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Paediatric Neurodisability Diploma

Paediatric Disability course on a laptop

Peadiatric Disability Distance LearningBritish Academy of Childhood Disability

Sheffield Children’s NHS Foundation Trust is offering the Paediatric Neurodisability Diploma, which is endorsed by the British Academy of Childhood Disability (BACD).

Audience: All doctors currently providing care for disabled children and young people
Duration: Two-year part-time distance learning course including online group learning sessions
Cost: £5000 / £4800 BACD members

All grid trainees in paediatric neurodisability are encouraged to take the course as it complements the grid training programme and provides a useful framework to gain the expected competencies.

Course content

The course includes twelve subject units, delivered in four clinical modules, covering the many aspects of paediatric disability. It complements the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health (RCPCH) Paediatric Neurodisability Level 3 Training Programme.

All of the core modules are relevant to practice and include material prepared by experts, recommended reading and exercises based on the text. You will also take part in four online group learning sessions, each related to one of the four modules.

You will complete an in-depth critical appraisal audit and/or service evaluation alongside the course modules with anticipation of a completed audit cycle.

Upon successful completion of the course you will be awarded a Diploma certificate from Sheffield Children’s NHS Foundation Trust.

Unit 1 - An introduction to Paediatric Disability and Clinical Assessment
  • Terminology and conceptual frameworks of disability
  • Cultural issues
  • Typical development
  • Clinical assessment
  • Screening
Unit 2 - Working with Families and Services
  • Communication
  • Needs of families
  • Information
  • Health services
  • Social Care Services
  • Financial Support
  • Education
  • Voluntary Sector
  • Co-ordinating Services
Unit 3 - The Epilepsies

Unit 3 – Service Networks

  • What is Epilepsy?
  • Is it epilepsy?
  • History taking
  • Physical Examination
  • Classification of the epilepsies
  • Management
  • Other disabling conditions with epilepsies
  • Status Epilepticus
  • Services
  • Caring for a child with Epilepsy: A Parents Perspective
Unit 4 - Children and Young People with Cerebral Palsies
  • Listen to what young people with cerebral palsies have to say
  • Terminology
  • Epidemiology of cerebral palsies
  • Aetiology
  • Management options for children and young people with cerebral palsies
  • Associated impairments of cerebral palsy
  • Inpatient care of children and young people with cerebral palsies
  • Support
Unit 5 - Motor Disorders
  • Disorders of the spine
  • Long term problems of spinal cord disorders
  • How can we prevent or help these problems
  • Spina Bifida – other problems
  • Neuromuscular Disorders – diagnosis and assessment
  • Neuromuscular disorders – Long term management
  • Other Neuromuscular disorders
  • Paediatric Movement Disorders
  • Education
  • Case History
Unit 6 - Intellectual Developmental Disabilities and Syndromes
  • Definition of Intellectual Developmental Disabilities
  • Psychometric assessment
  • Prevalence
  • Aetiology
  • Assessment
  • Neurodegenerative disorders
  • Paediatric management
  • Mild/moderate Intellectual Developmental Disabilities
  • Syndromes
  • Help for children and young people with IDD
Unit 7 - Specific Learning Disorders, DCD and ADHD
  • Specific learning difficulties
  • Developmental co-ordination difficulties DCD
  • Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder ADHD
  • Assessment
  • Comorbidities
  • Behaviour Management
  • Treatment with medication
  • Cardiac Issues
  • How do coexisting and comorbid conditions affect treatment choices?
  • Substance misuse/crime
  • Are girls with ADHD different to boys?
  • Young people and ADHD
  • Transition to Adult services
Unit 8 - Communication Disorders
  • Typical development of communication
  • Screening
  • Assessing a child when there is concern about language
  • Speech, Language and Communication Needs
  • Management of speech, language and communication needs
  • Special situations
  • Autism Spectrum
  • Assessment of a child with possible autism
  • Management
Unit 9 - Vision
  • Development of vision
  • Vision impairment
  • Early identification
  • Assessment and management
  • Support networks
  • Environmental adjustments
Unit 10 - Hearing
  • Typical hearing
  • Hearing loss
  • Early identification
  • Assessment and management
  • Support networks
  • Environmental adjustments
Unit 11 - Wider Aspects
  • Acquired disability
  • Other forms of disability
  • Emotional and Behavioural Difficulties
  • Disability and pain
  • Technology dependent children and young people
  • Care for children and young people with life-limiting conditions
Unit 12 - Links Beyond the Child Development Centre
  • Safeguarding
  • Alternative parenting
  • Transition to adult life
  • Advocacy
Critical Appraisal and Quality Improvement

An audit/service evaluation which is presented at Online Learning Session Four.  


Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, residential teaching sessions were held in Sheffield and formed an essential part of the Diploma.

During the pandemic these residentials have been delivered online and for students beginning their study in September 2022, residentials will continue to be delivered online for the full two years of the diploma.

Residentials complement individual learning and give you the opportunity to discuss topics with trainers and your co-trainees.

It is expected that all students join all of the group learning sessions as these are an integral part of the Diploma. You will need to have Microsoft Teams downloaded to take part.

Distance learning

Distance learning enables you to manage the majority of your learning in your own time. Course materials are distributed by email which includes working with interactive PDFs.

You will have a designated tutor who is an expert in the field. They can provide local support or remote support by email, tailored to your individual situation and requirements.

Course administration is handled by the course team based at the Ryegate Children’s Centre in Sheffield.

We are now welcoming applications for September 2023 – Closing date Friday 26 May 2023.

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