Thursday, November 10, 2011

Special Needs Students

Children with learning disabilities/special needs learning are people just like you and me. So often it seems that educators just want to pick them out and label them without mercy. Is it because it just takes too much time to figure out just exactly how they learn? Yes, often these children learn in a different manner than other children, but do they need a label? Do they need to have the stigma that the label brings to every day of their lives?

There are several up and coming programs that reach out to children with special needs, like Autism. These children are not treated as disabled children, but simply just as children "wired" a bit differently than most. If educators can figure out just exactly how the child learns or the different way they are wired. The child can be reached by various education methods, without labels and the stigma that accompanies them.

I have taught for over 15 years and have seen many young people come through my classroom that were just simply wired differently. Traditional educational methods didn't work for them, but they were still people who were very intelligent and who could learn. I had a particular student who transferred to our school. Her file was at least 3 inches thick. I remember my principal telling me to read over it and learn how I needed to teach her. I asked him if he would allow me to use my method. He did - and over the next few weeks I spent time treating her just like all of the other students, and also learning just what it was that made her tick. I ended teaching her for several years, and during that time she blossomed. She was never treated like a dummy - she was never labeled at our school. She went on with confidence that she could learn whatever she wanted - just in a different way.

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