Additional (Spina bifida). These birth defects occur in

Additional needs are defined as a difference in a child who has a
condition or disability that requires extra support. This may be for example a
developmental disability, a medical condition, or a mental health issue. Children with additional needs may face challenges
across a number of areas including their physical health, mental health or
ability to learn, or they may face difficulties when trying to do things other
children can do.


1.1 Explain
the factors influencing the support needs including:

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Biological factors – Early childhood development can be influenced
by a wide variety of biological and environmental factors. These factors can
influence a child in both positive and negative ways which can either enhance
their development or compromise developmental outcomes. Proper nutrition
becomes a vital factor in a child’s overall development. Prior to birth, a
mother’s diet and overall health play a role in a child’s development. Folic acid
intake of 400 micrograms (mcg) daily for three months prior to
conception and during early pregnancy significantly decreases the risk of
certain birth defects of a baby’s brain (anencephaly) and spine (Spina bifida).
These birth defects occur in the first few weeks of pregnancy, which is why it
is important for women in their childbearing years to ensure they are getting
at least 400 micrograms of folic acid daily, waiting until a woman finds out
she is pregnant can be too late. A child’s physical body has distinctive
reproductive organs and become further differentiated as special sex hormones
are produced that play a role in gender differences. The first three years of a
child’s life is a period of tremendous growth and development. Many scientists
believe that the first three years have a major impact on a child’s progress
and success later in life. It is characterized by rapid development,
particularly of the brain where connections between brain cells (neurons) are
being made and provide the necessary building blocks for future growth and
development. In order for children with disabilities to be able to best learn,
become resourceful, and independent-minded, it is important to devote attention
to early childhood development. In order to fully understand this, it is
important to first distinguish between a child’s genetic inheritance and the
actual expression of those genes. A genotype refers to all of the genes that a
person has inherited. A phenotype is how these genes are actually expressed.
The phenotype can include physical traits, such as height and colour or the
eyes, as well as nonphysical traits such as shyness and extroversion. While
your genotype may represent a blueprint for how children grow up, the way that
these building blocks are put together determines how these genes will be
expressed. Think of it as a bit like building a house. The same blueprint can
result in a range of different homes that look quite similar, but have
important differences based on the material and colour choices used during
construction. The
vast majority of newborns, both boys and girls, have at least one X chromosome.
In some cases, about 1 in every 500 births, children are born with either a
missing X chromosome or an additional sex chromosome. Klinefelter
syndrome, Fragile X syndrome and Turner syndrome are all
examples of abnormalities involving the sex chromosomes. Kleinfelter’s
syndrome is caused by an extra X chromosome and is characterized by a lack of
development of the secondary sex characteristics and as well as learning

Fragile X syndrome
is caused when part of the X chromosome is attached to the other chromosomes by
such a thin string of molecules that it seems in danger of breaking off. It can
affect both males and females, but the impact can vary. Some with Fragile X
show few if any signs, while other develop mild to severe mental retardation.

Turner syndrome occurs when only one sex
chromosome (the X chromosome) is present. It
affects only females and can result in short stature, a “webbed” neck
and a lack of secondary sex characteristics. Psychological impairments
associated with Turner syndrome include learning
disabilities and difficulty recognizing
emotions conveyed through facial

The most common type of
chromosomal disorder is known as trisomy 21, or Down
syndrome. In this case, the child has three chromosomes at
the site of the 21st chromosomes instead of the normal two. Down syndrome is
characterized by facial characteristics including a round face, slanted eyes
and a thick tongue. Individuals with Down syndrome may also face other physical
problems including heart defects and hearing problems. Nearly all individuals
with Down syndrome experience some type of intellectual impairment, but the
exact severity can vary dramatically. Trisomies (an extra copy of a
chromosome) are more common than monosomies (a missing copy). Most trisomies
result in miscarriage. In fact, they are responsible for around 35 percent of
miscarriages. Less than one percent of people are born with trisomies. There
are significant health effects of the chromosome abnormalities in these
individuals. Only a few trisomies can result
in live births. The most common is trisomy 21, known as Down syndrome. The
other two autosomal (non-sex chromosome) trisomies that sometimes result in a
baby ??are trisomy 13 and 18. Unfortunately, babies born with these
trisomies usually do not survive. Babies born with certain sex chromosome
trisomies can live to adulthood. Males born with two X chromosomes and one Y
chromosome have Klinefelter’s
syndrome, the most common aneuploidy after Down syndrome. Males can also
survive with one X and two YY chromosomes and females with three X chromosomes.
As for monosomies – the opposite of trisomies – only one results in live birth.
This is a single X chromosome in females, known as Turner’s
syndrome. A chromosomal abnormality occurs
when a fetus has either the incorrect number of chromosomes or chromosomes that
are structurally flawed. These abnormalities may translate to the development
of birth defects, disorders like Down syndrome, or miscarriage. Your
body is made up of cells. In the middle of each cell is a nucleus, and inside
of the nucleus are chromosomes. Chromosomes are important because they contain
genes which determine your physical characteristics, your blood type, and even
how susceptible you will be to certain illnesses. Each cell in the body
typically contains 23 pairs of chromosomes — 46 in all — each of which contains
roughly 20,000 to 25,000 genes. Half of your chromosomes come from the egg of
your mother and half come from the sperm of your father. Of the 23 pairs of
chromosomes, the first 22 pairs are called autosomes. The final two
chromosomes, meanwhile, are called allosomes. Also known as sex chromosomes,
allosomes determine an individual’s sex and sexual characteristics. A female
has two X chromosomes (XX) while a male has an X and a Y chromosome (XY). Chromosomal
abnormalities are one of the primary causes of miscarriage during the first trimester. In
early miscarriage, chromosomal errors can prevent a fetus fro developing
normally. When this happens, the immune system will often respond by
spontaneously terminating the pregnancy. Research suggests that chromosomal
abnormalities are behind 60 to 70 percent of first-time miscarriages. In most
cases, the error is a random anomaly, and the woman will go on to have a normal
subsequent pregnancy. A significant number of miscarriages are caused by a type
of disorder where there are three copies of a chromosome instead of two. This
called a trisomy. Examples trisomy 16 and trisomy 9, which together account for around 13
percent of all first-trimester miscarriages.

