As educators, there is an awareness of the need to provide the best education and support possible for our students with special needs. With so many new diagnosis of Autism and other developmental and/or behavioral health issues, it deems it necessary to assume that there should be ongoing education, training, and resources for educators and parents in order to ensure that the needs of each child is met.
Teaching children with special needs is a challenging yet rewarding task that is not for everyone because it requires a special calling of those who have an understanding of both spoken and unspoken language. Effective preparation is key because everything that is done in the classroom is directly dependent upon the needs of the children which are various because not only does the curriculum require academic goals but goals that also encourage social skills.
Although the class size may be small, the rotation of instruction can be intense because many factors are considered and applied. Regular classrooms are in 45 minute intervals of instruction, where as special ed classrooms have 10- 20 minute rotations in order to reduce the possibility of over stimulating and frustrating the child, if this occurs the child may show resistance which could result in losing valuable time of instruction.
Much of the day should be focused on paying close attention to the child through observations in order to establish what works best for them whether the goal is to encourage positive behaviors, socialization, language, or motor skills. It is the responsibility of parents and educators collaboratively to partner in teaching, strengthening, and enhancing the skills of the child. Meet the child where they are, never go in with a generalized idea of what will be needed or where their skill level should be, not only is that unfair but it creates an unrealistic approach to educating because just like any other classroom, each child is an individual.
There is no room for fear when educating our children, we should have like minds in researching and learning how to make the best decisions for students and this can be accomplished by surrounding ourselves with parents and professionals who are not afraid to ask questions and/or request assistance in areas where there is lack of knowledge, there is always room for growth and the more applied skills and knowledge in the home and classroom, the better off the students will be. There has to be a special understanding in order to meet “Special Needs”.