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Physically Disabled Children

Volume 465: debated on Thursday 26 May 1949

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asked the Minister of Education whether there is any comprehensive system of registration of cerebral palsy in this country; what is the number of children and adults, respectively, who suffer from this disease; how many each year have the opportunity of rehabilitation; and what prospect there is in the near future of an extension of accommodation for these persons.

There is no system of registration for sufferers from cerebral palsy as a separate class, but adults may be registered as disabled persons and local education authorities have a duty to ascertain all the physically disabled children in their areas. Fairly comprehensive surveys in certain areas suggest a possible incidence of about 2 per 1,000 children of school age or some 12,000 in England and Wales. A large number of these children are being successfully educated in ordinary schools or in special schools with other physically handicapped children, and there are now also two small special schools devoted entirely to them and further schools are proposed. There are, of course, many so severely affected that in the present state of knowledge little or nothing can be done for them.