Teaching Children with Special Needs

‘People with disabilities represent one of the world’s largest untapped talent pools and we need to create the inclusive workplace that nurtures this talent.’

- Satya Nadella, CEO, Microsoft

Teachers who work with special needs students understand that parents of children with learning disabilities find it difficult to accept that their child is "different." This is currently known as 'neurodivergent' or 'neurodiversity,' a term coined in 1998 by Judy Singer, a sociologist who, along with Harvey Blume, a journalist, helped popularise the concept.

In a non-pathological perspective, neurodiversity refers to the variance in the human brain regarding sociability, learning, attention, mood, and other mental activities. Only 3% of people consider neurodiversity, sometimes known as 'Dyslexia,' to be anything other than a negative. However, there are many amazing personalities and influencers around us that meet this profile of neurodiverse people, including Steve Jobs, co-founder of Apple, and Bill Gates, founder of Microsoft.

In contemporary society, scholastic challenges of children identified with SLD (Specific Learning Disability) are frequently labelled or stigmatised. The truth is that SLD children's brains are just wired differently.

SLD and neurodiversity are umbrella categories for learning difficulties. Because our educational system is so preoccupied with uniformity, all of the creativity that these neurodiverse kids have is simply schooled out of them.

There are several fundamental flaws in the way we teach or expect students to learn, such as prioritising knowledge over learning and theory over application. For neurodiverse youngsters, this is an undesirable environment. Learning and teaching can become more inclusive and less intimidating for children to discover and thrive by utilising Assistive Technology (AT).