Category Archives: Vydehi School of Rehabilitation

Difference Between Special Needs And Disabilities – An Overview

Is there are difference between the two terms or are they used interchangeably? The language or terms used by schools as well as support services does confuse many parents and many ponder around the difference between disability and special needs.

Speaking about the in terms of meaning Disability is more about physical and mental inabilities while special needs is related to the learning disabilities. There is one more term – differently abled, which is used for mental as well as physical disabilities.

Difference Between Special Needs And Disabilities

Special needs actually do mean special education needs as these children with learning disabilities need additional support as compared to their peers. Examples of special education needs include -

  1. Social, Behavioral and emotional difficulties

  2. Multiple learning difficulties

  3. Moderate learning problems

  4. Speech, communication and language needs

  5. Autism spectrum disorders

  6. Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) and specific learning disabilities

  7. Multi-sensory impairment

Disabilities include all the physical and mental disabilities that effect their daily routine activities. As per statistics 2.9 million Children in India are disabled. Youngsters, particularly children have complex needs and there required assistance. The assistance includes support around emotional, intellectual or behavioral, health and intellectual development.

  1. Physical disability

  2. Communication disorder of severe nature

  3. Developmental delay at pre-school

  4. Long term learning difficulty

  5. Sensory impairment like visual, deafness and blindness

  6. Autism Spectrum disorder

  7. Multiple complex and chronic conditions

Hence, when you use disabilities you are apparently talking about physical and mental disabilities and when you are talking about special needs, it’s actually about the needs of children around managing learning disabilities.

*Sourced from the Internet

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5 Special Education Needs In Classroom You Need To Know

Children with special needs do require classroom setup that takes care of all their needs. Most schools have a team of teachers and special educators working together and a program designed for the same, as well. It is a fact that if children with special needs are provided the environment and assistance required, they are capable of achieving the same feat as their peers.

Lets run through some of the classroom needs.

5 Special Education Needs In Classroom You Need To Know

  1. Interaction and Communication

Children with special needs often find it difficult to talk interact as well as communicate with people around them. Also, known as speech, language and communication needs, the difficulties that these children face include

  1. Talking to others on topics chosen by others

  2. Communicating with peers when in a group

  3. Making friends and keeping friendships that last

  4. Deal with happenings around them like sensations, noise or smell

  5. Deal with doing things another way then they are used to

  1. Learning and Cognitive

  1. Issues with memorizing important words

  2. Taking more time than usual peers to learn skills

  3. Taking more time than usual to answer questions

  4. Difficulty understanding letter sounds and spellings

  1. Social, Mental and Emotional

These difficulties including managing self as far as behavior is concerned and expressing emotions as well as socializing and include

  1. Difficulty following instructions and listening

  2. Difficulty making new friends

  1. Physical and Sensory

This includes managing oneself with medical assistance or support.

Having said that, children with special needs are capable of living a quality and independent life and perform like other peers of theirs. The only thing they needs is a bit of extra support and help. Just like creepers need support to climb and with support they flower and bear fruits just like other plants do without support, children with special needs simply need support and cooperation from the teachers, psychologist, special education as well as therapist to help them bloom to the fullest.

*Sourced from the internet

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The Most Common Disabilities In Children

As far as the statistics go one out of 100 children in India has ASD and the numbers are on the rise only. Though this is not the only disability that children have. There are primarily four major areas of disabilities, Physical, behavioral, developments and sensory.

Physical disabilities include conditions like chronic asthma, epilepsy, multiple sclerosis and more. Behavioral these include disabilities like bi-polar, ADD, defiance disorder and more. Developmental these include disabilities like dyslexia, autism, Down syndrome, etc. Sensory these disabilities include blindness, deafness, etc.

Common Disabilities In Children

So, if your child does have a disability then as a parent, knowing the rights of your children is always better. It will definitely help you get help you get your child all the help needed for a better upbringing and education. Early intervention is the key in case of children with special needs.

