Supporting Children With Special Needs – Every Child is Special
Every child is special. Do we think the same way for children with special needs? While there is a myriad of debates regarding why or how different they are, we are here to explore more about helping children with special needs in this article.
What are Special Needs?
“Special needs” is an umbrella term that is being used to define a wide array of disabilities that result in physical, emotional or cognitive difficulties of the children. It involves everything from developmental delays, psychiatric, medical, and congenital conditions that require special accommodations so children can reach their potential.
Why Does It Seem Like More Children have Special Needs Nowadays?
While there is an increasing emphasis on teaching students with special needs in a better way, it has begged the question of whether the number of children with special needs is increasing. Experts are saying that the education system has become better in identifying them.
In the past, children with special needs were either kept at home, or admitted into separate schools. But today, class compositions in regular schools are now blended so that the students with special needs can study with all other students.
This inclusion of disabled children in mainstream society is important as it normalises the diversity of society, increases awareness of the human rights of all abilities, and increases the ability of the differently challenged to advocate for themselves.
With the advancement of medical research and prognosis about certain disabilities, like autism, children requiring special education can be diagnosed well in advance, with them seeking and receiving assistance earlier than before, which was previously not possible.
Why Aren’t Mainstream Schools Qualified?
Mainstreaming the specially abled students by including them in the normal school has been an accepted norm with classrooms being customised accordingly to cater to the needs of both. According to the experts, children with special needs should be placed in the “least restrictive environment” – for instance, students with spectrum disorders often have a difficult time communicating even the simple requests.
To effectively teach these disabled students, teachers should have a complete understanding of autism spectrum disorders, so that the teaching methods can be customised with sensory activities, special learning styles, and communication methods. Unlike the teachers of regular schools, special education teachers and some allied educators receive specialised training to effectively work with such students.
What are the Careers for those who Study Special Needs Education?
The special needs sector has created a huge number of job opportunities considering the fact that parents want a better future for their kids. Teacher training for educating specially abled children would open up new career pathways. Apart from being a school teacher, such kind of training also helps you becoming a specialised instructor, or a consultant appointed by the special schools to support cognitive, and behavioural improvement of the disabled kids. These are fulfilling and rewarding careers for those who love working with children, and seeing them blossom as different milestones are attained.