Children with multiple disabilities deserve an education that will enable them to thrive in life, not merely survive. A good education is an absolutely vital aspect of a child’s life.
Education is a key to reversing the negative effects of combined disabilities. This is discussed in a prior blog post (http://www.disabilityliving.ca/disability-canada-results-multiple-disabilities-consequences-illiteracy/).
What can an education usually give children with numerous disabilities? Life skills, communication methods, and the gift of literacy, just to name a few things. Also, a good education can generally prepare a child for life.
We know that it’s important for children with numerous disabilities to become educated. But what educational program is best for them?
Deciding on an educational program is the hard part. Why? “Determining an appropriate educational program for a student with multiple disabilities can be a daunting task due to the variety of pervasive supports needed by these students.”
So how is this daunting task accomplished, and by whom? It can be accomplished by considering the advise and input of many different types of people. Teachers, therapists, “assistive technology teachers,” and parents should all be included in the process of choosing an educational program.
Did you know that a child with disabilities should be in the midst of the process of planning his or her education?
This is important because the child’s needs, gifts, and strong points should ultimately determine the educational program.
Regardless of a student’s educational program, should that student be taught in a traditional or Special Needs setting?
Do students with varied and severe disabilities belong in a traditional classroom setting?
“Increasingly, children who are deaf-blind or who have other severe or multiple disabilities are being educated in general classes.” Why is this? Here are a few reasons:
Being in a general classroom allows a child with more than one disability to…
– Experience relationships with peers
– Learn communication skills
– Have “access to normalized learning environments”
These are excellent reasons as to why children with disabilities should learn in a traditional classroom. Would your child benefit from learning in a “normalized” classroom?
Does your child have multiple disabilities? There are educational resources that can help you stay in-the-know about your child’s education.
http://www.vision.alberta.ca/resources/multipledisabilities.aspx is an amazing resource page. Here you will find links about education as it relates to multiple disabilities. This webpage is an absolute must for parents of children with multiple disabilities!
We know you are doing everything you can to provide the best education for your child. Will you share your struggles and experiences by leaving us a comment? To another parent, your thoughts may be more helpful than you know.
*Please note: All research for this article is compiled from direct and third party sources. Mention of programs, organizations and companies does not imply support of The National Benefit Authority. Pictures are for creative purposes only; they are not intended to sell or promote products for the NBA and belong to the accredited individual, organization or company.
Let’s Talk About It
What educational program has worked best for your child with combined disabilities?
Do you think it is more beneficial for a child with multiple disabilities to learn in a Special Needs classroom or a traditional, “normalized” classroom? Why?