Special child is the term used for addressing a child who is not like the others. An average child of 5 years old can run, learn basic language, use sentences, and eat him/herself. A special child is different in these aspects. He might not be able to eat on his own properly. But his intelligence is way beyond anyone else. The parents of a special child often find themselves in a miserable situation. The issues of coping with the child’s health and routine get painful for them. At the same time, parents have the most important supportive role in upbringing of such children.
Who Are Special Children?
The children with psychological differences as compared to normal children are special. The most common examples include a special child being autistic. Such children are very good at learning, and puzzle solving. Their intelligence helps them in solving things beyond their age. At the same time, they are unable to do the normal routine things. The manners, and morals are not known to them.
How Can A Parent Support A Special Child?
The parents might start with communication strategies. These are highlighted as follows;
- Be direct with the child.
- Use a perspective approach in talking to your child.
- Inform your child about the weather, and your feelings. It will help them in connecting with you.
- Focus on their gestures, and words.
- Listen in a careful manner.
- Be calm, and positive in response.
- Address their issues through verbal, and non-verbal gestures.
- Influence your child through effective communication.
- Remember that you are an advocate of your child’s needs, and demands.
- Audio or visual learner.
Some of the psychological impaired children are audio learners. They listen well, and can compose symphonies. They are also capable of learning how to play the piano in a short duration of time. Some can be visual learners. Whereas others can be good artists, or observers. The parents can polish their skills, and provide them with learning aids.
For The Audio Learners:
- Read out loud, the notes of their academic, and non-academic learning.
- Use the strategy of verbal repetition. It will help them in memorising the words.
- The audio lecture notes can help such students in enhancing their learning.
For Visual Learners:
- You can use colourful charts, flashcards, and video aids to facilitate learning.
- The visual aids can also ease the learning process.
- You can give them books, stories, or graphical images. They can use these as tools for imprinting information.
- Making the outlines off the important information might also help with learning.
According to a dissertation help firm, autistic children most often trust the ones closest to them. They do not rely on anyone else for trivial physical support. So the parents have to build a trustworthy relationship with their children. Both the mother, and father can play this role. Most often the mothers are trust builders of such children. They will start following your words. They will only trust what comes out of your mouth. The autistic trust relation is very different and strong. It can also lead them to re-join social interactions.
Set Customised Goals
The goals, and milestones regarding growth of the special child are also different. You should consider making customised goals for them. Every special child has something different to offer. Some can be good piano players. Whereas others can be good at puzzle solving. Some of them are good at painting and art. You must find out what your child is good at. Parents have the right place to identify talent/s of their child. After identifying the talent, make goals accordingly. Support them in their strengths. Provide them with the proper resources. It will also help them in getting with respect to mental health. Their ability to socialise will also improve. If parents are not supportive of their non-conventional talents, it may ruin their mental health. Such children will not be able to build trust in their parents as a result.
The goals can be based on short, or long terms. Make them participate in healthy competitions. Don’t isolate them in home-schooling. You must try out the special education schools for their growth. Such schools have many healthy activities with enhanced learning environments. When your child will live in a comfortable environment, he will learn social skills too.
Engage, and Listen
A special child might not have the right language skills. These might, or might not develop with time. They can understand the emotions and gestures. The parents need to listen to their children carefully. Listening will establish a sharing relationship. No matter how difficult is to understand, and how little time you have. Parents must invest their time in listening to, and engaging with their children. You can also engage with them by participating in their activities. For example, your child is drawing something in his room. You might join him not to draw, but to be there with him. Your presence and interest in his activities is the key to communication.
Nurture A Healthy Sibling Relationship
Other siblings usually exclude the special child. It is not a healthy relationship and can build social discomfort among special children. Parents should try to maintain an equal relationship with the children. They should educate the siblings about the health and disease. Inform your children about the needs of their brother, or sister. Making them responsible for one of the chores of their special sibling is important. This can help in the building of a healthy relationship. Include all your children in the family activities. The special child might need some extra care in these aspects. But this involvement will build his trust in the family. Thinking of family as a safe space might increase psychological growth as well.
A special child has special social, and educational needs. Such children see the world through the lens of their trustworthy relations. The role of parents is highly crucial in providing recovery, and learning support. The special child has some gaps in learning social skills. At the same time, they are good at learning intellectual skills. The traits of learning are different for every child. Parents’ guidance, support, and trust can help them in polishing these abilities.