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WHAT ARE STRATEGIES?
Strategies are ways, processes or patterns in which a particular issue, challenge or situation is solved. Strategies can take several approach and patterns depending on the kind of issue faced once identified.
AN INCLUSIVE CLASSROOM ENVIRONMENT
A concerned teacher is constantly faced with questions like, why, how, and what can be done to help a child faced with poor classroom performance. Most times, parents may not know that their child has a special need. In other cases, they rather push their children’s lack of assimilation to the effectiveness of the teacher. However, in most cases, the blame is on the child for being a dullard. However, special need children can attend a regular school and participate well if they are identified early and given the necessary therapy and assistance.
COMMON SPECIAL NEEDS INCLUDE
Learning disabilities (such as dyslexia),
Emotional and behavioral disorders (such as ADHD),
Physical disabilities (such as osteogenesis imperfecta, cerebral palsy, muscular dystrophy, spina bifida, and Friedreich’s ataxia),
Developmental disabilities (such as autism spectrum disorders and intellectual disability).
WAYS TO IDENTIFY SPECIAL NEED CHILDREN
One of the major attributes of any good teacher is the ability to spot any child with special need. Often times, parents, guardians or caregivers may attribute one challenge or the other of any child to “spiritual forces” most especially in sub-Sahara Africa. However, a trained teacher will definitely look beyond this by:
STUDYING: A good teacher needs to know how to painstakingly carefully study the children in their class individually in order to know their level of assimilation, interactivity, and socialization which a teacher may easily observe if careful attention is placed on each one of them.
SHOW INTEREST IN THE CHILD: Aside from studying the children, showing a keen interest in the child spotted to need help is essential. You may notice a difference in a child and still be nonchalant about helping out.
ASSIGNMENT AND CLASS WORK:
Assignments and class works are strategical approach. It is easier to identify ADHD through their class assessment, teachers, caregivers should not take this lightly.
Check attentiveness. Classroom attentiveness is another strategy to determine a child with any special need. Classroom activities are the best time to locate a child with any of the special need that needs urgent attention.
HOW TO HELP THE SPECIAL NEED CHILD IN THE CLASSROOM.
When the child is identified, the teacher or caregiver can take the following steps to helping the child.
Be interested in the child. After you identify some behavior that needs rapt attention, show interest in the child. Help cannot be rendered if there is a passive interest in the child.
Ask for medical records or feedback from parents: parents and teachers then need to talk. To help the child, the teacher should get the parents involved through an interview and if possible ask for a medical record if perhaps there is any.
Advice/ suggest a therapist: another help is to suggest the need for a therapist. The work of a teacher isn’t the same as that of a therapist.
Create a conducive inclusive learning atmosphere: Once the agreement is reached for the intervention of a therapist, a conducive environment should be created at home or at school. If it were in school, it is a form of inclusive education. And time in-between the class period of any free time.
Reduce class burdens: another suggestion is to reduce class burdens. Assimilation in children varies with or without a special need. However, in the case of an identified special need, the teacher should, therefore, reduce the burden of the child to do other activities most important to give adequate room for the child’s therapist.