Does your child have a problem focusing? Is his language development delayed? Does he have problems making eye contact? Do you feel that his learning abilities are stunted? Does he have problems with his gross motor skills, writing, language, understanding, and/or toilet training? If you answer yes to all these questions, chances are you have a special child.
Common Mental and Developmental Conditions
Developmental disabilities such as autism, Cerebral Palsy, Down’s syndrome, Global Delay Development (mental retardation), and Attention Deficit-Hyperactive Disorder in children pose a problem for their parents who are faced with a dearth of services related to their treatment. Apart from the insufficiency of information to help guide them, parents also have to contend with the lack of special education programs, as well as some government’s limited health resources. Moreover, patients often have to shuttle from one hospital to another for consultations and sessions with various specialists, making treatment a tedious process.
Parents of children who have developmental disabilities should go to a Child Development Clinic which can cater to various developmental pediatrics concerns. When looking for a clinic, parents have to make sure that it has an interdisciplinary team of early childhood development specialists working together to meet each child-patient’s special needs.
Apart from a developmental pediatrician, a psychologist, a speech therapist, an occupational therapist, a physiotherapist, a guidance counselor, a pediatric neurologist, a chiropractor, and a psychiatrist form the team of child development professionals who can help the special child.
Early identification and early intervention is crucial. If intervention is performed during the early years, there is a greater chance of improvement because the brain is very receptive to various stimuli.
Dealing with Children with Special Needs
An individualized treatment plan aimed at responding to each child’s specific needs is also important. The best way to help a special child is to address specific weaknesses and work on his areas of strength.
It is important to train a special focus on tapping a child’s potential, maximizing his or her talents. Enroll him or her in a special school which can harness his gifts. Special children are known to be in drawing and computers. An individual education program composed of one-on-one training and rehabilitation sessions will help bring out the best in special children.
Comprehensive counseling should also be extended to parents and caretakers as the family’s involvement in the treatment process is vital. Their emotional support to the child’s development is crucial.
Caring for a special child is a lifetime process for which the family should prepare. Parents of special children should be patient and strong. Moreover, acceptance is key.
With love, support and encouragement from their families, special children will surely pull some pleasant surprises.