Chapter 2: Changing Needs from Infancy to Adolescence

"This chapter discusses the changing needs of children with physical disabilities as they progress through the four major developmental stages: infancy/toddlerhood, pre-school, school age, and adolescence/early adulthood. In the following excerpt we provide some general quotes from parents about the infancy/toddler years and the transition from pre-school to school-age." - Authors

From Infancy to Toddlerhood
(Birth to Age 2)
"Things were easy. He was light--like a normal infant."
"The early years were learning years for all of us."
"At this point we made no changes to our home, but major changes in our life-style."


From Pre-School to School-Age
(Ages 5 to 12)

As the child moved on to the school-age years, family life shifted in a number of ways. This was not surprising. When children start school on a full-time basis, household schedules and routines tend to readjust in all families. The child is out of the house more, there are new friends, parents focus attention on the quality of the school, and so on. For many of our families, it became significantly harder to provide care at this point in their child's development. When parents described the school years:

"It was physically harder—wheelchair transfers; getting in and out of the van, even with ramps; and carrying him upstairs to the bedroom. Emotionally it was harder for my son because he was now aware of his own limitations…getting into tough territory now, he wants to do everything everyone else does."


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CENTER FOR ARCHITECTURE AND BUILDING SCIENCE RESEARCH
NEW JERSEY INSTITUTE OF TECHNOLOGY
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UNIVERSITY HEIGHTS
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