Brenda Blais Nesbitt
Working with a Child with Special Needs
Updated: May 4, 2021
When introducing new people into your child’s life, it is important to introduce them to each other correctly so they can have effective communication (ie. a sports coach, music instructor etc).
Take a look at these 8 tips for working with a child with special needs. Consider sharing the link with people you will be bringing into your child’s life. This will help them understand what they can expect and how they should behave ahead of the first meeting. Alternatively, you can read it yourself and use it as a rough guideline for how you coach new people through the process of learning how your child likes to communicate and what interactions will be the least stressful for them.
The same rules of polite conversation apply! Introduce yourself and say how you are connected.
All behaviour is communication, watch for different cues and signs.
Be flexible, sometimes you'll need to change your routine or how you do things. If you teach certain activities or skills, you may need to change your style.
Be consistent: if you have a set of rules which you have presented to the group, apply those rules consistently to everyone.
Use visual, auditory or tactile cues. Cues such as gently touching a person’s shoulder, offering a soft fabric, or providing silly putty are easy ways to make a transition to get a person’s attention. Just be sure to consider the person's signs and make a reasonable transitional cue.
Have a plan - this means more than one.
The most important of all, be positive! A positive attitude is the single most important quality for anyone who works with children with special needs.
Do you have any tips and tricks not on the list that you think everyone should know? Please share them! We can all learn so much from each other, and that improves our lives and the lives of those around us! Thank you!