As a parent of a special needs child, are you frequently asking yourself…
- Why is she doing that?
- Is he always like that?
- Why is he so weird about things?
- What is taking her so long?
These are a few of the things that I have heard when working in education. These questions and comments can be discouraging or seen in a particular way.
My response? Your special needs child is unique embrace and praise their differences.
Being a Fruit Loop in a Class of Cinnamon Toast Crunch
Recently, I was talking with my colleague about my ability to always feel hurt. She told me that I was a Fruit Loop. At first, I laughed.
However, I thought about the fruit loop analogy for a few moments. I realized that sometimes in Special Education, children and adults may feel like they are fruit loops in a class of cinnamon toast crunch.
As a special education teacher, I have felt different than my other coworkers at times. However, embracing my uniqueness and being different is what makes me a Fruit Loop.
Your Special Needs Child is Unique Embrace and Praise Their Differences
As parents and educators, we should embrace, praise, and look at children with special needs in a special way. As far as Cinnamon Toast Crunch, everyone loves that cereal.
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In most classes, you have several students who are cinnamon toast crunch. These students are smart, sweet, loving, and are generally good kids in the classroom. Every class has fruit loops and cinnamon toast crunchers.
I think that children with special needs are put on this planet with a purpose. They are gifted in ways that we may not be gifted. One of my previous students had the gift of being motherly to all the students.
Although this child had struggles academically, she was so caring to all of the other students. She would give her friends hugs many days when they were having a rough day. She also would clean up after others and be always willing to help out where she was able.
As Teachers to Your Special Needs Child
As teachers, we shouldn’t frown or get upset about how students with special needs perform or act. They are trying their hardest to put forth their best effort.
Unfortunately, they may fail according to state standards, but they may have worked harder than anyone else. Special needs children should be praised for their efforts and growth that they have made on their assignments.
I currently work with a co-teacher who will allow us to review failed assignments by students with special needs. She will then average the grades and write on their papers that we have given them extra support.
As a special education teacher, I appreciate that she goes back through her grade book to average and changes their grades. Consider using the student’s gifts and abilities to help them prosper and have a more successful and enjoyable school year.
As Parents of a Special Needs Child
As a parent, know that your child’s qualities are important. They are unique and gifted in ways that we as teachers may not understand.
Taking the time to explain your child’s strengths and weaknesses to their teacher at the beginning of the year may better help them to feel successful throughout the school year.
You should document your special needs child’s strengths within their IEP or Individualized Education Plan. As a parent, know that your child may be a fruit loop, and that is AWESOME!
Additional Resources for a Special Needs Child
How do you celebrate your special needs child’s uniqueness? Drop them in the comments below!
Here are some other articles you may be interested in:
- Support for a Special Needs Sibling
- Inspirational Special Needs Quotes to Encourage Parents
- How to Meet a Child’s Sensory Needs at Home
- Special Needs Tutoring For Homework
Also, check out our Youtube Channel for many more Special Education Resources!
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