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Paediatric Neurodisability Diploma

Paediatric Disability course on a laptop

British Academy of Childhood Disability Peadiatric Disability Distance LearningSheffield Children’s NHS Foundation Trust is working in partnership with the British Academy of Childhood Disability (BACD) to offer the Paediatric Neurodisability Diploma.

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 from the British Academy of Childhood Disability.

Module 1 - Communication, networking and introduction to disability

Unit 1 – An introduction to Paediatric Disability and Clinical Assessment

  • Terminology
  • Cultural issues
  • Typical development
  • Clinical Assessment
  • Screening

Unit 2 – Working with families

  • Communication
  • Needs of families
  • Information
  • Voluntary sector

Unit 3 – Service Networks

  • Health services
  • Social services
  • Financial help
  • Education
  • Co-ordinating services
Module 2 - Epilepsy, cerebral palsy and motor disorders

Unit 4 – The epilepsies

  • What is epilepsy?
  • Is it epilepsy?
  • History taking
  • Physical examination
  • Classification
  • Management
  • Other disabling conditions
  • Status Epilepticus
  • Services
  • Caring for a child with Epilepsy

Unit 5 – Children and young people with cerebral palsies

  • Terminology
  • Epidemiology
  • Aetiology
  • Management of cerebral palsies
  • Associated impairments
  • Inpatient care
  • Support

Unit 6 – Motor disorders

  • Disorders of the spine
  • Long-term problems of spinal cord disorders
  • How can we prevent or help these problems
  • Spina bifida
  • Neuromuscular disorders
  • Paediatric movement disorders
  • Education
Module 3 - Neurodevelopmental disorders

Unit 7 – Intellectual developmental disability

  • Definition of intellectual developmental disabilities
  • Psychometric assessment
  • Prevalence
  • Aetiology
  • Assessment
  • Neurodegenerative disorders
  • Paediatric management
  • Mild/moderate intellectual developmental disabilities
  • Syndromes

Unit 8 – Developmental disorders

  • Specific learning difficulties
  • Developmental co-ordination difficulties (DCD)
  • Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD)
    – Assessment
    – Comorbidities
    – Behaviour Management
    – Treatment with medication
    – Cardiac Issues
    – Substance misuse/crime
    – Transition to Adult services

Unit 9 – Communication disorders

  • Typical development of communication
  • Screening
  • Assessing a child when there is concern about language
  • Speech and language disorders
  • Management
  • Special situations
  • Autistic Spectrum Disorder
  • Assessment of a child with possible autism
  • Management
Module 4 - Sensory impairment and wider aspects of disability

Unit 10 – Hearing and vision

  • Eyes and Vision
  • Development of vision
  • Visual impairment
  • Early identification
  • Assessment and management of visual loss
  • Normal hearing
  • Hearing loss
  • Early identification of hearing loss
  • Assessment of hearing loss
  • Multisensory impairment

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

  • Safeguarding
  • Alternative parenting
  • Child protection
  • Transition to adult life
  • Advocacy
Module 5 - Critical appraisal, audit and service evaluation (runs alongside modules 1-4)

To be presented at the fourth residential


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

These were delivered online in 2020 and will continue to be delivered online in 2021. These may revert to face-to-face residentials in Sheffield in 2022 and applicants should be aware of the requirement to attend sessions when applying.

These will complement the 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.

Course booking information and fees

First year fee: £2500 / £2400 BACD members (subject to change)
Second year fee: £2500 / £2400 BACD members (subject to change)

We are no longer accepting applications for September 2021 as we have reached full capacity for the cohort.

We now welcome applications for the next intake – September 2022

Application deadline: Friday 27 May 2022

There are 20 places available on the course and applications are considered on a first come, first served basis.

For further information and enquiries please contact the course team. Their details are at the top of the page.

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