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  • Writer's pictureGagan Dhir

Every child is special- Nurture them with love!!!!!!

Does anyone of you have ever closely dealt with a child with any sort of disability? Have you ever experienced the trauma that a parent of a special need child faces in his or life? Special needs is a very broad term and is approached with a different perspective in unique situations. Life is not the same with such children every single day. It can be commonly defined as something that child CAN’T do- goals unmet or unaccomplished, activities denied and prolonged learning. They live with their struggles and challenges throughout their life unless they get the support and love from every other individual. But here is something imperative which is irremissible to reflect upon. Do the children with special needs procure any kind of bias treatment or any sort of discrimination? Or do they deserve an equal treatment in the same manner just as any other normal child?

With my expertise in teaching for more than twenty years now, my dealing with diverse kinds of students has become a part and parcel of my life. I feel so proud and euphoric thinking about the difference I have made in the life of so many students so far. But often I do question my own self that was I successful in analyzing the needs and requirements of every type of kid way back in INDIA as a teacher. Was I able to recognize the students who need special kind of treatment or personal care? To some extent I indomitably agree that I did teach my every student to the best of my capabilities and built a great relationship with them. But, once I moved to America and began my professional career in teaching here, I realized that unfortunately in Indian education system there are still many lapses where children with special needs are overlooked and lack what they need to be efficacious in education. Most of the children with special needs have a zest for learning, playing, having fun with other kids and getting involved in many other extra activities.

Unlike Indian education, education system in America varies as there is a uniform process in which struggling students are identified as qualifying for special education services. Special need students are the ones who have struggle in their day to day life due to their disabilities. But they undeniably need to be treated as you would like to be treated.

To my amazement, it was hard for me to believe that there are so many types of disabilities in these children. Such as-

· Autism

· Behavioral issue

· Dyslexic

· Bi-polar

· Speech and language delay

· ADHD- Attention deficit/Hyperactive disorder.

· Cerebral palsy

· Intellectual and learning disabilities

· Vision Impairment

Of these categories of disabilities, the most obtrusive and common type of disabilities is the learning disability. It is requisite for any avid educator to reach the heart of all the students with special needs. When we ponder over the wide range of learning disabilities, we need to think in a big way. Ignacio Estrada has rightly said “If a child can’t learn the way we teach, maybe we should teach the way they want.”

Here are some strategies to recognize the needs of children with special needs-

· Be positive

· Be calm and patient

· Create a small and safe environment

· Be supportive

· Avoid showing any pity or being patronizing

· Praise and rewards

· Positive reinforcement

· Ignore bad behavior

· Model appropriate behavior

· Modified assignments and tests

· Deep breathing exercises and yoga

· Use right kinds of tools and instructional strategies

· SMILE and a bear hug

So, we as educators must agree with the words of George Evans that “Every student can learn. Just not on the same day, or the same way.” We need to take an initiative to help every child to be more resilient and stronger. Be the foremost expert of your child and try to build a positive relationship which is an embodiment of trust and care. Take the time to work with your child to help reach his or her best potential.

Let’s try to be fair with all these children and succor them to be triumphant in life!

Don’t give up!

Written by-

Ms. Gagan Dhir

Educator- ELA

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