2.9 Treating children according to their needs
The principle that children should not be treated differently does not mean that all children must be treated the same. This may seem like a contradiction, but it simply means it is acceptable and appropriate to provide different responses to different children if they have different circumstances and needs. For example, a child with a disability may require a particular service or may require extra time to assess their condition during a medical examination, particularly if they are unable to communicate their needs as well as other children. It would not be appropriate to give all children this extra time because they do not need it. This difference in treatment is very similar to the principle we discussed earlier – the best interests of the child. Different treatment is appropriate when it is in the child’s best interests.
Compared to other children, what specific services might an eight-year-old girl who is a wheelchair user need when attending a clinic?
Are there particular physical, communication or attitudinal barriers that might be encountered?