Wednesday, September 28, 2022

Challenges Faced by Special Needs Children. How to Overcome Them?

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Who Are Children With Special Needs?

When a child needs special care and attention to do regular activities that a child would not require otherwise is termed a special needs child. Their special needs may arise due to a vast array of conditions and causes ranging from genetic disorders or developmental issues faced due to any medical conditions etc.

The range of special needs required for such a child also varies from one child to another. Children may need special medical assistance, or some may require behavioral therapies or special learning assistance.

Depending upon the ailment or disability faced by the child, some of them may need frequent visits to the clinic, medical tests, special assistant equipment, etc. Due to the vast and grave nature of this disability, a special needs pediatrician will often suggest regular monitoring and counseling of the family members.

Challenges Faced by Special Needs Children

Special needs is an umbrella term for a wide variety and intensity of attention and care requirements according to the respective disabilities. However, the challenges faced by a special needs child can be broadly categorized into the following to understand its nature and find ways to tackle them.

1. Physical Disabilities

Here, a child may face issues with movement and balance as the neuromotor sensory system is affected. The child’s ability to move their body parts gets hampered. Muscular Dystrophy, Cerebral Palsy, Epilepsy, Locomotor Disability, etc., are some of the conditions that restrict the physical movement of a child.

2. Sensory Disabilities

The child’s sensory perception organs, especially the ears and the eyes, get affected in varying degrees. A child may face conditions such as partial or complete deafness, partial or complete blindness, etc. They may require hearing aids or visual assistance for normal functioning.

Although hearing and vision are among the most common types of sensory impairment, a special needs child’s other senses, viz. the ability to smell, taste, touch, or feel, and the sensitivity of spatial dimensions of the body can also get affected. A timely and regular medical intervention by a special needs pediatrician is highly recommended in such cases.

3. Developmental and Learning Disabilities

A child facing developmental issues with conditions such as autism, or down syndrome, can find their communication and natural development affected. These conditions are mainly neurological, and genetics may be one of the causes of such cases.

4. Behavioral or Emotional Difficulty

The child may feel nervous and face difficulties maintaining acceptable social behaviors and interpersonal relationships. Social anxiety, depression, attention deficit, and hyperactivity are often associated with the child’s mental and emotional health.

Ways to Overcome the Challenges

A child facing any difficulty that needs special attention or care often faces many challenges. However, along with the child, the family members, guardians, and caregivers face unique challenges in dealing appropriately with such a child with extreme care and caution. The expertise of a special needs pediatrician will help them sail through the difficulties and provide them with much-needed counsel and hope during the treatment.

1. Communication and Interaction

One of the major difficulties faced by most special needs children, especially autistic children, concerns their inability to communicate and interact. In some extreme cases, a child cannot convey their feelings even non-verbally.

Invariably in all cases, a unique approach to creating a friendly and non-threatening environment is advocated. Specially designed approaches to interacting and enhancing non-verbal communication can eventually impact verbal communication. Understanding and encouraging sign language and observing body language can boost people facing such challenges.

A special needs pediatrician may advise undergoing speech therapy that includes new approaches to communicating and interacting. Use of specially devised speech, hearing aids, etc., is also seen in such cases.

2. Overcoming Self-doubt

Self-doubt is one of the major hindrances in the path of treatment for any troublesome ailment. As a special needs child’s parents, family members, and caregivers, it is natural that skepticism and self-doubt arise regarding the possible care and treatment of the child. It needs to be addressed by the right person and in the most appropriate manner.

Talk to the doctor because a special needs pediatrician knows about such situations. If all the questions and doubts get addressed, they will reflect in the overall therapy of the child. A well-informed guardian can take better care of the special needs of their child.

3. Creating a Supportive Environment

A healthy, supportive, and fun environment will make the treatment thrive and succeed. Understanding the regular and natural requirements of the child and making no fuss in attending. To them will give the child confidence in the environment.

Becoming involved to make the child feel worthy of living; counting every progress with enthusiasm, celebration, and joy will benefit the child and the family.

Wrap Up

Special needs is a vast and inclusive term for a disorder having many challenges to cope with.

Special equipment to assist them in performing regular activities. New approaches to communicating and interacting with them are a few ingredients in their treatment.

A special needs pediatrician guides children with special needs and their family members in the precautions and steps to overcome these challenges.

In many cases, the doctor becomes a friend and guide to the family members. They provide the much-needed hope, guidance, and information to battle such challenges.

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