Children with disabilities. Who are they?
Well, I'll start with the most basic information. There is a lot of information on the internet now about children with disabilities, about disabled children. In the last few years, more and more questions have been raised on this topic. What does the term “disabilities” mean? It means health limitations. It is said in various sources that children with disabilities are distinguished by the presence of physical and mental abnormalities, which promote the emergence of general developmental disorders. The phrase 'children with disabilities' means that these children need to have special conditions for life and learning.
Categories of children with health limitations:
• with a behavioural and communication disorder;
• with aural disorders;
• with visual disorders;;
• with language dysfunctions;
• with locomotorium disorders;
• with mental development disorders;
• with mental retardation;
• complex disorders.
But it is necessary to understand this issue in more detail. Unfortunately, it is customary for society to label a child. I don't like that notion of 'disabilities'. Why do not we replace it with special needs. Yes, a child with any of these 'disorders' needs to have favorable conditions to be created, by creating special conditions for it we can avoid most of the problems with its development. This, of course, refers to those children whose 'disorders' are insignificant. One way or another, many disorders do not prevent a child from interacting with society, the world around him. Properly selected psychological and pedagogical support for special children will allow them to master the curriculum and study inclusively in a secondary school, go to an ordinary kindergarten. They are free to communicate with their peers. Like me and my son. My son goes to an ordinary elementary school, there are no more children with hearing impairment in this school. He alone wears acoustic aids and needs special conditions (for example, extra time for tests, a certain place in the classroom to see the teacher, the chalkboard, and others). When the question of high school arose, the specialists watching him began to persuade me to send him to a special school to make the path easy for him. Then I asked my son:
- What do you choose? The school that your two sisters and brother go to, but there will be a lot of different teachers, students, the school is big and you will have to work very hard and on a par with others or a special school where there will be a lot of children with acoustic aids, teachers will help, because they know what to do?
'Of course the school my brother and sisters go to,' my son said without hesitation.
- But you know that you can be the weakest student in the class.
- I prefer to be the weakest student in an advanced class than the strongest in a weak class.
That's my 10-year-old son's policy. Of course, every child is different but any special child always works harder to match his friends, classmates. And parents’ purpose is to support their children and be always close to them whatever decision they take.
Role of parents:
What parents who have a child with disabilities are to do. Hearing such a verdict makes parents feeling helpless, confused. Many parents try to refute the diagnosis but in the end, they see reason and accept the 'defect'. Parents adapt and take different stances from 'I will do everything to make my child a full individual ' to 'I can't have an unhealthy child.' Parents should know correct forms of assistance to their child, despite the types of disabilities, ways of adaptation, and developmental features. It is very important in this situation to select specialists who, together with parents, will look forward to each new step of the child, work for new steps. I had quite a turn when I heard the diagnosis. I wrote about it in my story.
Some way or other, having a child with developmental disorders is always stressful for the family. The problem of upbringing and development of a 'special' child most often becomes the cause of a deep and prolonged social maladjustment of the whole family. This is completely normal, and I will write about the factors that affect the social adaptation of parents in such a situation.
Children with disabilities are in a very difficult position emotionally, morally and psychologically. Children need to learn to live their everyday life and communicate with people but very often due to their limited physiological capabilities, they cannot fully perform any activity, they have difficulties in communicating with peers, adapting to school and other.
It can be considered the best adults’ behavior the one which allows special children to adapt to their position quicker, to acquire features that compensate for their condition. A selfish love of parents who seek to save their sons and daughters from all possible difficulties impedes their normal development. Any child desperately needs parental love, but not a love-pity, but altruistic love, taking into account the interests of the child simply because the child is, the way it is. The kid has not the easiest life to live, and the more self-supporting and independent it will be, the easier it will be to overcome all the difficulties and hardships. The children in question do not need prohibitions, but stimulation of adaptive activity, knowledge of their hidden capabilities, development of special skills and abilities. Of course, it is impossible to turn a blind eye to the fact that the kid is seriously ill. At the same time, constantly keeping it in cotton wool is also not good. The less the patient's attention is focused on himself, the greater the likelihood and success of its interaction with others. If parents manage to teach the child to think not only about itself, then its fate will be much happier. Do not be afraid of your child's emotions, remember that a rich emotional experience has a good effect on the development of abstract thinking.
And the most important advice for parents: do not forget about yourself!
Parents of a sick child often get depressed. And I will definitely write a separate post about it. Both a long wait for a diagnosis, and unreliability, inconsiderateness of relatives and friends in difficult times, and despair in the eyes of the child, and wakeful nights сan trigger it. Associated with constant, chronic fatigue and lack of sleep, a nervous breakdown can be provoked by nothing, often the child himself can suffer from it. But after all, the kid needs you strong, cheerful, confident. Therefore, it is necessary to learn how to cope with this. Psychological support can be one of the important steps for you on the way to adaptation, both for you and your child. It is very important to find like-minded people, those who can help you, at least for a while, take a walk or play with your child, thereby simply giving you an opportunity to get enough sleep. If you do not have any relatives, then a social worker, a psychologist or those parents who have a child with a similar developmental deviation and have successfully overcome a difficult period can help to overcome a difficult period.
It is necessary to be able to share your emotional experience, to hear words of support. Helping each other, parents forget about their grief, do not close themselves in it, thus, find a more constructive solution to their problem. Seeing you cheerful, vivacious, hoping for the best, the kid will smile more often and thereby bring its recovery closer, not feeling somehow different and not to be ashamed of his problem.
Do not deprive yourself of life, pleasures and interesting events. There are things that you can do with your child but you should definitely have your own life. Find time for the activities you enjoy, your hobbies. I really like to draw, read, do yoga, recently I began to play the guitar. It's a completely new hobby for me, especially considering my hearing impairment. My son has been doing music since the age of 3 (I will write about the importance of music classes for children with hearing impairment in another post), programming, chess, swimming.
Blind sacrifice will not benefit either the child or you. If you are satisfied with your life, you will be able to give incomparably more to the little person who needs you. And what else does the child need, except for loving, calm parents nearby.