A child is nothing but a little bud of a flower. It needs love, care, warmth, and compassion for turning into a whole flower. Parents tend to provide everything they can within their possible capacity to raise their children. They do not compromise on anything.
However, a challenge strikes when their children need special care and attention for growing up. These children belong to the branches of special needs. Children with special needs can be defined as pupils who need special educational requirements in the wake of their intellectual, behavioral, and emotional difficulties.
Although, there are numerous arrangements and facilities made for these children throughout the world. But, these children do face a lot of barriers to development in their lives.
What all can come under “Special Needs”?
Well, it is a known fact that any kind of disorder that hinders a child’s development process is inevitable to invoke worry. Additionally, the children who go through these problems, come under the category of “special needs”.
Let us have a brief look at the various kinds of developmental and intellectual disorders that children are more prone to face these days.
1. Down Syndrome
It is a type of genetic disorder that affects a child’s intellectual and behavioral development. A child with Down Syndrome is a very slow learner and can showcase signs of delayed language. These children face learning disabilities and cognitive impairment.
Autism in children comes with a characterization of developmental barriers including less social interaction to repetitive behavior. These children also require a huge amount of time to learn the basic doings of life. This affects their overall social, mental, and intellectual development.
This disorder comes under a kind of learning difficulty. Dyslexic children have a hard time reading texts due to their inability to understand speech sounds and decoding letters. Dyslexia affects that area of the brain that processes language.
This can come under the physical dimension of “special needs”. Children who are completely blind or partially blind have to face a lot of hindrances in their path of utmost learning. They do require special attention and look-after in the educational sector.
These were just a few of a ton of disorders that come under the categorization of “special needs”. However, these were some of the most common intellectual and developmental disorders that children face in their growing years.
What are the Challenges?
While ‘developmental milestones’ are points in a child’s life when he/she can achieve what he/she has been working hard for. However, when the same child cannot achieve what he desires, owing to his intellectual or behavioral limitations, this is exactly when the term, ‘developmental challenges’ comes in.
Let us go through the various developmental challenges that these children with “special needs” have to face in their day-to-day life.
1. Access to the Special Needs
While, these children require a lot of special attention and elements for them to learn like other individuals, getting access to those elements is relatively tough.
For instance, not every parent can afford a good teacher who can come home and make their children learn with the utmost care, compassion and attention.
Similarly, ordinary schools do not allow these children to take admission in them, stating reasons that they will not be able to adjust in apparent “normal” circumstances.
2. Lack of Empathy in Society
Anything that does not fit into the regular notion of ‘normal’, is termed as ‘abnormal’. Therefore, such children with special needs fall prey to such stereotypical behavior of society. Their struggles are often not understood and they are ridiculed for their behavioral practices.
For instance, this can come in the form of an insensitive teacher punishing a dyslexic student for not coping up in studies as other students of the class.
3. Lack of Communication
Many times it may happen these children are unable to express what they are going through. There might be an emotional turmoil aching within them, but they are not able to tell it to anyone. These children face this lack of communication not only with their parents but also with their peers.
This comes off as a major reason for their social exclusion and loneliness. Henceforth, their condition gets further deteriorated.
These were some of the major developmental barriers that children with special needs face daily. Additionally, there are a lot more challenges that come in front of them regularly. And, fighting through them becomes another new challenge for them on top of this.
What can be done?
While finding solutions to their problems, is a particularly important task, it needs a lot of in-depth thinking and knowledge. However, at a personal level, there are innumerable things that can be done. Some of them are listed down below.
- Helping these children and their families whenever you can through little things. For example, becoming friends with them, helping them a little with their studies, etcetera.
- Trying to communicate with them as much as possible. As, once they get comfortable with you, there would be a relatively lesser barrier of communication between you two.
- Arranging access for them to proper institutional setups where they can learn at their own speed and convenience, without the sword of ‘performance pressure’ hanging on them.
Although, there have been a lot of arrangements to take special care of these children. But, the ground reality is vastly different. These children still go through a lot of stereotypical discrimination in society, which inevitably comes out of a lack of empathy.
There is a reason why these children are put under the term, “children with special needs”. The reason being, because these children need special care, love, attention, and warmth. When these children get even a little amount of all of this, they turn out to be the best version of themselves.
There is absolutely no difference between them and us. They are just like us, a part of us, with us. The only difference being, they wanting special focus and love to excel with flying colors.