Working with Students with Disabilities
By: Janet Ambrose
Children with disabilities are at a disadvantage and may need to work harder to achieve his or her goals. It is in this setting that a thoughtful, caring and well-educated teacher may become a shining example of excellence in an otherwise darkened world. Students with disabilities need patience, time, someone who understands their needs, and an educator that is willing to institute various methods of instruction until finding the most effective teaching strategy. As every child and disability differs, teachers and caregivers may find that the same approach does not work for all students. When working with students or children with disabilities, it is imperative to keep an open mind, continue to research, and discover the latest innovative trends and teaching strategies used successfully by other educators.
Disabilities vary and may include Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorders (ADHD), blindness, deafness, brain injuries, physical injuries, Autism, Autistic Spectrum Disorders, learning disabilities and more. It is imperative that teachers and caregivers determine the exact type of disability students are dealing with to make certain they teach in the most effective manner possible. Science continually makes new breakthroughs and by staying up to date with various advancements, you may find there are techniques, tools, and even apparatuses that you may bring into the learning environment that will help advance a child’s understanding. Compassion and understanding will go a long way and whether a parent, teacher, caregiver, or someone desiring a position working with children and students with disabilities, it is of extreme importance that an educator has the skills needed to remain calm and demonstrate patience, during times of tension or frustration.
Those working with children with disabilities must remain educated and up to date on the topic. Networking with other parents, childcare givers, or professionals is an important way to stay up to date. Join groups, associations, and subscribe to plenty of reading material that will offer you inspiration, counsel, and guidance. Regardless of what disability a child is facing, communication is key. You must make certain that you have open communication with your student and this is first accomplished by building trust. By developing a trusting relationship with students, you can open the doorway to a child’s world and help him or her learn how to communicate with you, and then others more efficiently.