Short breaks statement - meeting the needs of disabled children

Every disabled child is different.

For example, a child may have severe needs in their learning but mild needs for their mobility. We use this tool to help explain the differing levels of capabilities that disabled children may have for our short break assessments:

Behavioural and social interaction

SeverityCapability of child
MildSome behaviour difficulties; mild, transient or infrequent. Can be managed without any special provision.
ModerateBehavioural problems severe or frequent enough to require some specialist provision, but not at all the time.
SevereDiagnosed physical and/or severe learning disability that makes it difficult to function within their family or peer group most of the time unless special provision is made.  This does not include children with autism or ADHD unless accompanied by a severe learning disability.
ProfoundDiagnosed physical and/or severe learning disability affecting all aspects of the child’s functioning and behaviour that places child and carers at risk.

Communication

SeverityCapability of child
MildDelayed language development only.
ModerateDelayed and/or disordered language development causing significant difficulty in communication outside the home. Speech supplemented by signing or communication aid. Inability to use speech in a socially interactive manner.
SevereNone or very little speech used but able to communicate at least basic needs using speech, signing or communication aids, according to chronological age. For example, severe autism with low IQ and severe sensory dysfunction.
ProfoundUnable to communicate needs by any method. Unable to use communication aid.

Consciousness

SeverityCapability of child
MildOccasional daytime seizure, up to one per day.
ModerateSome seizures most weeks, day or night.
SevereMany seizures on most days and nights. Development or education adversely affected.
ProfoundIn a coma, or intractable seizures in frequent succession.

Continence

SeverityCapability of child
MildSlight difficulties but manages independently. Over 5 and regularly wets the bed at night. Dry by day.
ModerateOver 8 with occasional daytime wetting. Over 5 and soils occasionally. Over 11 with regular night time wetting. Possibility of improvement with training and support.
SevereSevere learning disability or severe physical disability with continence unlikely to improve with training and support (behaviour may include smearing).
ProfoundOlder child with a severe learning disability or severe physical disability completely dependent on carer to be clean or dry. No control of either bowel or bladder.

Fine motor

SeverityCapability of child
MildSome difficulty with play, writing or drawing e.g. tremor, unsteadiness, lack of fine control. Young child functioning slightly behind the level expected for age.
ModerateHand movement only with considerate difficulty or requiring aid or assistance. Young child functioning around half the level expected for age.
SevereMostly unable to use hands effectively but able to use switch systems, for example to operate toys, computers, wheelchairs or communication aid.
ProfoundUnable to operate even simple aids or switch systems. Totally dependent on others.

Hearing and vision

We have arranged special activities for children with significant hearing or visual impairment.

These are provided by:

Learning

SeverityCapability of child
MildPre-school child performance slightly behind that expected for age. Education assessment recommends differentiated curriculum or individual or small group support to supplement core subjects. School age child in mainstream.
ModeratePre-school child functions around the level typical of a child who is two thirds of their chronological age. School age child with MLD (mild learning disabilities) and with multiple needs. Education assessment shows attainment outside expected range of levels for key stage on a core subject.
SeverePre-school child functioning around the level typical of a child who is half their chronological age. A school age child or young person who has a severe learning or severe physical disability whose educational assessment shows that the national curriculum must be significantly modified to support their learning needs and who is working significantly below expected levels.
ProfoundPre-school child functioning around the level typical of a child who is less than one third of their chronological age. A school age child or young person who has a severe learning or severe physical disability whose educational assessment shows that the national curriculum must be totally modified to support their learning needs and who is working completely below expected levels.

Mobility

SeverityCapability of child
MildAble to walk but with some limitation for example walks more slowly, unable to run. Young child mobility functioning slightly behind the level expected for age.
ModerateAble to walk, but only with aids. May have wheelchair for intermittent use. Young child mobility functioning around half of the level expected for age.
SevereUnable to walk, wheelchair user. May be able to stand/transfer with support. Able to manoeuvre self at least some of the time in a wheelchair.
ProfoundTotally dependent on carer for mobility, in wheelchair or buggy and over age 3.

Personal care

SeverityCapability of child
MildSlight difficulties with eating, drinking, washing or dressing but manages independently. Young child functioning slightly behind the level expected for age.
ModerateSupervision and/or assistance required for some activities with or without the use of aids. Young child functioning around two thirds of the level expected for age.
SevereSupervision and/or assistance required for most activities most of the time, bearing in mind the child/young person’s chronological age.
ProfoundOver 5 and total care required. No assistance from the child/young person.

Physical health

SeverityCapability of child
MildKnown persistent disease, under control and only occasionally interfering with everyday activities in a minor way.
ModerateIntermittent but regular limitation of normal activities. May interfere with education or development.
SevereLong term severe and significant interference with ‘normal’ activities associated with a physical and/or learning disability, or life-limiting condition which is degenerative.
ProfoundUnable to take part in any social or education activities. Total medical/nursing support required.