It is every parent’s wish to see their child be successful. Some of the common success route are in ensuring their child attend the best school in the neighbourhood, providing tuition for the child, and finally witnessing their child’s graduation ceremony. However, can the same be apply to parents with special needs children?
When it comes to navigating the success path, parents of children with special needs face a variety of challenges that other parents don’t – whether it is the extra attention needed, requiring deeper understanding of the child’s condition or the heavy involvement with various teachers to develop the child’s education plan.
Although there are extra effort and time to expend, with the correct guidance, it is possible for children with special needs to find their successful future.
Providing love & care
Children with special needs tend to require more special attention from parents or those around them. Understanding the child’s condition will be the most crucial first step to ascertain the type of support needed to maximise their potential. This is where the parents’ unconditional love, patience and attention is essential to the child’s academic success. A child with special needs may have trouble adapting to the normal teaching curriculum, thus will require a more detailed teaching method such as an Individualised Education Plan (IEP). When the child sees the effort and time put in by their parents, the child will feel encouraged and motivated to succeed in their studies.
Instil good values & morals
The environment and how the child is being raised will have a huge impact on the child’s character. Help your child to succeed by advising them of your expectations for their behaviour in new or unfamiliar situations. Because he/she may not pick up on the “unspoken rules,” it is good to discuss what the expectations are beforehand and in the current situation. For example, at a museum, it is helpful to remind your child not to run around to avoid damaging the artefacts, and the consequences if it happens. Letting your child know about the situation beforehand allows them to think through their actions and be less anxious when faced with it. If they have trouble processing the reasons, sit down with them and make them feel safe and supported and allow them to ask questions.
Prepare your child for the world
Another tool for success is to teach children to speak up for themselves. When the child voices out what they need, they are more likely to learn and be confident. For example, if the child has difficulty, he/she can request for more time to complete the activity or homework and seek the teacher’s help in a manner and terms that are more suited to the child’s needs. This will allow them to be independent in the long term and eventually develop the social skills needed for any job or career they eventually join. Just like any other children, building up their confidence can encourage them to overcome any obstacles in their quest to succeed.
There are various ways to create a positive & conducive environment for your child to succeed. As parents with special needs children, you can help them regulate their behaviour. Let your child get used to the feeling of success by rewarding and giving them words of encouragement whenever they do something right. Let them know that they have your fullest support and they can rely on you when they fall.
The important thing is teaching them to get back up on their feet and never give up learning. This will eventually enable them to carve out their own path to success.
Join us at College of Allied Educators to see how you can develop an understanding of the different types of exceptional children, their needs, and the different special needs programmes and specialties that are available to you, for them.
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