Seven Tips to Treat Special Children

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Children are fruits of love. They are the special gifts of God given to parents as a token of His ever-growing love. They are the angels born on this earth in human form to love and to be loved. Thiruvalluvar, a great poet saint of South India says in his famous Thirukkural that only people who do not taste the love of children will say music and other things are sweeter.

Children in modern life
In the consumerist and commercialized life of this millennium, marital life is facing a sad extinction. In today’s hyper-connected, globalized world, where time has become a commodity which all are running after, families have lost their shape and life. Most of them prefer to be DINK families (Double Income No Kid). How can the children of this age expect love and care from their parents?

Children need our care and love
As mother Teresa pointed out ‘hunger for love and care’ is the greatest form of poverty in this age. If normal children need much care, what about special children? They need utmost care to grow up. The special need children require the same firm structure and guidance as their peers. It needs much planning and communication between the parents and children.

Seven tips for disciplining the children with special needs
1) Watch the child closely before taking disciplinary actions. Needless to say that special need children need closer watching, with great care and attention. It should not frighten them in any way. Rather it should be built upon affection and concern.

2) Disciplining the special need children requires much planning. The caregiver should develop a plan of action before a behavioral incident occurs. You should expect and consider possible settings where you may face an outburst. You should also consider your reaction, the child’s needs and response, and the punishments you may use to stop or alter the behavior.

3) Special need children may have unusual behavioral triggers, so it is important to know the child well in advance how he will react and how you should develop your plan to be flexible in your approach.

4) While you reward good behavior you should have a positive approach in punishing. That does not mean you must be lenient. You have to react but positively so as to make your child realize his mistake. This will help the child recognize what to do as well as to avoid what the wrong. For special need children, it is even more important that the consequence or reward should follow immediately the behavior to have the greater effect and opportunity to teach.

5) Patience and consistency are very important in discipline the special need children. Since the normal development of the special need children is delayed, they may require more exposure to discipline before they begin to understand expectations. It needs a lot of patience and consistency from the parent and caregiver.

6) Disciplining should be executed through proper communication. The parent or caregiver should communicate clearly to make the child understand. Special need children need to be instructed in very simple and repeated sentences.

7) The child specialist or therapist should be consulted as much as possible to take effective disciplines which fit your child’s needs, skills and developmental level. Without consulting him never restrict food, water, medicine or other requirements vital to sustaining life

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