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Special Needs Education? General Guidelines for Parents.

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Prerna G.
05/02/2017 0 0

Does your child balk at the thought of going to school? Do you find it extremely frustrating to teach your 5 year old? Is your child’s work always incomplete?

This is perhaps not the first time you are hearing these questions if you are the parent of a child with special educational needs. You however may be all at sea regarding the course of action you must take. Here is a concise write up of what a parent can do to help their special needs child.

Basically there are 3 steps to helping your child. The first obviously is identification. Next comes diagnosis and the third is intervention and support.

Identification

As you may be thinking, this is the simplest of all. As a parent you will probably be the first to suspect your child is facing some difficulty in coping with his school work. His books would be incomplete. He would be constantly punished in class for inattentiveness, not completing his work on time, not sitting still and being generally disruptive among other things. Unfortunately most of these issues are often misinterpreted as laziness, defiance, and childish pranks.  A child with LD however will be different from his peers in other ways. He will not be as social as other kids and will be unable to perform even when working one on one with zero distractions. The simplest way to determine whether your child needs help is to have him sit down in a closed room and give him a simple task to perform preferably from a lower grade. If he is unable to do this, you would know that your child is facing some difficulty in learning.

Diagnosis

The next step is diagnosis. As a parent you may suspect your child has special needs. However it is important to identify the specific areas in which your child is facing difficulty.

There are several standardized tests that are administered by qualified mental health professionals to do this. Your child will be tested for several skill sets. These include reading, comprehension, writing, memory, general intelligence, motor skills, hearing, vision, and cognition, and social skills. The tests are administered under what may be termed as “laboratory conditions”.

One thing of note is that though the tests are standardized, they are not like other medical tests which have a clear outcome in mathematical terms. Though the results are quantified, the quantification is highly subjective since the performance is influenced by multiple factors. It is therefore extremely important to be frank and open with the professional administering the test particularly about the circumstances under which the child is being raised. It is equally important to understand the results of the tests fully in order that you can provide support for your child.

Intervention

Intervention would depend greatly on diagnosis. When you approach a practitioner, he may ask for a case history all over again although everything has already been documented. Parents often find this frustrating and suspect it is just a means of earning an extra buck. This is not true. Unlike other sciences, psychology by its very nature is highly subjective. It is important for the practitioner to take a complete history and understand intimately the problems that your child is facing. This will help him deal with the child in the proper way and address the issues he is facing.

What is Intervention?

As we said earlier, intervention practices vary greatly depending on diagnosis and specific difficulties. The practitioner will identify the difficulties your child is facing. These are generally termed as areas of concern. He will then determine the plan of intervention. He will then devise an IEP (Individualized Education Plan) for your child.

The IEP usually does not involve school work. What the practitioner works on is the study skills of your child rather than the studies themselves. That is to say, the practitioner will help your child with reading, writing, understanding basic concepts, and memorizing. In addition other areas such as behavior, neurological problems, and physical issues may also be addressed.

What is Your Role as a Parent?

As a parent you must work with the practitioner to help resolve the difficulties your child is facing. Your continued support and loving care for your child is all that is required to help your child develop into a fantastic man or woman.

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