A child who requires special education in any and every form is referred to as a special child. Such children may suffer from physical and mental impairment such as learning disabilities, intellectual disabilities, physical disabilities, or emotional difficulties. Also called special child means a child with special needs.
Here are some of the special health care needs or developmental disabilities that occur among children who are born with the following ailments:
- Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)
- Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD)
- Behavior Disorders
- Cerebral Palsy
- Cleft Lip and Palate
- Cystic Fibrosis
- Down Syndrome
Children with special needs are generally known as children with disabilities. These are those children who experience prominent difficulty in certain areas in their daily life such as physical movement, learning, communication and even mere interaction.
Common special needs include physical disability, impairment of hearing, speech and sight, learning difficulty for example dyslexia, autism, Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), Emotional Disturbance and Intellectual disability. However, as difficult as their personal life may be to live, societal pressure just adds on to it with their preconceived notions and myths.
Myths Associated With Special Children
Here are a few common misconceptions and myths that come clinging to the children who suffer from this disability. Let us burst these myths together in order to make this world a better place for these children to live.
1. Children with special needs are most definitely mentally handicapped
Children with special needs, or commonly known as children with disability, are those who experience prominent difficulty in certain areas such as physical movement, learning, communication and interaction.
However, not all children with special needs have low intelligence. In fact, the majority of individuals with learning disabilities have average to above-average intelligence and it is a proven fact. Their low academic achievement in certain areas could be due to their physical impairment. In fact, it is said that gifted students are part of this group of special people!
2. A hyperactive child has ADHD and/or an anti-social child is Autistic
Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) is a neurobiological condition that reflects a frequent and severe display of inattention, impulsivity, hyperactivity, or combinations of each.
Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) is a developmental and behavioral disability that is present at birth which significantly affects the child’s verbal and non-verbal communication, social interaction and in certain cases even educational performance.
To determine if a child has ADHD or ASD, a professional diagnosis is required. If a child shows signs of hyperactivity or lack of communication or social skills, parents can approach their family doctors for referrals for assessment conducted by qualified multidisciplinary teams.
Alternatively, they can have a child guidance clinic at any leading and authentic health centre.
3. It is not impossible for these children to succeed
Although children with special needs may face difficulty in learning independently and need assistance at all times, these difficulties can be overcome with the right support and appropriate guidance.
Therefore, it is important to allow early intervention, where education and services are targeted at compensating the lack of abilities during a child’s preschool years only. As this is the time when they are developmentally most receptive for learning.
Parents and educators should celebrate the small successes of such children, even as they gradually navigate towards greater successes eventually. There are many individuals and children with special needs who are successful, independent and have done great things in life.