Helping Parents Deal With Handicapped Children is discussed herein. This will guide parents on the proper ways to care for handicapped children.
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The term handicapped children mean those identified as being mentally retarded, hard of hearing, deaf, speech impaired, visually handicapped, emotionally disturbed, orthopedically impaired, deaf-blind, multiple handicapped, or as having learning disabilities, or other health problems such as epilepsy, who because of these impairments need special education services.
In recent years there has been a remarkable increase in the amount of aid and support given to handicapped children, to assist them to overcome their handicaps and live useful lives.
Helping Parents Deal With Handicapped Children
Special education counselors can help to ameliorate the situation in many significant ways. For example:
1. To provide face-to-face counseling to handicapped children.
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2. To counsel the regular classroom teacher who must of necessity deal with the mildly handicapped students who do not receive special attention.
3. Counsel the parents of handicapped students.
In any examination, these three ways of providing help to handicapped children may be useful. Because of their specialized training, professional counselors are experts in face-to-face counseling.
There are able to assess and deal with the emotions of handicapped children. it is observed by those who work and interact with handicapped children that feelings are very important in dealing with exceptional children. How children feel about their handicap is often more important than the handicap itself.
The counselor should help the handicapped child to maintain some degree of emotional stability and self-esteem while undergoing treatment.
Handicapped children need confidence in themselves and the confidence of those who are significant in their lives. It is the duty of the special education teacher to try and arouse this feeling on the part of the student, and the counselor can help in this direction, too.
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Teachers themselves need similar help. They need to understand their feelings about the handicapped children because it is only by adjusting their feelings about the handicapped that will they be able to appreciate their problems and help them more effectively.
Due to the fact of being different and requiring an unusual amount of help and attention a handicapped child is inevitably a person of unusual importance.
Parental reaction to children who are handicapped can result in either rejection of the child because of parental guilt or over the protection of the child due to his unfortunate condition. In either case, feelings of guilt and resentment may develop in parent and child.
Helping parents deal effectively with their handicapped children requires group counseling. Parents, as well as teachers, must learn the difference between indulgent and reasonable expectations and unrealistic demands.
It is possible to be too easy on the handicapped child, but it is also possible to make no allowance for the handicapped.
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It is necessary for parents to discuss their feelings of guilt projections on their spouses, hostility toward the handicapped child, or the temptation to have pity on the child. Because of a parent’s concern for the child’s handicap, group counseling is necessary not only to let them know that others share similar problems but also to learn specific ways of dealing with handicapped children.
Hence, parents should be willing to discuss the child’s problems with counseling professionals like the school counselor when occasions arise.