Important Tips For Working With A Special Needs Child

When living with a disability, one of the most common barriers to success faced by children and youth is feeling excluded at school. Students may be treated differently in the classroom, by their teachers and their peers, and may feel like they are not part of a whole. This could happen unintentionally or due to a lack of understanding. Following these simple tips can solve the problem and create a more inclusive environment at school:

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1. Don’t assume

TIP: Never make assumptions about what a student can/cannot do. What you see is not always what you get. It is more important to understand a situation by asking questions and educating yourself rather than by making assumptions.

STUDENT PERSPECTIVE: I have abilities and would like to have the opportunity to use those abilities to learn just like other students. Please see me first as a person, then see my disability, not the other way around.

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2. Always communicate

TIP: The best way to be sure of anything is through good communication. This means communicating with students about their needs and feelings, communicating with parents about any situation and their expectations, and articulating your own experiences as well. Take the guesswork out of it.

STUDENT PERSPECTIVE: I have feelings too and in most cases I am able to share those feelings in one way or another. If you want to know how I feel or how I am doing, just ask!

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3. Take the time to listen

TIP: The best way to communicate and understand is to listen. Parents are a child’s greatest advocate and can provide specific strategies for the individual needs of their child. Asking questions is important, but without listening closely to the answers, there is no real value. Listen with your heart, not your head. What you feel is the right thing, usually is.

STUDENT PERSPECTIVE: Sometimes I feel like I’m being ignored. No matter how hard I try to say or show what I am feeling or experiencing, it is like no one is listening. How am I supposed to feel included if I am being ignored?

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4. Empathy is key

TIP: Look at things from the student’s perspective. Be compassionate, caring and understanding of others’ feelings and experiences. Try to put yourself in their shoes. Ask yourself how you would feel, or what you would want in a similar situation.

STUDENT PERSPECTIVE: I do not feel sorry for myself, so why should you feel sorry for me? Taking pity on me only makes me feel worse and more isolated. It is more helpful when you try to understand what I am going through. Consider the room’s arrangement: can everyone move around? Do I have the same access as others?

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5. Do not categorize

TIP: When working with students, it is often easier to categorize than to spend the time and treat everyone as an individual. However, everyone has their own abilities and disabilities. To create an inclusive classroom, take the time to identify the individual needs of all students.

STUDENT PERSPECTIVE: Just because I am different, it does not mean I am the same as everyone else who is. We each have our own personalities, strengths and weaknesses. If you take the time to learn about me as an individual, I am more likely to succeed.

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6. Be an enabler

TIP: Where there is a will, there is a way. If a child wants to skydive, there has got to be a way to make it happen! And even if there is not, it is your responsibility to at least try. Take the word “no” out of your vocabulary and replace it with the attitude that anything is possible. It’s contagious.

STUDENT PERSPECTIVE: I have hopes and I have dreams but my motivations can quickly disappear with one simple word: no. When I hear the word yes, I feel stronger, happier and more empowered.


7. Plan for accessibility

TIP: True inclusion is not just placing students with disabilities in the classroom. It means that all students are learning in a respectful environment. Are group activities and peer interactions set up in a way that is mutually respectful? Do not let students with disabilities be an afterthought when planning lessons and activities. Make them an equal part in the process.

STUDENT PERSPECTIVE: Just because I am here it does not mean I am always being included. Think about me and others with disabilities in everything you do or plan. We are here all the time but we do not always feel like we are being included.


8. Be supportive

TIP: Things are not always going to be easy for you, the students or the parents. The best way you can handle a situation is to be supportive. Come to the table with a solutions-based approach and a positive attitude.

STUDENT PERSPECTIVE: Remember, I am a child first and a student second. Sometimes I just need a helping hand and some support like everyone else. Positivity and encouragement inspire me and confirm my ability to achieve success.

