Children with Disabilities are those children with special needs and thus require unique and special attention. Children with disabilities often have various defects in their bodies which make them unable to handle life issues adequately as other normal or ordinary children. Such body flaws may be psychological such as mental disorders like Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), Down syndrome or low intellectual abilities, or physical weaknesses such as lameness, handicapped, visual and hearing impairments (Gargiulo & Kilgo, 2010). Children with disabilities usually have difficulties in learning. Children with physical disabilities may also have difficulties in performing certain tasks such as walking, eating and extra-curricular activities like sporting and games.
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Children with disabilities often face various barriers to access education. These barriers impose various difficulties which disabled children have to deal with in their attempts to have adequate access to quality education. Most children with disabilities often experience discrimination, abuse and neglect both at home, in schools and in the community as a whole. This makes it difficult for them to gain access to education. Additionally, most schools and other learning institutions do not have inclined pathways or ramps to ease movements of children with disabilities in and out of classrooms and within the institutions. According to Giordano, most public and private schools do not have well-trained teachers for special education (2009). In my opinion, this further hinders the ability of children with special needs to have access to quality education. Furthermore, these drawbacks often result into low attendance and increased rate of school dropouts. Boyle and Scanlon argue that even though the Federal and State Governments have formulated policies which require all children to have equal access to basic education, reports from research studies have revealed that many children with special needs do not get adequate support they may require to enable them attend ordinary public and private schools (2010). In places where special education schools have been built, the schools are usually of low quality, mismanaged and have poor infrastructure with inadequate learning resources.
How Children with Disabilities Cope With Educational Problems
Children with disabilities often find it hard to cope well with the various challenges they encounter during learning processes. However, some disabled have developed self-confidence, built high self-esteem as well as maintaining positive and mutual relationships with their parents and teachers as a way of coping with educational problems. In addition, some have developed good interpersonal skills, regularly take part in social activities and pay adequate attention with minimal distractions when in classrooms. This has incredibly increased their learning abilities.
Language Development in Children with Disabilities
Most children with disabilities often have difficulties in developing communication skills and language. According to Shulman and Capone, language development is severely delayed in children with special needs. They further suggest that regular speech therapies can be provided to children with disabilities at an early stage in order to enable stimulate their language development (2010).
Teachers, caregivers and parents should adopt programs that encourage language acquisition in such children. Such programs should teach the children proper use of language and communication in various contexts. It is important to note that language and communication are integral parts of the child’s overall development, for instance, it affects the child’s social skills and thus should be given adequate attention.
How to Assist Children with Disabilities in Coping with Educational Problems
Children with disabilities can be assisted in coping with education problems and challenges. This can be achieved through development of unique instructional methods, provision of adequate learning materials and educational aids such as financial grants and scholarships, and equipping schools that offer special education with high quality equipments. This will facilitate the ability of learning institutions to meet the unique needs of children with disabilities.
I suggest that it is the sole responsibility of the government, parents and teachers to assist children with disabilities in coping well with the difficulties they encounter in their learning processes. Appropriate steps should be taken to assist these children develop and learn with ease. The federal government, State agencies, teachers and other educational stakeholders should develop appropriate educational programs that are capable of meeting the special needs of children with disabilities.
Teachers can also determine and identify the children’s strengths and weaknesses by assessing him or her, or by investigating family backgrounds of such children with disabilities in order to identify the sources various education, social and economic problems that the children might be experiencing (Obiakor, Bakken & Rotator, 2010).
Teachers should work closely with the parents and regularly inform parents of their children’s progress at school. Teachers may also suggest to parents the most appropriate techniques for promoting learning at home.
In my view, teachers should treat such children with specialty. This may require the teacher to be aware of the many aspects of the lives of disabled children. Teachers and parents should take appropriate measures to address problems that would interfere with academic progress of such children.
Special education teachers can use various techniques to promote learning depending on the level of disability in the child, for example, a teacher can use individualized learning, offer assistance in problem-solving and organize small discussion groups for children with disabilities. Education officers may also develop specialized curriculums and individualized education programs that suit each child with special needs.
Furthermore, parent can help children with disabilities in language development by encouraging performance of routine tasks such as repeating different syllables, sounds, non-verbal language gestures as well as pronunciation of words (Banks & Banks, 2010).
On the other hand, children’s rights organizations and activists should push the federal government to fully implement the Amendments of The Individuals with Disabilities Education Improvement Act of 2005. This will help in realizing equal access of education facilities to children with abilities. The government should also increase its expenditure in special education.
In my opinion, adequate funding of special educational programs will facilitate its accessibility to children with disabilities. The government and donors need to work together to develop educational campaigns to create
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