Center for child development

Dealing With Children With Special Needs

The beginning of the acceptance:

The first step in dealing with children with disabilities is to accept that the particular child does indeed have a condition that needs extra care or specialized care. Often parents and close members of the child’s family refuse to acknowledge the actual condition of children needing special care. This could well be an attitude or a more pronounced denial. The recognition that a particular child is different is the very first step towards the setting rights a problem or a better adaptation to the condition.

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The correct diagnosis:

Once a child has been seen to be different, it is important that the correct condition is recognized. Often it is noticed that doctors and social workers do tend to get the proper condition wrong. This has a lot to do with the limited ability for the child to actively participate in the diagnostic procedures. It is seen that in a number of instances the perceptions change with time thus putting at risk the proper tackling of the condition. What was seen as social withdrawal could later on be considered as the conditioning of a child. This is where the role of occupational therapists come into play.

With the power of observation that is so ingrained in each and every one of us, it is possible to feel the difference that a child that is different from others is presented. The use of equipment comes only after the first observation of a child with disabilities. Most therapists would make a good assessment of a child with difficulties and would in more ways than one be ready for the actual findings that could be had from the various tests available.

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Preparing the parents-

The first people that a condition of a child would be revealed to are the parents of the child. And this can often be the most difficult of situations. With most parents, there is an air of disbelief and a lack of acceptance. That their child could be different from others is something that most parents would find it hard to reconcile to. Putting across a situation along with the persuasive elements of a case would help with matters and this is typically what most therapists aim at doing.

The other equally important aspect is to give the parents some hope to the future. It would be cruel and lacking in tact to announce that the child is totally hopeless. There is bound to be a hope that some way or the other, the child would pull through. It is this hope that would keep the parents to believe in a child. The search for a rainbow must be done till the rainbow is found and the treasure unearthed at its very end.

Dealing with society:

It is quite normal that the society at large would not be that sympathetic to the condition that a particular child has been diagnosed with. Most of the time, people would not have the specialized knowledge to understand the conditions of the child. But they would all be happy to gloat over the misfortune that has befallen a fellow being. The nature of society to see others suffering or bad luck as a point to gloat over is never truly explained by the best of sociologists. If only people could be more like animals, then it might be possible to explain the most barbaric of behavior in acceptable terms.