Special needs among children are particular learning requirements that arise from disabilities and disorders pertaining to the way they learn, behave, or manage their emotions.
There has been a rise in awareness of childhood developmental issues and guess what? Teachers are paying more attention, parents are seeking more resources, and the media is shedding more light on special needs. But how much of what we hear is actually true?
Here are some myths associated about children with special needs children and we’re here to debunk them:
1: You can always tell when someone has a disability
2: Children with disabilities cannot lead or live full and productive lives
3: Those in wheelchairs are always confined to that wheelchair
4: Children with disabilities are dependent and always need help
5: A child’s disability defines who they are as an individual
6: Children should be taught to not stare or ask questions about a person’s disability
7: It’s impractical to include special needs children in regular classroom settings. Inclusion only benefits children with special needs.
8: Give it time, he or she will grow out of it eventually.
9: Diagnosis will lead to my child being labelled and judged.
10: My child is too young for therapy to be effective.
Understanding, support and love is a good recipe for caring. Over the decades, we have progressed leaps and bounds in studying and understanding special needs in children.
Here’s what you can do to help:
- making the environment sensory-friendly
- have adults who are trained in teaching children with special needs who can identify when children with special needs may need extra assistance
- familiarizing the child with the physical space of the classroom(s) ahead of the class
- explaining the children’s needs to the parties involved, e.g. librarian, store employees, friends, family, other children, etc.
The focus should be on the child’s ability, what they can accomplish, rather than on their restrictions.
Early intervention is crucial: At kindergarten age, children’s brains develop the fastest. At this stage, early identification of learning and developmental disabilities gives caregivers the opportunity to lessen the impact of the disability. Early intervention helps in planning ahead for the child’s learning needs and learning resources, keeping academic frustration at bay.
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