Five reasons why special education is important in early childhood
All children should have the right to a good education, but sadly this is not always the case. Some children will move through their country’s education system (if they have one) with relative ease.
However, children with special needs, such as those with physical disabilities or those with developmental delays, can sometimes struggle to get the right education for their unique requirements.
According to UNICEF, around 93 million children across the globe are diagnosed with some kind of disability. And approximately 50% of them skip some or all schooling or education due to their disabilities or developmental delays.
This is partly due to the fact that the current education system is not up to the standards required to meet the needs of these children. As a result, a huge chunk of the global population is missing out on a vital education that can help them to become valuable members of society later on.
To help these children, governments around the world have passed laws to modify the education system according to their unique needs. As a result, teachers have been given special training to better understand special education.
Several institutions offer programs such as the Special Education MAT online program for people wishing to become special education instructors. Special education is a uniquely designed instruction methodology for the effective delivery of course content that addresses special needs children.
Education targeted to children with special needs in early childhood is incredibly important. Here are five reasons why.
1) It creates an equal educational opportunity
Children who cannot access the right classes are often unable to receive adequate education due to a mismatch between their unique needs and the regular education system.
Special education programs ensure that each special child gets an equal opportunity to access the general curriculum. The programs help children meet the general educational standards applicable to all children. It teaches the same curriculum in a modified form. The methodology assures that each child’s special needs are met to ensure effective learning for them.
2) It helps with social development
Children with disabilities can have difficulty socializing with others. Special education in early childhood can to help children strengthen their communication skills, make friendships, and interact with other people on a day-to-day basis. Although it’s sometimes hard for a child to do this, the instructors patiently teach them conflict management and drive their interpersonal relationships.
3) It can aid physical development
Some special education programs also offer physical education for children. Physical education helps children with special needs by improving their motor skills, helping them achieve balance, improving their lifestyle, enhancing their muscles strength, and boosting endurance. These factors can help to improve the child’s self-esteem and help them maintain a healthy and balanced lifestyle.
4) It helps with emotional development
Special children can have severe mood swings, which are worrisome for both the child and their family. Some children can also become self-destructive when experiencing emotional outbursts. Special education in early childhood tackles the problem in time. Children learn to regulate their emotional changes and self-soothe during outbursts from the very beginning.
5) It assists with intellectual development
As much as the social, physical, and emotional development of a child is important, cognitive development is also an essential factor of childhood development. Without intellectual development, a child may not be able to understand anything being taught to them. Nor will they be able to put the learned concepts into practice.
One of the biggest goals of special education programs is to develop the intellectual abilities of special children to understand the concepts clearly. It ensures that a child is able to think, reason, understand, and make the correct judgment of the concepts or situations they’re placed in.
Early intervention improves later outcomes
Early childhood special education is a great way to make sure that your child performs well later in life, such as in school, community, or at work. If the disabilities and developmental delays are ignored and left unaddressed, a child’s growth can be very gradual and eventually may even stop.
Early intervention aids a child’s developmental trajectory by improving their cognitive, emotional, and social development. It is important for childcare providers and families to carefully lookout for any developmental delays in a child so that they can get the right support as early as possible in life.
The importance of special education is undeniable, particularly in the early years of childhood. Just as regular education is important for a child, special education is essential for children with special needs.
That is why governments, healthcare professionals, educators, and families need to work together. They need to spread awareness about disabilities and developmental delays, and create the right systems to help special children receive support in time.
Photo by Nathan Anderson