Special Education

Oftentimes, children who have special needs brought about by their physical or cognitive disabilities are emotionally disturbed. Parents often seek the help of health professionals, such as paediatric developmental psychologists, to aid them in addressing the needs of their child. Health care professionals would often suggest that these children should receive special education. Hence, parents enrol their children in schools that offer special education. However, the main concern of addressing the child’s emotional disturbance is not adequately addressed by simply enrolling them in special education schools.

Children who receive special education are often emotionally disturbed because they have self-esteem issues and inferiority complex because they feel that they are different- in a negative light. It cannot be denied that some parents seek professional help because they have a feeling of hopelessness and some are nearly giving up because they do not know how to deal with their children who have special needs and emotional disturbance. However, it is important for both parents and teachers to know how to deal with special children with emotional disturbance.

One important key to effectively deal with these children is by recognizing the signs of emotional disturbance. These may include inability to learn the lessons taught in special education school. These children are also unable to form good interpersonal relationships with his or her classmates and teachers. Furthermore, inappropriate or aggressive behaviour may suddenly be displayed by the child under normal circumstances. When the child displays these behaviours, the parent and the teacher should not tag the child as a delinquent. Rather, they should understand the child’s physical display of emotional disturbance by providing love and support.

For these children, it helps to create an individualized education program tailored to cater the needs of the child. An individualized education program will help in observing the child closely and therefore, objective and subjective cues of the child’s emotional disturbance can be adequately addressed in a didactic manner. Parents may also seek external psychological or psychiatric help through support networks or groups that will provide counseling services for the emotionally disturbed child. Most importantly, parents and teachers should keep their communication lines open for the child. Aside from counseling the child, it is crucial to listen to the child’s concerns and point of view. Through this, the child will be able to feel that even though he or she is different, people still care about his or her feelings.

Children in special education who are emotionally disturbed need the same love, care, and support as other kids. It is not about giving more attention to them, rather, it is about hearing their thoughts and feelings in order to find out why they are acting the way they do. The services and strategies discussed are ways to understand them better and address their needs in the process.