The Special Needs Child
Every child is special but when we refer to children with special needs, we are speaking about children who need extra help because of a medical, physical, emotional or learning problem.
These children have special needs because they might need medicine, therapy, or some form of help and that makes their lives more challenging than the average child. Life can be extra-challenging for a child with special needs as it is harder for them to do normal stuff like walking, running or reading.
Some special needs children need equipment such as a wheelchair or braces to help them get around. Some others, with illnesses, such as epilepsy, diabetes, or cerebral palsy, might need medicine or other help as they go about their daily activities. Children with sight problems might need braille books to read while some with hearing problems might need hearing aids to help them hear. Most children with hearing problems also need speech therapy, since it can be hard to say words correctly when you can't hear very well.
Some children have a condition called Down Syndrome and they have special needs when it comes to learning.
While many children with special needs are noticeable there are some that you would not notice unless you know the child. This includes children with conditions such as Autism, ADHD, and Dyslexia.
All special needs children have the same feelings and desires as other children and they all want to have friends and be loved. We can help them, by being a friend and desist from starring at them or making fun of them.
Special Children - Eliminate The Discrimination
The United Nations Convention of The Rights of Children (CRC) expressly prohibits discrimination of any child on the grounds of disability, and over the last two decades there has been a global effort to eliminate such discrimination of children with a disability.
It is estimated that between 500 and 650 million people worldwide live with a significant impairment. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), around 10 per cent of the world’s children and young people, some 200 million, have a sensory, intellectual or mental health impairment. Around 80% of them live in developing countries.
Statistics such as these demonstrate that to be born with or acquire an impairment is far from unusual or abnormal. Brain injury, birth trauma, abuse and neglect, chemical imbalances, allergies, sensory processing issues, autism, behaviour disorders, cerebral palsy, Down's Syndrome, ADD, ADHD, Aspergers, learning disabilities, metabolic disorders, genetic disorders are all common issues today, that result in children suffering some form of challenge or disability.
While this is so, children with disabilities and their families constantly experience barriers to the enjoyment of their basic human rights and to their inclusion in society.
Their abilities are overlooked, their capacities are underestimated and their needs are given low priority. Yet, the barriers they face are more frequently as a result of the environment in which they live than as a result of their impairment. These barriers can and must be prevented, reduced or eliminated.
Environmental obstacles come in many guises and are found at all levels of society. They are reflected in policies and regulations created by governments and corporations.
Such obstacles may be physical – for example barriers in public buildings, transportation and recreational facilities.
They may also be attitudinal . Widespread underestimation of the abilities and potential of children with disabilities creates a vicious cycle of under expectation, under-achievement and low priority in the allocation of resources.
Poverty is a pervasive barrier to participation worldwide and very much in Barbados and is both a cause and a consequence of disability. This is seen in the fact that the costs of caring for a child with a disability creates further hardship for a family, particularly for mothers who are often prevented from working and contributing to family income. In many cases some of these mothers are the sole bread winner in the family.