As a teacher, do you ever wish you could be more effective at integrating children with disabilities into your classroom? If yes, you are not alone. We understand that it can be difficult to teach a classroom of children who have different levels of academic ability and emotional capacity. It can be even more of a struggle to ensure children with special needs are socially accepted. While there are no “no fail” answers to these complicated issues, there are ways to make your classroom more accommodating to kids with disabilities.
How to make your classroom more comfortable for kids with special needs
1. Use “compensating technology” for classroom activities — As you are well aware, assistive/other technologies can be hugely helpful to kids with disabilities. As you are able, create assignments in which these technologies (“talking dictionaries, computer screen readers, calculators”) can be used by all students.
2. Make group activities a regular classroom occurrence – Create an atmosphere of inclusion and interactiveness by regularly initiating group activities in your classroom.
3. Create activities that allow kids to “progress at their own rates” – This is opposed to trying to get your class to finish tasks around the same time. One teacher claims that practicing this reduces the overall amount of time it takes all his students to finish their assignments.
Note: these ideas were adapted from http://www.teachersnetwork.org/ntol/howto/adjust/c13445,.htm.
What do parents of children with disabilities wish teachers understood?
Parents of kids with special needs want their children’s teachers to know a few key concepts; a couple of these concepts and ideas are:
– “Be open to new ideas and suggestions” — Parents are often well-versed in research about their child’s disability. Therefore, they would love it if teachers would be open to hearing their advice without fear that they are being bossy or overbearing.
– Communicate with parents — Did you know that main thing parents wish for in a teacher is willingness to communicate? It’s true. Just communicating with parents about their special needs child will likely thrill them. Be sure and let parents know the best ways to communicate with you (email, notes, etc), and learn what methods are best for them.
Are you a teacher? If yes, you’re the expert on classroom inclusion of children with special needs/disabilities! Do you have any tips for integrating special needs children into a classroom?
If so, please leave a comment on this post and let us 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.
Lets Talk About It
As a parent of a child with special needs, what is the number one thing you wish teachers would understand about your and your son or daughter’s needs?
As a teacher, what has worked for you in the past concerning classroom integration of kids with disabilities?