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9. Teach inclusion to everyone

TIP: Transform perspectives by educating your students about accessibility and inclusion and modelling successful inclusion. If you have questions about disability, accessibility and inclusion, chances are others in the classroom will too. Incorporate equity, inclusion and accessibility through all classroom communication and activities will generate a more accepting atmosphere as a result.

STUDENT PERSPECTIVE: My peers often look at me differently not because they do not care but because they do not understand. You and I may get it, but not everyone else knows what it is like to live with a disability – especially at school. Educating them about it is as important as including me.


10. Treat everyone equally

TIP: It is the golden rule to treat others the same way you want to be treated. This is not only true for students with disabilities but for everyone in the classroom, at school, and in society. Treating everyone equally, giving equal opportunity and remove undue barriers also removes impediments to success and achievement.

STUDENT PERSPECTIVE: I want to be treated like everyone else. I may need some accommodations at times to meet my needs, but mostly I want to be part of what everyone is doing. I can be encouraged to grow and to be my best, just like any other student. And I can do great things. Everyone can.

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Language Barrier Problem For Indian Rural Schools

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At present, India is one of the fastest growing economies in Asia as well as the world. In the last few years, it has made great progress in a number of different fields and also established itself as a seat of opportunities in the international market. All that sounds very good. But how far ahead has our country managed to traverse in terms of education? Well, educational institutions in the urban areas are offering even better facilities than before. However, contrastingly, their rural counterparts aren’t doing very well. And one of the major reasons behind their underperformance is language barrier problem. Many people might disagree with this and say that quality of the instructing teachers is what matters the most. Well, that’s also true to some extent, but language barrier stands as a greater impedance to better rural education in India.

In most schools of Indian villages, vernacular languages are more popular as instruction media instead of English. But the nature of resources and job markets make it mandatory for everyone to have at least basic level knowledge in English. And increasing interaction of Indian economy with the global market would only continue to accentuate the importance of English.

As such, now more than ever, there is an urgent need for equipping our rural children with English alongside other vernacular mediums so that they don’t lag behind when exposing themselves to national as well as international job opportunities. There is just a small challenge that has to be addressed for making this happen, however, and that is, making quality teachers as well as textbooks available for the rural schools.

First of all, usage of the English dialect has to be encouraged and also increased, in addition to making efforts for designing evaluations in a manner that allows students to learn vernacular & their translations in English effectively. In this way, the effort invested by the students for remembering technical terms would be substantial, no matter what language they are in.

Furthermore, for eliminating the language barrier, government and non-government bodies can introduce adjustments within textbooks written in English. This would help students to have a better grasp of whatever they learn in class, irrespective of the quality of learning.

Navigational ease for comprehension of English will establish a dynamic foundation for creation of equal opportunities for everyone and also help our country to progress as a whole.

Understanding & Supporting Kids With Learning Disabilities


DisabilitiesIt is always difficult and challenging task when it comes to improving the quality of people’s life with disabilities. World Health Organization reports that in the entire world, ten percent of the global population is affected by disability. But they also report that understanding and intervention for the ailments at an early age can help a lot in the future. This is why, understanding the disabilities is always appreciable.

Learning the disabilities

First, you need to understand the type of disorders and signs of the disability. Then only you can pinpoint the specific challenges related to the ailment and find a decisive treatment program that works. Every disabled person needs proper encouragement, nourishment, love and support. But when it comes to learning disabilities, these positive reinforcements can help to ensure a strong sense of confidence, inner-meaning and determination to keep going when things are tough.

In case you have a child with learning disabilities at home, as a parent your job is not to cure the problem, but to help your child by providing social and emotional tools that he or she needs to overcome the challenges. In the long run, the education (physical and mental) can let your child understand the life, thus growing stronger and more resilient. Keep in mind that the way you respond and behave to challenges creates a big impact on your child’s life. Showing a good attitude may not solve the problem but it can definitely give your child more confidence and hope.

What can you do to deal with your child’s learning disability?

