London's Pulse: Medical Officer of Health reports 1848-1972

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West Ham 1953

[Report of the Medical Officer of Health for West Ham]

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EPILEPTIC CHILDREN. The definition of an epileptic child for our purpose is one who,
by reason of epilepsy, cannot be educated under the normal regime of an ordinary school
without detriment to the interests of himself or other pupils. There are many epileptics
whose disability is not so severe as to be incompatible with a normal school life, and it
is in their best interests that they should be educated in an ordinary school. The more
closely a child can live like his fellows the more likely he is to grow up mentally balanced
with a normal healthy outlook; and this is as true of epileptic children as of any others.
Many epileptic children can be educated in ordinary schools if facilities are provided to
enable them to overcome their special difficulties. It is only when an epileptic is clearly
unable to fit into the ordinary school and home life that the step is taken of arranging
special education for him.
The number of non-ascertained cases of epilepsy known to the Authority is 54. Data
relating to ascertained cases of epilepsy during the year may be summarised as follows:-
Number of ascertained cases known to the Authority 6
Number of cases in residential special schools 4
In day special school 2
Number of fresh ascertainments during the year 1
PHYSICALLY HANDICAPPED CHILDREN. Physically handicapped pupils are pupils not suffering
solely from a defect of sight or hearing, who by reason of disease or crippling defect
cannot, without detriment to their health or educational development, be satisfactorily
educated under the normal regime of ordinary schools. The following figures set out the
position regarding physically handicapped children in the Borough in the year 1953:Total
number known to the Authority: (includes all children on
register at any time during the year)
Heart cases 17
Cripples 78
Miscellaneous 22
Physically Handicapped Children in residential special schools (including
Hospital Schools so far as information is available):
Heart cases 4
Cripples 9
Miscellaneous 7
(No figures are available for tuberculous children in hospital schools)
Physically Handicapped Children in day special schools:
Heart cases 11
Cripples (non-tubercular 61
Miscellaneous 15
Out of school cases:
Heart 2
Cripples 8

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