How to Make an Impact on Children with Different Needs

Working with special needs children is very challenging. Even the most accomplished teachers may sometimes find it difficult to strike the right cord when working with children with different needs. But we also have success stories of the tutors and mentors who have impacted the lives of these children helping them to thrive in their personal and professional lives.

Parents struggle even more because it is difficult for teachers to tackle such children. Everything they learn is through a trial and error process. Hence, they need more help and counseling to impact their children’s lives. Losing hope and feeling dejected is normal, but some tips can help you regain confidence and benefit kids with different needs. The below-mentioned tips are for teachers and parents struggling with this challenge.

special needs

Appreciate yourself

Hopelessness occurs when you think you are insufficient. But you are not! So first, appreciate yourself for everything you have accomplished so far. Managing these kids is tiring for the parents, the clinicians, and others supporting them. So, the only way to get through this is to work together; after all, it is team support.

Get the required education

This tip is especially for teachers. Even if you have started working with a basic undergraduate degree or a diploma in special education, know that it is insufficient. The field is evolving so fast that you might not know the latest techniques to manage kids. You must at least have a special education master’s in teaching degree to stay abreast with the new trends and excel in your job. Your job is to help them walk with the other kids of the current century. This can only happen if you are skilled enough to do that.

Interact with the kids

Children with special needs often face the issue of low attention span, which means they fail to concentrate on an activity for a long time. The best way to keep them immersed in learning is by making the activities more interactive. The activities must grab their attention and keep them locked in for some time. For that, you may need to touch their hands, their cheeks, or hold their finger. The more they participate in the class and the house activities, the more they will learn and know their surrounding environment. When explaining the steps of an activity, repeat every step a couple of times until you see them responding to your call. This process can be exhausting, but this is essential if you want the results of your endeavors.

Be flexible in your approach

If you have a class full of children with special needs, you cannot use the same strategy for all of them. Ten students in a class mean ten different methods to engage them and amplify the learning outcomes. Keenly observe all the kids and see what method of teaching and learning suits each one. For instance, a kid diagnosed with ADHD differs from someone who struggles with speech issues. Similarly, mothers cannot treat their special children like their other kids. The former needs more attention, might be more restless, and can often not communicate their consent or disagreement about a matter. Observe the kids’ body language and see what they communicate through their posture, hand gestures, and eye rolls.

Set realistic expectation

Kids with special needs have a different learning pace and response to your teaching methods than other kids. So, fret not if you see development delays or if a few kids are not interested in your lessons. Kids who are oblivious to your struggles as a teacher or a parent can become confused if you don’t stick to a method for some time. Be realistic in your expectations about the time frame you want to see progress. Make practical targets and timelines and stick to them. Mutual communication between teachers and parents can help achieve learning milestones much more quickly. In this way, as in both places, the same thing is being emphasized repeatedly.

Use audio-visual aids, pictures, and cards

Kids are motivated to learn when they see things happening in front of their eyes. Moreover, colors and animations are often kids’ favorite. So, use various modes of teaching to make the instruction more impactful. For example, if you are trying to help the kids wash their hands, you can use a big screen where kids use soap and wash their hands. When kids see others doing the same thing, they are more eager to copy the same thing. Similarly, you can use jingles with play cards to improve recognition in Math, English, and other subjects.

Identify the essential needs

A kid’s needs in school are sometimes quite different from those in the house. For instance, they have to share their space and toys with others in the school or may need to sit around a table. Quite the opposite is the situation in the house; the kid has more space dedicated to them and has all the attention from parents and siblings. So, the parents and teachers must identify the most pressing needs depending on the location. In this situation, clinicians can also help identify the kids’ needs according to their physical and mental growth trajectories. These tips can help the kids’ teachers and parents focus their efforts more focused and impactful.

Optimism is the key

Many trained specialists fail to positively impact the kids’ lives because of their negative attitudes and perception about the kid’s learning ability. Kids with different needs also shy away from such teachers. But some people might be considered novices regarding their working experience but are exceptional in approaching such kids. Their positive attitude towards these kids helps them climb the developmental stages and achieve learning faster. So, befriend optimism if you intend to make an impact. But if you are just here to make a few bucks, you might see yourself quitting a job soon because no one wants to connect their kids with toxic and harmful people.

Conclusion

Different needs children are called “different” for a certain reason. So you cannot treat them like other kids. They need more attention and time to understand learning concepts, and their development can also be slow. Instead of getting agitated, you have to maintain your calm and pay attention to the individual needs of every kid to help them excel in their life.

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