Tag Archives: Muscular Dystrophy

Teaching pupils with Muscular Dystrophy

  • Encourage the child to take part in exercise wherever possible, especially swimming.
  • Consider using lighter equipment for games etc.
  • Let the child choose whether or not to have adult help to perform a task.
  • Encourage him/her to make his/her own decisions, e.g. “Let me know if you need your coat and if you want help putting it on.”
  • Although the child may need the help of a classroom assistant encourage him/her to let the child have independence as much as possible.  e.g. at breaktimes let him/her be with his/her friends without the classroom assistant intruding.
Picture of ppl swimming

Case Study

Muscular Dystrophy

  • Genetic
  • Ranges from mild to life-limiting
  • Progressive condition
  • More common in boys

A disorder of the nerves connecting the brain and spinal cord to the muscles.   The disease leads to a breakdown of muscle fibres causing weak and wasted muscles.  The disease usually begins to show itself in childhood.  The disease can range in severity from mild where it causes only mild disability to severe where the person will get progressively worse being confined to a wheelchair and with a limited lifespan.

Although children with Muscular Dystrophy may start school with little or no signs of disability, they will need statemented as the progress of the disease can be rapid.  Weakness will cause them to need physiotherapy and perhaps special equipment such as a computer.  He/she will probably need help from a classroom assistant.

Case Studies
Teaching Strategies

People who can help: SENCO/Resource Teacher; Physiotherapist


Further Information


Case Study: Muscular dystrophy

Image of Child Playing BasketballDaniel is 15. He has a brother Adam who is 7.  They both have Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy.  Daniel is in a wheelchair but has good upper body strength.  Adam walks but his balance is unsteady.  Daniel is aware of his disease and the limitations it will have on his life.  Despite being a bright student he is now rebelling and has decided he doesn’t want to do his GCSEs ‘because there’s no point’.He has started to become nasty to other children and even to adults, calling them names and whispering about them to his friends. He has been caught smoking in the playground and he is making suggestive remarks about older females, often within the hearing of staff. he used to enjoy archery but recently has been having problems holding the bow. When this happens he goes off in a mood and refuses to co-operate with the teachers.

His parents report that Adam doesn’t know about his condition and admires his brother greatly. They are concerned that Adam is copying much of Daniel’s behaviour and he is starting to get into trouble at school.