Main Article Content
The partial and full disabilities were considered as social economic and priority health problem which accounts for 10-15%.for all ages. The disability among children can affect the education of the child & his ability to practice the activities that normal children do, incoherent with psychological effects. The objective of this study was to identify the prevalence of disabilities among pupils of primary schools and to describe these disabilities epidemiologically among elementary school children in schools covered by special educational services in Babylon province- Iraq. This study was a school based cross sectional descriptive epidemiological survey conducted by using special questionnaire constructed for the purpose of the study to determine the type of disability its frequency and its relation to different variables such as age, sex and place of residence. This study was completed in the academic year 2009/2010 by including 98 schools with special education programs which represent 8% of the total elementary schools.
Schools of males to school of females ratio was (1.5:1) and the number of pupils with special needs was (542) out of the total (55020) pupils enrolled in these elementary schools, the prevalence rate of handicapped pupils was (1%) which was small this may reflect the lack of awareness of Iraqi families about the importance of educating this group of children in addition to the weakness of the educational system which was not attracting the partially disabled children to receive proper education ,health and rehabilitation services. The study showed that male to female ratio was about 2: 1, Al Mahaweel district showed the highest rate, the most affected age group was 10-11 years and the most common disability among the handicapped children was the errors of refraction (28%) followed by lower limbs deformities (23%), then the sound speech disorders (21%).
The researchers recommended the need to work fast to set up and configure staff specialized to deal with these children in need of care, as well as insertion of teachers and supervisors of the special education programs in training courses and workshops to keep up with developments in this area.