How to Support Students with Special Educational needs?
The term Special Education Needs is a known legal term, also called as SEN, Special Education, Exceptional Education and more. It is the approach of teaching students, addressing special needs by systematically planned teaching methods, with necessary equipment, and a set environment.
“Every child matters, every child has the right to be included. And that is so important for children with special needs.”- Cherie Blair
What would be our world without children? Life would be bleak, colorless, and void. Every parent’s concern, would be to find one’s child, in one of the best schools, acquiring ‘the best’ education. As a responsible parent, this is one of the Parent’s worries, in getting proper attention and care at school, just like with home treatment? Be less worried, because, the education these days has adapted to understand each child’s individual differences and uniqueness, and, accordingly individual attention is 100% assured by the educational institutions, based on technological advances. Teachers take special efforts to understand every child’s psychology, which enables them to understand their abilities and weaknesses better. This initiative is very essential in the education, learning process, growth and development of a child.
Childhood is the start of every adult existing today. Therefore, it has to be cradled with utmost care. Every aspect of childhood needs special attention. Every person encountering a child, every environment the child blossoms, every event happening around, is significant and influencing the life of a child.
“It shouldn’t matter how slowly some children learn as long as we are encouraging them not to stop.”- Robert John Meehan
In the course of initial or latter stages of a child, we might discover different behaviors and responses of a child, based on the circumstances they face or encounter. Different children may respond differently to different things. Uniqueness is hidden in every single child. It depends whether we realize or not, whether we show attention or not. It’s a necessity to treat everyone equally, not because they come from a rich background or urban or rural background, but because each child deserves the best treatment and education at school and outside.
When it comes to individual differences in children as defined by intelligence, personality traits and values differ and hence how they are to be attended, needs to be defined too.
“Special education doesn’t mean that a student is incapable of learning. It means that they need different supports in order to succeed.”- Pramod Kumar Sidar.
“If a child can’t learn the way we teach, maybe we should teach the way they learn.”- Ignacio Estrada
Studying educational psychology can help meet special needs and level of understanding and behavior. In this context, educational institutions must lead to inculcate practices that will primarily benefit children to achieve greater in life. Teaching special education is important to support a child’s success at school and otherwise. In the long run, special interventions, therapies may be necessarily required by some children. It helps such children better cope with life if they are aided at the earliest. Therapies such as occupational therapy, speech therapy, counseling, art therapy or physical therapy as per the requirement of children may become handy.
Together with school premises, the environment they grow also matters. Parents also need to collaboratively support the initiatives. Hence, the child will be totally surrounded with utmost care and attention.
To distinguish special needs can be classified into different categories:
- Physical Disabilities/Impairment:
Physical disability refers to children having impairment in seeing, hearing, movement disorders with hands or limbs. They might develop problems studying at the pace like other students. There are special schools meant for such children. These schools operate to provide desired attention to children like everyone deserves and not to differentiate them from others. So Parents are required to seek areas where a child’s special needs are met. Some schools might allocate/reserve some seats for them ensuring they grow with other children and others also learn to respect and bond with them.
- Behavioral Problems:
Behavioral problems can be tackled in normal schools itself. Teachers can take care of it by providing individual attention during classes or outside class or PTAs or seek counselling guides to monitor and assist in improving children’s behavior.
- Emotional Disabilities:
Emotional disabilities might refer to children who find problems in dealing with their emotions in different situations. These issues might interrupt the study atmosphere of the child and affect progress. Child psychologists or Counsellors at school can save the situation.
- Learning and Understanding:
Parents and teachers need to pay close attention to children and discover children’s learning difficulties. Patience and care heals better said than words. Elders must identify the ways in which such children will pick up things and hence learn the subject easily. Just some valuable time taken can make it worth it for your kid.
- Speech, Language and Communication:
Speech, language and communication are interrelated. Language or speech problems both can hinder the effective communication which is essential in the learning process. Instructors need to communicate properly and make sure every child understands the class. Interactive elements like creative videos, images, activities can be useful sources to deal with such student problems.
We know that recognizing the needs of children at an early stage is absolutely necessary. The ever evolving technologies create ample possibilities to improvise existing problems, to provide a better future for all groups of children.
All the above mentioned problems can be addressed in better ways with digital learning platforms including advanced features like “Assistive Technology” which enables innovative learning methods for overall child development. Restrictions imposed by Parents or Teachers can sometimes impact the behavior of children, leading them to show tantrums. It’s better in hand to befriend our kids. Teachers can equip themselves with expertise related to educational needs especially during Corona pandemic (and beyond) where online learning (home-based learning) is in focus.
So, let’s Make a Difference in the life of every Child. Even those who require Special Educational Needs.
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