listening and understanding what others say.
Society places pressure on all of us to look and act in certain culturally acceptable ways. Body image is the way someone thinks, feels and behaves in relation to their body. Some children are worried about their ability to look “good enough” and be accepted by others. This can result in some trying food restriction and exercise techniques to change their bodies.
Motivation is the reason why someone acts or behaves in a certain way. There are internal things that motivate us, like doing an activity because we enjoy it. There are also external things that motivate us, like being rewarded with praise or prizes. Knowing what motivates kids is a good way to keep them interested and engaged in activities.