There are so many times that you might encounter a student or a group of students in your class with certain disabilities. Some might be common while others will be unique and perhaps hard to cope with. Examples include;
- Physical impairment e.g lameness or paralysis
- Attention Deficiency Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)
- Learning disabilities
The list goes on and on and on and if you aren’t ready for things like these in your students, your career could be a little rough. Below are the tips on how to handle and help students with disabilities.
1. Identify the disabled students
The first step to figuring out the solution is always finding the problem. Here are some of the ideal ways you can find out the disabled students;
- Spotting students with visible physical impairments and establishing whether they are temporary or permanent
- Analyzing the medical forms of all students if they were handed in
- Surveying your own students i.e making them fill forms where they can list what disabilities they have
When you find out what kind of disabilities your students have, you’re now well equipped to start looking around for a solution.
2. Make a favorable sitting arrangement
Sitting arrangement matters a lot in the classroom, and affects the possibility of a student to pass or fail. Here are some of the best classroom arrangement tips for you;
- Visually impaired students should sit where their eyesight works best
- You need to leave large spaces between desks for students to pass between without difficulty
- Lame students should also sit in front where it won’t even be hard for them to catch up with what’s being taught
When you arrange your students in an orderly fashion, you enable everyone to be comfortable in your classroom, thus eliminating difficulty.
3. Protect them from bullying
Even though a disabled student is always a picture of sympathy, there are always some students who will always make fun of their classmate’s situation. This further causes psychological trauma ti the disabled students.
To solve this, set strict rules against bullying of students of any kind.
4. Don’t judge
When some students underperform in the class because of their physical limitations – or fail to understand even after thorough explanation, you might feel inclined to submit to your feelings in ways like;
- Insulting them
- Making light jokes about them
- Behaving disapprovingly toward them
When you show a judgmental attitude towards these students, they’ll soon lose the morale to study or even stay in school for that matter.
5. Teach fellow students to help
When we were young, we could barely do what was considered necessary unless we were told. Therefore, don’t ever get tired of asking the seemingly normal students to help the disabled – reminding them of how they might need the same help some day.
6. Always check on them
Once these students enter boarding school, they’re in position to face a unique set of challenges uncommon among other normal students, including;
- Sporadic disease attacks
- Mental health/ psychological issues
- The need to contact their parents
- Bullying/ ill treatment from fellow students
Whenever the students are faced with such challenges in their extreme form – and there’s no one to come to their rescue, the worst is usually bound to happen.
7. Cultivate a friendly and accepting environment
Sometimes, students abstain from disabled colleagues of theirs because they believe that disabled students always need to be helped, which they can’t be sure to offer.
However, help usually comes after acceptance – and therefore, it’s ideal to teach your students that nothing is wrong with disabled people.
As a teacher, you are already in a leadership role, and you’re partly responsible for what your students will turn out to become when they grow up or leave school. Therefore, it’s entirely up to you to make the disabled students feel like they can also positively contribute towards any positive change in the world.