In other cases, a chromosomal
abnormality may lead to a rare condition called a molar pregnancy. During a molar pregnancy,
tissues that were meant to form into a fetus instead become an abnormal growth
on the uterus. There are two types of molar pregnancy:

complete molar pregnancy is caused when the egg has no genetic
information. It develops a placenta that looks like a cluster of grapes
without an accompanying fetus.
partial molar pregnancy happens when an egg is fertilized by two sperms.
It causes the development of an embryo that is severely malformed and
usually does not survive.

One of the most well-known chromosomal
disorders is Down syndrome caused by
an extra copy of a chromosome called chromosome 21. It is for this reason that
we also refer to the disorder as trisomy 21. Some of the
common traits of Down syndrome are small stature, an upward slant to the eyes,
low muscle tone, and a deep crease across the middle of the palm. One out of
every 691 babies in the U.S. is born with Down syndrome. The reason for the
disorder in not entirely clear, but scientists have noted, among other things,
a common link between older maternal
age and a development of the syndrome. Risk has been shown to
increase exponentially as a woman ages, from one in 1,500 at age 20 to one in
50 by age 43. Toward the end of your first
trimester, you can elect to have a screening
test which can provide you the probability of your
baby having a chromosomal abnormality. The test is based on your age and can
include an ultrasound, blood tests, amniocentesis,
and other minimally invasive exams. It is usually performed around week 15 of
your pregnancy.

Environmental factors – The environment a child
is exposed to both in the uterus and throughout the rest of his or her life can
also impact how genes are expressed. For example, exposure to harmful drugs
while in uterus can have a dramatic impact on later child development. Height
is a good example of a genetic trait that can be influenced by environmental
factors. While a child’s genetic code may provide instructions for tallness,
the expression of this height might be suppressed if the child has poor
nutrition or a chronic illness. There are several factors that can have a direct effect on a child’s
speech and language development, according to Ms. Magan Chen who is a certified
practicing speech language pathologist with Speech Pathology Australia. A few
of the many factors that may have an effect on speech development in children,
according to Chen, include: lack of stimulation, delayed motor skills,
inadequate awareness of communication, reduced hearing, frequent moving or
changes in environment, exposure to many different languages and high anxiety. Research
has shown that social isolation or lack of socialization can lead to early
childhood development issues, such as speech problems or an inability to
socialize with others in a civilized way. mentions
these very points in a report titled “Factors Affecting Early Childhood
Development.” They mention that the socioeconomic environment in which a child
is raised can have a drastic effect on their development. An example of how
this could affect a child negatively is if she is not socialized with other
children, such as neighbours, classmates or family members. Social
relationships play another vital role in a child’s cognitive development.
Social cognition is seen as being key to the learning process, as learning
requires that a child be able to interact effectively with others. Play is one
of the first social interactions that contributes to a child’s ability to
learn. Later, as a child becomes involved in different social activities with
other children, he learns how to solve problems. Cultural influences also
affect a child’s cognitive development, one of the most persistent cultural
influences being the school system. One of the first main environments a child
experiences is the one at home. Since the child’s birth, the emotional
environment they see and feel around them will shape their personalities. The
bond a child shares with their parents or carers will help them understand and
learn how to express their love and fears. It teaches them how to interact with
those that are close to them. This sentimental connection with parents allows
the child to feel confident and secure. Having a stable and loving relationship
allows the child to express their personality and thus making them feel
important and valued. It is important that parents and carers spend enough
quality time showing and expressing love to the child for example holding their
hand and being there for them at 


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