Supporting Individuals with Additional Needs

ECTS Value: 4 ECTS

Contact Hours: 20

Self Study Hours: 48

Assessment Hours: 32


Overall Objectives and Outcomes

Individuals may suffer different conditions some of which may be congenital, and others acquired due to sickness, accidents, life events and sometimes even life choices. This module will focus mostly on how the physical needs of vulnerable individuals are met through great care while taking into consideration the intellectual, emotional and social aspects of each individual. Physical skills like feeding, bathing, and handling such individuals will be taught in this module. Critical analysis of relevant literature is essential in order to be able to help students acquire the necessary knowledge needed to teach the above-mentioned skills in a classroom. Therefore, in this module different pedagogical skills will be highlighted. 

By the end of this programme, participants should be able to:


a. Instruct others and demonstrate carrying out feeding a person with additional needs.
Indicative content:

  • swallowing difficulties, person with visual impairment, quadriplegic persons

b. Monitor others in carrying out washing techniques used with a person with additional needs.
Indicative skills:

  • Promoting independence while helping to wash a person in sitting in a shower.
  • Use of bath with side flap to facilitate transfers and promote independence.
  • Bed bathing technique.

c. Show and teach others how to move and handle a person with mobility problems taking into consideration safety issues.
Indicative skills:

  • Sitting transfer from bed to chair with the use of the appropriate equipment according to the patient’s ability.
  • Repositioning a person on the bed or on the wheel chair.

d. Demonstrate how one would aid a person to move safely.
e. Communicate effectively to the patients especially while carrying out practical caring skills.
f. Communicate effectively with peers and colleagues in order to perform skills well where team work is needed.
g. Communicate respectfully to the individuals being cared for.


a. Describe the physical intellectual, emotional and social needs of children in the following
Indicative content:

  • Down’s syndrome
  • Global Delayed development
  • Cerebral Palsy
  • Spina Bifida
  • children falling within the autism spectrum
  • Visually impaired
  • Hearing impaired
  • Oral Health and Hygiene

b. Describe the physical intellectual, emotional and social needs of adults and older adults in the following conditions.
Indicative content:

  • Stroke
  • Arthritis
  • Parkinson’s disease
  • Dementia
  • Overall stiffness of joints
  • Obesity
  • Quadriplegic persons
  • Oral Health and Hygiene

c. List the different equipment available to aid in feeding, washing, dressing and moving individuals with additional needs.
Indicative content:

  • Bathing and toileting: grab rails, bath seats, shower stools, commodes, toilet frames, raised toilet seat…..
  • Personal care: long handles hair rush, long handled toe nail scissors…..
  • Dressing: long stick shoe horn, sock aid, button hook, zipper aid….

d. Describe methods of how to move and handle a person with mobility problems while maintaining the abilities one still has during such activity of daily living:

  • Mobility: walking frames, tripod, quadripod, stick, crutches
  • Feeding: wide handled cutlery, weighted cutlery, angled cutlery….
  • Visually impaired: guide dogs where needed, use of auditory guidance, same routine with minimal change in location of objects.

e. Identify in brief the causes of pressure sores, where they are most likely to occur and methods how to prevent them.
f. Identify and critically evaluate the values one should have to care for individuals.
Indicative content:

  • Confidentiality
  • No judgmental attitude
  • Controlled emotional involvement
  • Acceptance
  • Privacy and dignity
  • Individualization
  • Client self- determination
  • Purposeful expression of feelings

g. List the principles of caring for vulnerable individuals
Indicative content:

  • Code of conduct and practice for social service workers.
  • Discuss these principles and apply them to real life situations

h. Define the rights promoted through the principles mentioned in the code of conduct.
i. Define what is needed to meet the needs deduced through case studies scenarios.
j. Identify and explain the different roles of different practitioners who care for vulnerable
individuals suffering from specific conditions or illness.
k. Identify the needs that each individual requires.


a. Communicate to others the help needed by a person with additional needs.
b. Instruct others in caring for people with additional needs
c. Analyse the different roles each practitioner covers focusing on the need of a multi-disciplinary approach and link the work of expertise of the different practitioners.
d. Prepare activities/tasks to use in the classroom.
e. Critical discuss various methodologies and explain how each will target the aspects of the student including IBL, multi-sensory approaches and multiple intelligences.
f. Use theoretical frameworks of learning and relate relevant literature to pedagogical approaches in the classroom.
g. Communicate the rationale for certain techniques over others to help such a person and link to relevant literature.
h. Discuss methods to improve food intake for an individual who has difficulties during feeding.
i. Explain how these methods accommodate for the different case scenarios


Assessment Methods

This programme adopts continuous and summative methods of assessment including assignments, online tasks, reflective journals, projects and video presentations. For further details, kindly refer to the Teaching, Learning and Assessment Policy and Procedures.

Suggested Readings

Core Reading List

1. Assisting Children with Special Needs: An Irish Perspective. Front Cover. Eilis Flood. Gill & Macmillan, 2013, ISBN13: 9780717156245
2. Barton, L. (2005). Emancipatory Research and Disabled People: Some Observations and Questions. Journal of Educational Review, 57(3), 317-27.
3. Middletown Centre of Autism (2020), Autism and Managing Anxiety: Practical Strategies for Working With Children and Young People. Routledge. ISBN13: 978-0367250331
4. Care Skills & Care Support: A new textbook written introducing the knowledge, skills and competencies required to work effectively in a healthcare setting and to care for clients in a safe and hygienic environment. (2013) ISBN13 9780717157266
5. Carrington, S.(1999). Inclusion needs a different school culture. International Journal of Inclusive Education, 14(3) 257-268. doi: 10.1080/136031199285039
6. Rufo, J., Causton, J. (2021) Reimagining Special Education: Using Inclusion as a Framework to Build Equity and Support All Students, Brookes Publishing Co. ISBN13: 97811681254760
7. Healthcare Support: A Textbook for Healthcare Assistants ISBN13 9780717145126
8. Kozub, F. M. & Linert, C. (2003) Attitudes toward teaching children with disabilities: Review of literature and research paradigm. Adapted Physical Activity Quarterly, 20(4), 23-346, 2003.
9. Ministry of Education (2000) Inclusive Education Policy, Malta: Ministry of Education
10. Ministry of Education, Youth and Employment (2012) Towards an education for all: A national curriculum framework 2012. Malta: Ministry of Education, Youth and Employment.
11. Techniques for moving and handling people
12. Bathing a patient:
13. Feeding:

Suggested Video

  • Manual handling (some techniques)
  • Feeding patient with dysphagia (difficulty in swallowing)
  • Bed bathing – after surgery/ conscious patient
  • Modified bed bathing.
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