Learning disabilities: The wand is in your hand: When you are dealing with learning disabilities, keep this in mind that everyone faces obstacles. It’s up to you how to deal with those obstacles without becoming discouraged or overwhelmed. Provide your child with plenty of moral and emotional support.

Be your own expert: Do your own research and come up with new ideas and developments in learning disability programs. It can be educational techniques and therapies. At the first stage, if you are not confident enough, you can take ideas from therapists, teachers, doctors and even home for children with disabilities. But remember, the baton of charge is in your hand and thus, you need to be careful while dealing.

Learning disabilities may be a bit complicated at the beginning, but once you become adept, things will be a lot easier.

Achievements’- Gold & Silver medals in State level Swimming Competition

On the 10th of September, 2017, the Bengal Para Sports Association had organised an All Bengal Para Swimming Championship competition at Salkia Swimming Pool Association. The participants in the competition were boys & girls with special needs from all over the state of West Bengal. Students from Asha Bhavan Centre,  7 students from residential home with volunteers also participated. Our students with special needs participated in junior, sub-junior and senior competitions including freestyle 50 metre swimming race. It was very tough competition, however our students wins with flying colours which includes 4 gold & 3 silver medals. Others students from our  centre despite of having 80 to 90 percent of disabilities, all of them completed the 50 metre swimming event within 1½ minutes.On the 10th of September, 2017, the Bengal Para Sports Association had organised an All Bengal Para Swimming Championship competition at Salkia Swimming Pool Association. The participants in the competition were boys & girls with special needs from all over the state of West Bengal. Students from Asha Bhavan Centre,  7 students from residential home with volunteers also participated. Our students with special needs participated in junior, sub-junior and senior competitions including freestyle 50 metre swimming race. It was very tough competition, however our students wins with flying colours which includes 4 gold & 3 silver medals. Others students from our  centre despite of having 80 to 90 percent of disabilities, all of them completed the 50 metre swimming event within 1½ minutes.

Based in the Kathila campus of Howrah, Asha Bhavan Centre (ABC) dedicates its services to the development, growth and welfare of marginalised sections of society and underprivileged children as well as adults. ABC endeavor has been to reach out to unreached people with all walks of life and create awareness and  ensure  the rights of people with disabilities. The primary purpose of ABC India is to serve as a tribute for glorifying the dedication, spirit and perseverance of countless energy radiating & vibrant young minds, who are struggling everyday against odds to remove social inequality, poverty and illiteracy particularly in remote  rural villages.

Every year, more than forty five thousand beneficiaries receive the services offered by ABC from its different units. The organisation distributes aid and assistance to underprivileged communities through a wide range of useful initiatives, including:

  • Dominique Lapierre Home For Children with Disabilities, Kathila

  • Special school (Deendayal Disabled Rehabilitation Scheme)

  • Vocational Training Unit

  • Orthopedic Workshop

  • Dominique Lapierre Home For Children with Disabilities, Keoradanga

  • Community Based Rehabilitation Department

  • Education Project Chain of BVM School

  • St. Teresa’s School

  • Rehabilitation Council of India Approved D.Ed.Spl.Ed. (M.R.) Course

  • Supplementary Education Program

  • Dispensary (Out Patient Department)

  • Supplementary Nutrition Program

  • Research Program for a Child with Cerebral Palsy (LEAP-CP)

  • SNAC
  • Disha
  • Sahyogi
  • Sponsorship Programme

In the near future, ABC would like to expand more serving to people  in further  remotest corners of the state as well as the nation. The entire team working behind the success of the organisation consistently strives to make meaningful opportunities available for marginalized communities to ensure their economic & social development. Their main goal is to create a better world for people with disabilities and uphold their equity, self confidence & dignity in the society. Build confidence and strengthen their potential with constant motivation and support  so that each individuals with various degrees of disabilities  would continue adding new feathers to their crown of achievements for many years to come.

