What you need to know
It is important to have HIGH LEARNING EXPECTATIONS for children who have Achondroplasia. Encourage use of the core educational curriculum and modify it in order to meet the individual needs of the child.
Individuals with achondroplasia typically have normal intelligence. A small percentage of individuals may have intellectual delay due to complications of hydrocephalus or for a reason unrelated to achondroplasia.
It is important to find the balance between providing help and fostering autonomy. Individuals with achondroplasia are able to live independent productive lives with adaptive, adjustments, or assistance. An IEP/504 may be in place for individuals’ safety and comfort in the class and school.
What you can do
- Adaptive aids in school may be required for
- Heavy doors
- High doorknobs
- Reaching the blackboard
- Desk size
- Use regular bathroom with a permanent step
- Carrying books may be challenge
- Two sets of books; one for home one for school
- Friend helper
- Low locker
- Allow extra time to travel between classes/use elevators
- May need stool to rest legs on
- Legs may fall asleep if left to dangle
- Upper legs are too short to allow back support; use a pillow for back support
- Speech therapy may be necessary, especially if concerns with hearing loss
- Occupational therapy and/or accommodations for writing
- Individuals may have small fingers and joint hypermobility due to stiffness
- May not be able to write at a quick enough speed
- Consider tape recorder for class
- Use computers
- Additional time for tests or provide oral exams
- You may want additional information about your child’s disability, early intervention, school services, therapy, local policies, transportation, and much more. Every state in the USA has at least one Parent Training and Information Center (PTI) to offer families just this kind of information. To find your state’s center, go to the Center for Parent Information and Resources.