By: Brandon Chan
Everyone feels better when they are part of a group. Even when all you want to do is be left alone, it is still nice to have a place or people who you belong with. This is definitely true within my own life, and to an overwhelming extent is applicable to students with special needs. Whether the problem is one of accommodation or understanding, it is imperative that the community works with these people to ensure a positive environment for mutual success.
Firstly, a matter of great importance when helping special needs children is having an environment that accommodates their needs. This environment needs to be created by the community to ensure that everyone stays in a good space. For example, in a classroom setting, sometimes all that is necessary to ensure a great learning environment is a consistent classroom setup. Keeping this setting free from changes can help children with attention deficiency from becoming overstimulated from constant change. But the only way for the preservation of this setting is if a community effort is put into place, to ensure that everyone may prosper in this setting.
Moreover, a community understanding of a situation is a strong aid to special needs children. In my own experience, I had tutored a child with dyslexia. While it may be easy to lose sight of the individualism of the child, when solely viewing their academic prowess, it is of the utmost importance that we do not forget that they are people with their own full set of expressions and thoughts. In this case, while written communication may have been hard, this child could, without a problem, orally communicate with me. This attitude of not only looking at shortcomings helps in coming up with creative solutions to their issues. By not forgetting their sophisticated oral communication abilities, I can more fully grasp their abilities and shortcomings to develop better solutions. This attitude, which was shared with the child’s teacher, parents, and myself helped us develop a proper course of action in dealing with his reading and writing issues. For instance, the parents and teacher would recommend books that were his skill level, but still interesting to me for our classes; a boring children's book is surely boring and uninteresting when considering how well they can understand situations. This bears a fruitful situation during my classes where the child can work on their weaknesses while still being fully engaged. In other words, it is through this community understanding of the needs of a special needs child that promotes prosperous success.
In brief, this blog touches on the importance of community-wide accommodation plans and understanding to be able to better help these children with special needs. We must strive to help every child, special needs or not because that is the only way to create a community of success. By developing this environment of prosperity, we have undoubtedly created a better place.