Indian Laws That Help To Protect Child Rights

Indian Laws That Help To Protect Child Rights
Due to the fact that the constitution of India recognises children as citizens of the nation and accords them with certain rights, there are also special laws in places for protecting the rights. The constitution incorporates most rights stated by the UN Convention as child rights through Fundamental Rights and Directive Principles of State Policy.

Let’s take a look at those rights in detail:

Constitutional Guarantees Meant For Children Only

  • Right to education compulsorily and free of cost for any child 6 to 14 years of age, as stated in Article 21 A
  • Right to enjoy protection against any form of employment that can hazardous, until 14 years of age, as mentioned in Article 24
  • Right to have suitable protection against abuse or forced employment in occupation unsuitable for their strength or age, provided by Article 39(e)
  • Right to equal facilities and opportunities for developing in a sound and healthy manner, and in conditions of dignity & freedom, as well as guaranteed protection against exploitation during childhood & youth and also against material and moral abandonment, as given in Article 39(f)
  • Right to education and childhood care until the completion of 6 years of age, declared by Article 45

Other Rights Guaranteed to Children As Citizens of India

  • Right to equality
  • Right against discrimination
  • Right to enjoy protection against trafficking and forced bonded labour
  • Right to due process of the law and personal liberty
  • Right of the minorities to have their interests protected
  • Rights of the weaker sections of society to have protection against all types of exploitation and social injustice
  • Right to standard of living, nutrition & improved public health

The Constitution also bestows power in the government to enact legislation for taking care of, promoting and protecting the child rights. Certain acts, such as the Child Marriage restraint act, Child labour act 1986, JJ act, etc. have been implemented in order to further such powers.

There are many NGOs all across India that also work for the protection of child rights. So far, they seem to be doing an exemplary job in safeguarding the basic rights of children and youth. For instance, Asha Bhavan Centre, a not-for-profit organisation in West Bengal, has been actively working towards protection of the rights of children with disabilities. It also provides counselling services to parents and the local community to generate more awareness about child rights and their significance in our society.

How Does The Indian Society Violate Child Rights?

Child Rights Violation in IndiaMost studies conducted in the sphere of child rights show that the violation of rights guaranteed to children is not the outcome of one factor, but has been brought about in India by multiple inadequacies and failures. The factors responsible for it are largely interlinked, and merely extensive policy reforms would not be enough to curb them. Rather, reforms must be combined with an effort to bring about significant changes in the mindset of the common people.

Now let’s have a quick discussion about ways in which the child rights are presently being violated in India:


Violence, particularly that of a sexual nature, against children, generally occurs due to social stigma. According to surveys, in 2012, nearly 9500 children and adolescents were murdered. In addition to that, 1 among every 3 young girls aged 15 to 19 years becomes the victim of emotional, sexual or physical violence. Unfortunately, violence inflicted by family or people at institutions is almost never reported because of the existing family structure in rural (and also, urban) India.


Even to this day, when India is proving itself to be one of the fastest growing economies in the world, child trafficking remains alive and well. From extensive studies, it has been concluded trafficking of children thrives mainly due to 3 reasons – less opportunities & widespread poverty, trafficking being a lucrative criminal business, and lack of effective initiative to enforce child rights.

Child Labour

A report published in 2015 by U.S. Department of Labour showed India is one of the 74 countries in the world that produces various goods through forced child labour. There are still hundreds of children who have to work hard in fields for extended hours, and even toil in labour intensive fields such as mining, farming, embroidery, stone cutting and so on. Apparently, child labour seems to incidentally higher amongst OBCs, Muslims, scheduled castes and scheduled tribes, even though there are reservation policies to ensure more opportunities for this demographic.

In order to curb such child rights’ violations and many others, various government as well as non-government organisations are working stupendously to create awareness among people and ensure better opportunities, particularly in terms of rural education and employment in India. But their efforts would not be enough without participation of the common people in initiatives for eliminating injustice and discrimination against marginalised sections of the society.