Students with special needs?
Counselors have always been a part of all types of educational institutions. For these professionals, the holistic development of students is the main priority.
They help students with special needs realize their potential and grow in the best way they can. This task proves essential, especially for special high school students with special needs at the crossroads of their future and career paths. But counseling can do more than guide teenage students with special needs when considering their future. Counseling can also help students who are under special needs education programs and who have special needs.
Relevance Of Counseling For Students With Special Needs/Benefits Of Counseling For Kids Requiring Mental Help
But what is the importance of counseling? Will it affect special students with needs in the special needs education program? Before we can answer this question, we must first identify a child with special needs now.
Counselors Can Help Special Children Who Have Disabilities
There are many types of children with disabilities and other requirements. Students may be unable to perform in school activities, like sports or simple reading exercises, due to their inherent special needs.
Here are just some examples of disabilities a child may have:
- Anxiety disorder
- Attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD)
- Autism spectrum disorder (ASD)
- Dyslexia, dyscalculia, and other learning disabilities
- Hearing, visual, and other sensory impairment
- Oppositional defiant disorder (ODD)
- Physical disabilities
- Speech and language disorders
Special students with special needs also include those with an advanced intellect. The talented and special students with special needs often possess leadership, creativity, communication skills, and intelligence well beyond what’s expected of their age. They often feel underwhelmed by the lack of challenge in their schools.
But children with mental and physical disabilities aren’t your only kinds of special students with special needs. Those who are at a disadvantage or have a harder time learning because their brains cannot take it are also special students who have special needs.
Now, and especially during the pandemic, education continues to be special and a privilege.
Special Students who have special needs need superior connectivity to the internet to join classes and find resources. They should also have at least one gadget of their own to submit class requirements.
While these problems may be difficult to solve, their consequences can be controlled. Luckily, counselors can help with most of these issues. Now, let’s talk about the benefits counseling gives.
Counseling the Needs For Special Students At School
First, counseling can help in identifying special students with special needs. With their background, they can pick up on actions and social cues signaling a student’s difficulty integrating with a group.
For example, children with learning disabilities may look as if they’re the same as other ordinary kids. They may only begin to show signs of their disability when reading, writing, or solving problems. So, while they may seem well-adjusted at first, special needs students with learning disabilities who have special needs may progress slower in time.
Children with special needs who have developmental expressive language disorder (DELD) also often have difficulty expressing their thoughts and emotions.
Because of this, they may need specialized care. Fortunately, they can learn about and develop thought processes and expression. Counseling can help children with DELD to learn how to express themselves better.
Another example would be the children having disabilities. While their conditions aren’t limitations themselves, they can still hinder them from socializing in fear of being different. This fear may be hard to identify, especially if a child is already very reserved.
Additionally, special students who have special needs with advanced talents and intelligence may feel underwhelmed. This feeling can then lead to demotivation as they continue to yearn for more challenging activities. Studies also show how this demotivation can then result in underachieving and underdeveloped children.
Luckily, a counselor can identify these challenges in children with special needs.
Identifying problems may only be the first step, but it’s essential in helping children with special needs.
Once counselors identify which students have disabilities and which special needs they require, they can start working on these limitations.
For special students having learning disabilities, counselors can help them slowly learn techniques to make academic requirements bearable.
Counseling can help them improve their time management and organization skills. They can also help special students create study habits fitting to their inherent limitations.
On the other hand, counselors can also design special education programs for special disabled students. During counseling, counselors can also evaluate the benefits and detriments of their special education programs. Special education programs may include these changes:
- Assistive learning devices
- Educational and psychological assessments
- Modified learning environment
Thus, students can learn the same lessons as their classmates, thanks to new teaching methods that consider their limitations.
All of this development usually happens during one-on-one sessions with a counselor. However, counseling can also be done by the group.
During such sessions, students who have special needs can improve on their social, communication, and other interpersonal skills. They can also build friendships in small counseling groups. Students having special needs can then rely on this newly-found relationship for support, even after counseling ends.
Lastly, counseling can help students who have special needs under special education gain self-confidence. Counselors can also help these children learn more about their respective conditions.
One of the hot discussions for the disabled community is the Identity-first language. The identity-first language movement aims to break any stigma or negative connotations previously associated with terms such as “disabled” or “autistic.” This movement thus promotes the use of such terms when describing a disabled person.
On the other hand, some people prefer the person-first language. This movement, on the other hand, seeks to recognize people first before their disabilities.
But at the end of the day, the child in question deserves to decide how they want to be referred to. Counseling can thus help children discover their strengths and weaknesses. With the proper education about their limitations, children can learn to accept their condition and build an identity from there.
In conclusion, counselors in the school setting do more than just talking to students in detention or helping the soon-to-be-graduates transition. But also, counselors help the disabled, marginalized, and limited children.
Counselors In Schools Do More To Help The Disabled, Marginalized, and Special Students who have Special Needs
It does so by identifying problems early on, even for those special students with seemingly hidden disabilities. After this first step, counselors can then help these children work on their weaknesses and limitations. Most importantly, counseling helps special students with special needs finally embrace their inherent disabilities and build their own strong identity.