How Parents Can Help Their Special Needs Child Study

parenting1

Parents always want their children to be able to achieve success in their academics. Parents of children with special needs might find that traditional ways of studying or learning might not be the best approach for their children. Sometimes trying to incorporate different methods of learning, such as kinesthetic activities or music, to your child’s study sessions can help them to learn material and content. Even just creating a more focused and supportive study space in your home can help with their studying. Here are some ways you can help your child with special needs study effectively:

  • Communicate With Your Child’s School – First and foremost, figuring out how to best help your child is to create a partnership with their school. Your child likely spends a good part of their days with their teachers and instructors, so these are the people you want to look to for help in assisting your child study at home. Meet with their teachers to find out how your child is doing and where they might need some special focus or improvement. Listen to their advice and offer suggestions as well as consider their feedback about your suggestions, this can help your child’s learning process carry over seamlessly from school to home.
  • Identify How Your Child Learns Best – Meeting with your child’s teachers and instructors can help you figure out how your child learns best. Find out if they are more visual learners or more independent learners. Classroom environments have to accommodate for all their students’ learning preferences, but adapting your home study sessions to your child’s needs can help further their learning process. This personalized studying can give them more time to learn material and content in a way as well as pace that they like.
  • Incorporate Music – If your child is an auditory learner consider using songs and music in their study session. Children with special needs often respond well to voice inflection and tone, which songs inherently possess. Using music also helps to keep study session multi-sensory and promotes active learning that many teachers try to achieve in the classroom as well.
    parenting2
  • Incorporate Kinesthetic Learning – Creating kinesthetic activities around what your child might be learning at school can help them associate the information with fun and better retain the information. Children with special needs also respond well to activities that get them moving and are multi-sensory. Incorporating kinesthetic activities, such as experiments or even small activities such as memory cards, can enhance their at-home study sessions by being not just fun but adapting to their style of learning.
  • Utilize Technology – There are many apps that are beneficial for children with special needs. Specifically there are great apps that help with helping children with special needs study. Apps such as virtual flash card creators can make learning visual and appeal to their sensory learning. Along with apps there are many websites that can help with organizing studying schedules or making at home study sessions more productive such as websites with interactive readers.
  • Create A Productive Study Space – One overlooked, but simple way to help your child with special needs study is to create a safe study space for them in your home. Many parents and children take to the kitchen table or the living room to study and do homework. However, creating a separate space or room just for their school work can help them stay focused and associate that time with just school work. Creating this space can help them keep away from distractions but also have a space where they are free to learn in their own personalized way.

Overall, the best way to help your child with special needs study is to become involved in the learning process with them. Be an active member of their school and try to carry over their school learning to home. Incorporating learning methods that are tailored for them at home can help enhance their studying so that they retain material and information better.

Movies and TV Shows About Special Needs Worth Watching

movie1

In a 2013 report, characters with a disability only accounted for 1 percent of the television population, when in reality, people with disabilities make up 19 percent of the US population, or around 56 million people.  While the representation is still a long way from being representative of the true population, there are still quality television programs and films that depict special needs honestly.

Speechless

Whats it About?: The story of a family as they deal with the challenges of raising a son with cerebral palsy.

Why Its Worth Watching: While Speechless treats cerebral palsy with an informed voice, it doesnt do so with a melodramatic tone.  In fact, Speechless is actually a comedy.  Created by Scott Silveri, Speechless pulls from his childhood experiences of watching his parents care for his brother, who has cerebral palsy.

In an industry in which people with special needs are underrepresented, Speechless is one of the few television shows out there that attempts to give them a voice, pun-intended. Here are some of the newest HD movies that are also worth watching.
 

Parenthood

Whats it About?: NBC drama about the ups and downs of three generations of the Braverman family.

Why Its Worth Watching: A stalwart in NBCs programming schedule for six seasons, Parenthood never shied away from tackling tough issues that most families could relate to.  Throughout the run, they tackled everything from teenage pregnancy to breast cancer to PTSD, but one of the longest-running storylines in the show was young Max growing up and coming to terms with being diagnosed with Aspergers Syndrome.

Showrunner Jason Katim based Maxs storyline, and the storyline of his parents Kristina and Adam, on his own experiences of being a parent of a child diagnosed with Aspergers.  Katims autobiographical perspective and young actor Max Burkholders commitment to the role makes Parenthood a raw and honest look at an often-misunderstood special need.

Autism: The Musical

Whats it About?: A documentary chronicling six months in the lives of five children on the autism spectrum, as they write, rehearse, and perform and original stage musical.

Why Its Worth Watching: A lot of documentaries focused on autism tend to focus on the experiences of the parents and what it is like raising a child with autism.  While the parents are involved in this film (including rock and roll guitarist Stephen Stills), the focus of this documentary is primarily the children.  Moving and inspiring, this film can make you tear at the struggles of both the children and the parents, but can also fill your heart with happiness as you see the children overcome some of the challenges they are faced with.

Whats Eating Gilbert Grape?

Whats it About?: After his father dies, Gilbert Grape is forced to take care of his morbidly obese mother and his special needs brother, while trying to make a life of his own.  

Why Its Worth Watching: Leonardo DiCaprio was nominated for an Oscar for his portrayal of Arnie, Gilbert’s autistic brother.  In the film, Arnie is an independent person: a member of the community and a fixture in his own home.  In comparison to Rain Man, a film made around the same time, Arnie is not institutionalized and is welcomed and loved in his own community.  

movie2

Hollywood still has a long way to go to fully represent the special needs population.  Film and television, however, have come a long way in depicting those with special needs like autism with accuracy and honesty.

