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CASE STUDY Matty, Physical, Extensive

Year level
Educational setting
Special school

Level of adjustment
Category of disability
Included in data collection

Matty's story

Matty is in Year 9 at a small metropolitan special school with an enrolment of 100 students. He has attended the school since Foundation. His grandfather is his guardian and drives him to and from school.

Matty has a degenerative neurological condition which has meant that over the year he has had frequent periods away from school due to various medical procedures. Matty most recently had a hip replacement due to a degenerative bone condition. The school-based physiotherapist and occupational therapist (OT) consulted with school staff and his medical team at the hospital to ensure that manual handling procedures (ie personal care, transition to his manual wheelchair) and follow-up rehabilitation therapy needs were addressed. Currently, Matty has a personalised learning plan, personal care plan, medical management plan, pain management plan and feeding plan.

Matty is not able to move his body and so uses an augmentative and alternative communication system (AAC eye-gaze communication: blinking for 'yes'). He is not able to take food orally, and instead has a percutaneous endoscopic gastrostomy (PEG) feeding tube in his stomach. Staff are trained annually by his medical team from the hospital to ensure that they are able to manage his feeding, suctioning and PEG tube maintenance appropriately. Matty receives weekly school-based speech pathology support, which focuses on his communication, swallowing and feeding needs.

Matty receives continuous one-to-one assistance to facilitate adjustments in communication, curriculum, health and personal care at all times. All therapists and teachers involved with Matty’s education and care attend regular case conferences to ensure there is consistent input from all relevant professionals. They also regularly (twice a term, or more frequently if required) meet with Matty’s grandfather to discuss his progress.

There is also a school psychologist, and a social worker is available one day per week. They liaise with Matty’s grandfather at least twice per term regarding Matty’s general mood and provide advice and guidance to teachers and support staff in relation to strategies to support Matty’s social and emotional needs.

Information that supports inclusion in the NCCD What's this?

  • Step 1. Is there an adjustment to address disability? Yes

    Yes, adjustments are provided to enable a student with disability to access education on the same basis as other students.

    As defined in the Disability Discrimination Act 1992, Matty has a physical disability: a disorder or malfunction that affects most parts of his body.

  • Do you have evidence? Yes

    • Diagnostic assessments and verifications
    • Allied health reports (speech pathologist, occupational therapist and physiotherapist)
    • Personalised learning plan developed in consultation with Matty’s guardian and relevant health professionals
    • Personal care plan
    • Medical management plan
    • Meal management and feeding plans
    • Pain management plan
    • Regularly updated electronic file noting Matty’s weekly occupational therapy, speech therapy and physiotherapy sessions and feedback from these specialists for teachers and support staff regarding support requirements in the classroom and wider school environment
    • Meeting notes from regular case conferences with all therapists and teachers involved with Matty’s education and care
    • Meeting notes with Matty’s guardian
    • Records of staff training in manual handling and feeding
  • Step 2. What is the level of adjustment? Extensive

    Matty requires adjustments at all times that are individualised, comprehensive and ongoing, including:

    • intensive, individualised instruction and support in a highly structured or specialised manner for all courses and curricula, activities and assessments
    • intensive, individualised instruction to support multiple areas of communication
    • planned, highly specialised and intensive safety support or intervention
    • enabling of access to learning through:
      • specialised equipment
      • highly modified school environment and classrooms
      • extensive support from specialist staff.
  • Step 3. What is the category of disability? Physical

    Matty is included in the physical category as the school is making adjustments primarily to address the physical impact of his disability.

  • Step 4. Record and submit the data Yes (Student is included)

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