What Is A Friendly Environment?
A friendly environment is best described as a safe, and comfortable place both physically and mentally for any child.
An environment can be said to be friendly when it is void of discrimination, stigmatization, and segregation.
Different Types of Environment
Immediate family environment- The child’s immediate family is the first environment the special need child finds him/herself. It is however important that this environment is friendly and protective. Besides, a special need child needs all the love and acceptance they can get from their home.
School environment- Children with special needs constantly go to this environment to learn and if it is not friendly and protective, it will do more damage than good in the psychological and emotional building of the child.
Social environment. The social environment includes the church, mosque, party, playground or any new environment like going for a tour, visitation or vacation. In fact, this form of environment is the larger one and the one the child would definitely have to spend more time later on in life. Yet, it is very much important that this environment is friendly and protective of the special needs right.
The Role of a Friendly Environment
The role of a friendly and protective environment in the growth of a special needs children cannot be over emphasis. This helps them to build up their self-esteem, confidence, reassurance of love, socialization, and platform to unapologetically showcase their talents.
A friendly environment plays a huge factor in building a special needs child’s self-esteem. The environment a child stays can either make or mar their self-esteem. For a child living with a special need, the environment is crucial for self-esteem. The friendly environment begins from interested and encouraging parents who do not body shame their child, a friendly school environment and most importantly the class the child is in, in an inclusive school and any other public gathering.
Aside from building self-esteem, a friendly environment builds confidence. For example, in an inclusive school where a special need child is given the time to share, talk, participate in the classroom it helps to build their confidence too. This is a demonstration that they are accepted, wanted and a part of the society.
Any friendly and protective environment helps to re-assure the love from their immediate family. It is very good to be nice to people with the things we say and how we relate with them and every environment should seek to ensure that.
Aiding socialization is another role played by a friendly environment. When an environment is warm and welcoming, special needs children begin to look beyond their differences. When other kids show love, care, and share. This is the greatest form of socialization and friendship cultivation.
And above all, talents are unashamedly displayed. A comfortable and warm environment, helps special needs children to perform and exhibit their talents amongst other neurotypical kids. They learn to be themselves in such environment and proudly showcase their talents too. The truth is, a warm and welcoming atmosphere be it in a school setting, home setting or any other gathering, has the power to bring out the best in the special needs child.
A friendly and protective environment can be achieved if the players of this environment, i.e. teachers, parents, neighbors, congregation and every individual who is part of this environment can be loving, welcoming and believe that special need children should not be treated with disdain.