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The Fulfillment of Working with Special Needs Children

23. 01. 2017
Content teaching children with special needs

Everyday life may be more challenging for children with special needs. These kids may have physical, mental, and emotional or behavioral deficits that need extra care and attention. Once identified, a different approach should be followed than when one is dealing with a kid without any special condition.

Understanding Children Who Might Need Extra Help

One must have an interest in educating or working with kids in general, and a genuine sense of desire to help people. Giving extra help is not limited to kids with obvious physical disabilities like blindness, inability to walk, kids with hearing and speech defects. This can also be extended to other cases like kids suffering from Diabetes, Epilepsy, Autism or Down syndrome.

More than assisting them with devices like wheelchairs, braces or necessary medical attention, you must also practice tact, thoughtfulness and sensitivity at all times. Some of these kids have problems that are less noticeable like anxiety attacks or they might be prone to emotional and mental breakdown. Some are more complex than others.

Working with Special Needs Children

If you wish to work in this kind of environment, you should be aware of the risks you are taking, because it entails more than knowledge of facts and processes. It requires true compassion, a positive attitude and tons of patience, especially when you grew up in a seemingly perfect environment. First hand experiences with different kids and attending to their demanding needs may shock you and make you feel like you are living in a different world.

You have to acknowledge the fact that every special need child requires a degree of understanding. Observe, interact and learn how you can support each kid. You have to be consistent and firm, but also warm and loving at the same time. You should be sensitive and empathetic in order to recognize when they need help or when they are supposed to be independent.

Positivity and flexibility are also vital when you’re dealing with these kids. Keeping a positive attitude is the most important quality to have and practice. Believing that things will get better as you try to be flexible in trying to assist kids with different conditions is great way to support them.

If you want to be a special education teacher or a teacher assistant, you will have to understand the diverse learning needs of each child. Your communication skills and way of teaching should adjust according to their level as they may have mental or cognitive disabilities. Same rules apply when you are a physical or speech therapist, child-care specialist or assistant, and direct care counselor.

Normally, it would require some experience of working with special needs children or people with disabilities in order to qualify for the job. However, for those who do not have the professional license or training to deal with children with special needs directly, still have other options to explore. The best way to gain experience is to look for other opportunities by volunteering in your community. These opportunities include other assistant jobs or working in a summer camp for kids with special needs.

Summer camps provide kids the chance to mingle, interact, make friends and feel like they are not alone. It’s also beneficial for organizations and people involved because they leave camp with a renewed sense of belief and disposition in life.

The question is, are you willing to exert extra effort to meet the different needs of these children? Are you willing to leave your current job or move to another place to help other people? If you choose a summer camp job, are you willing to leave the comfort of your own home to camp away and spend time with children with special needs?

Risks and rewards are equally proportional. The bigger risks you take may result in bigger rewards. It is hard, but it is definitely rewarding. The experience can build not only an attractive resume, but also a better perspective in life.

Joy of Giving

Working with special needs children bring forth more than the income you can get, and the joy of being able to help one person. You’d be surprised how many people –even professionals, are willing to volunteer for free. The whole experience is of immeasurable value. It can heighten social awareness and increase sensitivity. You will never pass by a struggling old woman crossing the street without asking to be of help. You will see a blind man trying to get by with his everyday life with a great sense of admiration.

You will realize that you don’t have to be someone of high importance to be able to change lives. Your attitude towards life in general will change as a result of witnessing every special need child cope with life courageously by trying to be independent.

It will store your faith in humanity. The difference you make will not only make a valuable life experience, but also very helpful to every kid whose life you have touched.