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Training Module: Children with special health care needs

Who are the children with special health care needs
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1. Who are the children with special health care needs?

"Children with special health care needs are those who have or are at increased risk for a chronic physical, developmental, behavioral, or emotional condition and who also require health and related services of a type or amount beyond that required by children generally." (McPherson, et al, 1998).

For all children, growth is influenced by nutrient intake, genetics and environmental circumstances. For the child with special health care needs, other factors such as medication, medical condition, congenital abnormalities, and impaired motor skills may have an impact on growth.

Figure 1. Influences on growth

Growth interpretation is a key part of the design of medical and nutrition interventions. As with all children, accurate weighing and measuring are critical. For more information about technique for measuring and interpreting growth, see the modules about Accurately Weighing and Measuring Infants, Children, and Adolescents: Equipment; Technique; and Developing and Rating Your Technique.

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