Best Strategies To Support Special Needs Students to Thrive In Their Academics
23rd January 2024
In general, children with special needs have to go through various challenges both in their academic and personal lives. Every special need student has a different learning ability and they often struggle in a typical classroom setting.
According to researchgate.net survey, very few people which is 20% of the schools offer education for all means of inclusivity for every child and 40% each of inclusivity without support and inclusivity with support.
To improve this situation, it’s not just special needs teachers but every other general teacher's responsibility as well to understand the unique needs and abilities of special needs students in their classroom and provide the necessary support.
In this blog post, we will be exploring some of the best strategies with which you can provide the necessary support to your special needs students to reach their full potential.
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So, without any further delay, let’s get started.
Understanding Students with Special Needs
Students with special needs encompass a range of learners with physical, developmental, and learning disorder. Some may also have emotional, behavioural, and communication disorders. These children require extra attention, care, and love.
It’s crucial for every teacher to prioritize their mental and physical well-being and help them reach their full potential. The challenges faced by children with special needs are often more severe and may persist throughout their lives.
Now, we have a basic understanding of students with special need. Below we have shared what kind of challenges students with special needs really face in their day-to-day lives:
Challenges Faced by Special Needs Students
- Children with special needs have trouble doing schoolwork, behaving appropriately in school, making friends, and being organized.
- Physical inaccessibility is also a major challenge for many students with special needs due to a lack of appropriate infrastructure.
- The one-size-fits-all approach that most educational systems use does not adequately recognize their unique learning needs thereby limiting their potential.
- Stereotypes about students with special needs persist in many countries which contribute to bullying as well as mistreatment by their peers in school.
- One of the significant hurdles that special needs children face toward achieving their educational goals is the lack of access to appropriate study materials.
Best Strategies for Supporting Students with Special Needs
Let’s get to know some of the best strategies with which you can provide the necessary support to cater unique learning needs and abilities of special needs students:
1. Help Them To Achieve Succes
One of the best ways to show and provide support to students with special needs is by creating an inclusive learning environment and encouraging them to achieve success. You can consider creating a distraction-free learning environment that will reduce the stress of students so that they can focus on class properly.
You should behave appropriately, offer time-to-time appreciation, and give assignments or tasks according to abilities and skills that promote their success academically.
2. Foster Positive Relationships with Students
Teachers have many responsibilities to fulfill like- education goals, curriculum to cover, and various tasks to complete. However, one of the important responsibilities that every teacher should focus more on is to create a positive relationship with their students with special needs. Teachers should be able to recognize whether they are facing any difficulties understanding any concepts or facing any issues within the school premises to provide the necessary guidance and support.
3. Understand Their Common Difficulties
It’s every special needs teacher’s responsibility to understand the common difficulties faced by their special needs students on a regular basis. This will help teachers to design Individualized Education Plans (IEPs), which will help students to achieve their academic goals. Observe their learning pattern and in which areas they are facing difficulties, this will give you better clarity of each student.
4. Make Them Engaged with Learning Process
Once you have made the Individualized Education Plans (IEPs) for every student with special needs, it’s time for you to create a non-judgmental and comfortable learning environment. You must encourage them to ask their doubt without any hesitation.
Additionally, try to make the process of learning more interesting for students by integrating audio-visual or with graphical material.
5. Integrate Assistive Technology
Introducing Assistive Technology to your special needs student can prove to be one of the best ways to support them in their academic journey. There are various ways technologies can improve their learning journey like- screen readers which can be beneficial for students with visual impairment or text-to-speech technology can be beneficial for students who have writing difficulties.
6. Collaborate with Parents and Specialists
For a better understanding of students with special needs, teachers should work together with their parents and their specialists. With the help of collaboration, you can be able to understand their preferences, challenges, and abilities which will ultimately give you better clarity to support them.
7. Celebrate Their Achievement
Students with special needs have various challenges in their lives, so it is suggested to every teacher to celebrate their achievements from time to time no matter how small they are. By celebrating their progress, it will motivate them to work hard towards their academic goals and towards other goals as well.
8. Continuously Educate Yourself
Teaching is a profession that demands continuous learning to stay updated with the latest learning and teaching methods and trends. You can attend various professional development workshops, seminars, and conferences to keep yourself updated with the latest teaching resources, tools, research, and strategies which will help you to provide the diverse needs of your students with special needs.
Provide Necessary Support to Ensure Special Needs Student’s Success
Students with special needs have to face various challenges in their academic and personal life journey. To help them navigate their academic journey successfully, it’s every teacher’s responsibility to provide the necessary support and guidance. Those teachers who have pursued courses like Special Education courses for Teachers know various ways to support their special needs students in their academic journey.
However, in this blog post as well, we have shared various effective strategies with which any teachers can be able to support their special needs students to thrive in their academic journey by creating a supportive and inclusive learning environment around them.
Lastly remember, that every student has unique abilities and potential, and it is our responsibility as educators to help them unlock it.
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