5 Strategies to Motivate Students Using a Special Education Timeline

Being a parent is challenging, but being a parent to a child with special needs presents its own set of unique challenges.

No matter what type of disability your child has – moderate or severe – you want to make sure that she is receiving the best opportunities possible. This, of course, includes her education. Children with special needs often suffer from a lack of motivation when it comes to learning.

They may feel like they aren’t being challenged enough, or they may feel as if they simply can’t achieve the goals that are set forth for them as a result of their disability. This lack of motivation can have a huge impact on the education of a special needs child.

If you are struggling with this issue with your child, you may be wondering how to get a grip on it. With proper planning and fun and realistic strategies, you can create a special education timeline that will help your special needs child achieve and succeed in her educational endeavors.

1.       Get Her Involved:

The best thing that you can do to motivate your child is to get her involved with her education. Ask her what her goals are and what she hopes to achieve. Ask her what her interests are. Let her help to pick out courses of study and to create an action plan that will allow her to successfully achieve her goals.

The more involved she is in her education, the more accountable she will feel and the more motivated she will be.

2.       Discuss Goals:

Discuss her goals, as well as your goals. What she wants to achieve is important, but what you want her to achieve is also important. Of course, you don’t want to pressure her or make her feel obligated to do something that she has no interested in doing, as this will only contribute to her lack of motivation. However, it is important that you let her know what you hope for her.

Together, you can create a timeline for her to follow that will allow her to achieve her goals.

3.       Be a Coach:

The last thing you want to do is stress your child out by being too overbearing; however, you are going to want to be her coach. Cheer her on. Let her know that she is doing a good job. If she falls off course, gently guide her back on.

Be her support system, but don’t overstep your bounds, as this can make an already unmotivated child even less motivated.

4.       Offer Rewards:

Rewards do have their place, and they can be quite useful when trying to motivate an unmotivated special needs child.

Choose rewards that are beneficial. Don’t offer something superficial for achieving a goal; rather, off something that will further benefit her. For example, if she achieves her goal of getting a specific grade on a history test, reward her with a trip to a museum so she can have a first-hand experience with the history she learned.

5.       Make it Fun:

Nobody likes to complete work that is boring and mundane. If your special needs child is offered boring work, she will very likely be unmotivated to do it.

Try to make tasks as fun and enjoyable as possible. Going on a scavenger hunt to find geometric shapes around the house is much more appealing than completing a stack of worksheets that ask her to circle pictures of geometric shapes. Even if her workload requires completing mundane worksheets, create a fun activity that she can participate in beforehand.

She will be more eager to apply what she learned from the activity to her worksheet, making the worksheet seem less mundane.

If your special needs child is suffering from a lack of motivation, employing these techniques will help to ignite the fire in her desire to achieve and succeed.  

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