Working with special needs children, especially those confined to a wheelchair, is a noble course, and if you are looking to enhance your skills and confidence in this regard, this guide should come in handy. Even better, it is invaluable for first timers who want to start working with these bundles of joy.
While these children might have special needs, they are no different from their non-disabled peers. Consequently, they should be accorded the same amount of care, educational opportunities, and support. Working with these children is quite self-fulfilling; however, it often demands some special training, knowledge and of course resources. Here is our guide to help you work with special needs children:
Interact With Them
When dealing with disabled children, communication is of the essence. The adults should learn how to communicate with them no matter how negatively they might respond. Often, when a child responds in an unappealing way, adults are quick to toss them to their parents or close friends. This is wrong; no matter how the children respond, keep interacting and communicating with them. Eventually, that eye contact with a smile will help you build trust and rapport.
Support Them From Far
Observation is a critical part of dealing with these children. You have to monitor and observe them to better learn about them. Whether operating individually or playing out with friends, be keen to see how they react to their surroundings. How do they react to specific sensory inputs such as light, or what noises distract them? What activities do they love? This kind of observation comes in handy to help you know them so you can settle on the best way to implement what you have learnt about handling them.
Positivity, consistency, and flexibility are priceless. The type of energy you carry around will impact those you are working with, especially when dealing with special needs children. No matter what you are going through in your personal life, it is imperative to have positive energy and display an equally positive outlook consistently as you deal with these children. You will undoubtedly be close to them and become their friend; hence they will look up to you for support and care, especially when they cannot help themselves.
Flexibility is also critical to your course. Your child is not immune to sensory overload and might even become aggressive because of disagreements with other children. In such cases, you will need to harness the power of your professional training, stop whatever you were doing and attended to them accordingly. This way, you uphold the safety of the child you are working with while not compromising that of other children.
Taking care of special needs children is no office job but a critical responsibility that is more than a calling. It might be quite challenging, but when you start to see the positive impact you are making in the lives of a child in a wheelchair, you will undoubtedly feel proud. It is indeed a noble course.