 

Should There Be Cameras in Special Education Classrooms?

speical-education1

While classrooms across the nation are supposed to be safe places of learning for all children, the reality is that this expectation doesn’t always mirror reality.

But when the students on the receiving end of unfair or even inhumane treatment are special needs children, some of whom might be nonverbal and unable to tell their parents or caregivers about any incidents, the situation can be even more harrowing.

Consider these cases, for instance:

In light of instances like the aforementioned, some parents and experts are increasingly calling for cameras to be installed in special needs classrooms to protect the vulnerable.This blog will consider whether or not there should be cameras in special education classrooms.

Pros & Cons

Any talk of introducing cameras into the classroom environment is bound to be controversial with proponents for and against. What follows are some pros and cons of such a policy.

  • Pros: Cameras essentially give a voice to special needs children who might otherwise be able to tell their parents or caregivers of any difficulties they encounter at school. Having footage of mistreatment, moreover, will provide proof of any mistreatment. In special needs classes with cameras, students would have a safer work environment that is more conducive to learning.
  • Cons: When it comes to cameras in the classroom, one key problem that some might have is the issue of confidentiality. In other words, there may be concerns over who gets to see the video tape. As well, some parties believe that cameras should either be installed in all classrooms — special needs and non-special needs — or in no classrooms at all. Yet another complaint is the costs associated with equipping special needs classrooms with the technology.

special-education2

Ethical Considerations

There are definitely some privacy issues that are bound to come up when discussing this topic, but it can be argued that the benefits of protecting children override any privacy concerns. Furthermore, teachers who have any issues with this sort of arrangement should remember that they are under contract with a school system that has the right to dictate working conditions within reason. Although there are people and groups who are for and against this issue, the best interests of children should be paramount since they may be unable to speak up for themselves.

What the Experts Say

In one report, a number of experts comment on a new law ordering schools to rollout cameras inside of special education classrooms. Meanwhile, Sue Nelson, who is the superintendent at Tuloso Midway, says in the report that the order is “a non-funded mandate,” which means that the schools will have to shoulder the cost of buying and implementing the technology. She adds that this aspect of the technology plan is a problem since the cost has to be footed by the schools.

Katie Kelly, a psychologist and attorney in Florida, says in a report that parents of special needs children who have been mistreated are coming together via the Internet to push for cameras in special education classrooms. She adds that stories of abuse happen to be “a daily occurrence.”

Indeed, the debate about whether or not there should be cameras in special education classrooms continues, and there are proponents on both sides of the fence. The needs of children, however, is the most important part of the equation, which means that a positive development would be for there to be a more widespread rollout of cameras in special needs classrooms across the U.S.

The 5 Best Apps For Kids With Special Needs

175293785

Apps that are specifically designed for kids with special needs provide the sort of interactive technology that can facilitate their developmental progress.

While apps in general can offer productivity or entertainment benefits, they can have an even greater benefit for children who have special needs. Whether they have cognitive delays, speech impediments, autism, or any other special needs, there are apps that can, in an interactive way, give them the tools they need not only to learn academically, but also to grow developmentally.

The reason it is important to roll out apps for children with special needs is the technology can empower kids to make solid strides in managing emotions, listening, communicating, reading, and more while leveraging interactive technology on smartphones or tablets.

What follows is a rundown of the 5 best apps for kids with special needs. Children with all sorts of special needs will be able to get something out of one or more of these apps.

1. Proloquo2Go

Proloquo2Go is a symbol-supported communication app designed to help special needs individuals who are unable to speak. While its $249.99 price tag is not cheap, it is considered a segment leader. It was built to help special needs people with communication and speech issues to work on their communication and language skills through research-based vocabularies. Among the other important things to know about Proloquo2Go, the app covers users from beginning to advanced as well as caters to people with a wide range of fine-motor, visual, and cognitive skills. It is available on iPhone and iPad.

2. Zones of Regulation

For special needs children who have difficulty regulating their behavior, The Zones of Regulation helps to manage emotions as well as alertness levels. Users can substantially heighten their self-control and their problem-solving skills with this interactive technology. The software is designed for iPad and iPhone, and is available for $5.99. It’s also available for Android for $14.13.

182350502

3. Dexteria

Dexteria, available for iPhone and iPad for $3.99, is an app for fine motor skill development and handwriting readiness. It offers hand and finger activities that will help special needs children with motor skill issues to build strength, dexterity, and control. It’s also available for Android for $12.99.

4. Cause and Effect Sensory Light Box

Designed to benefit youth with autism as well as a range of other special needs, this app utilizes abstract animations as well as sounds to introduce basic touch skills and awareness. The app encourages exploration of touch gestures via two dozen scenes. It costs $5.49 for iPad and iPhone. It’s available for Android for $3.12.

5. Scene and Heard

Scene & Heard is an augmentative communication app designed to help children who have autism. It employs visual scenes for context-based communication and creates learning aids with interactive features. Users can also draw their own scenes with the drawing/painting tool included as part of the app. It’s available for iPad and iPhone for $54.99.

The 5 apps listed above are particularly useful for children with special needs, and can help them to develop the sorts of skills that are compromised as a result of the challenges they face.