Neurodevelopmental disorders like ADHD, autism, mental retardation, intellectual disability may tend to make children impulsive, easily bored or frustrated and also pose an issue with concentration. While children with eating disorders like binge eating, night eating, bulimia nervosa will have atypical behavior around their eating or weight. Besides they do tend to possess intense emotions as well as attitudes. Other disorder is the elimination disorder that involves enuresis or bed wetting and related disorders. Then there are children with the affective disorders involving frequent mood swings, consistent sadness, bipolar disorder and depression to name a few. Another less known disorder is Tic disorder leading to sudden body repeated body movements not on purpose or even meaning less sounds known as tics. The sounds do not include sounds like coughing, throat clearance, sniffing or grunting.

In India the most common disabilities include the hearing and vision disabilities. The rural areas have more number of children with disabilities as compared to urban population. The simple reason is lack of adequate medical care in rural and remote areas of India. The state with maximum number of disabled children is Assam while the lowest is Sikkim in India as per records. In villages the even today there are women who give birth with the help of midwives as home. Also, as pediatricians are not available disabilities of children aren’t tended at the right time leading to further damage, as per a renowned medical expert.

*Sourced from the Internet

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The Importance Of Parental Contribution In Special Education

The Sixth All India Educational Survey says that out of the 2000 million school going kids in the age group of 6-14 years, over 20 million are in need of special education. Which means, a large chunk of students are need of appropriate education services! The government of India is already working towards providing comprehensive support and services for special needs children for the past four decades. It is a known fact that no one more than a parent can play a vital role in the development of the child. For kids with special needs it holds even truer. The more the participation the better and speedier the development of a kid with special needs. These days, the government has devised individual inclusion plans and inclusivity in school is a common norm as well. The government as well as the people are coming to terms with inclusiveness, the need to equality as well as the importance and effect of it on the kids with special needs. Let’s run through the reason why there’s a dire need for parents of special kids to contribute whole heartedly in imparting special education.

Parental Contribution - Special Education

CRITICAL INPUT – Only parents are the ones who know everything about the child, be it physical, mental, social or anything around family history. When it comes to special education, these inputs including the strengths, weaknesses, interests, dislikes and likes and help a lot to devise and upgrade the developmental programs for kids individual and can be more effective as well.

TRANSITION HELP – Meetings to check on the progress of the child from one level to another are held and parents can definitely add the most value to such meetings. With the help of Parental inputs the school and educators can understand the progress of the child and he effectiveness of their support as well as services. Based on the inputs

CLOSE CONNECTION – Obviously, it’s the parents who are the closest to the children. Even if the child is in school for a longtime, the time provided by the educator to each and every one can be counted in just a few minutes as compared to parents, who get to spend a lot of quality time together.

BEST GAURDIANS – Well, who other than a parent could be the best advocate for a child? And who other than the parent would want their child to achieve the best in life? So, it is primarily the responsibility of every parent of a special child to follow their child closely and try to gather as much information as possible about the condition of the child. Also, keep a track of the developmental milestones and keep the records so that you can refer them whenever required.

Well, the importance of parental contribution is the most important when it comes to kids without specials needs but even more relevant when it comes to kids with special needs.

*Sourced from the Internet

Barbie Now Available in Prosthetic and Wheelchairs – Representing Inclusiveness

The awareness around inclusiveness is increasing across the world with schools opting for inclusive curriculums to help children learn in an environment of equal opportunity and endless possibility. The brand Barbie, which has been a hot favorite amongst kids for years now has decided to elevate the conversation around physical disabilities by including a fashion doll line with disabilities in the June Season. As per the Barbie representative, they wanted to showcase a multidimensional view of beauty a well as fashion. They created the doll with a prosthetic limb by collaborating with a disability activist 13 years of age. For the wheelchair design they collaborated with wheelchair experts and UCLA Mattel Children’s Hospital and is known to be the most requested accessories from Fans of Barbie. As per Mattel the chair designed for Barbie is the ones that is used by individuals who have permanent physical disability.

Barbie Now Available in Prosthetic and Wheelchairs

The objective behind creating this dolls with disabilities is to create awareness and remove the stigma around disabilities and work towards creating an environment of inclusivity and make people understand that there is nothing wrong to have disability. As per Mizrahi, president of Respectability, a group of people that advocate disabilities said that it was important for us to reflect humanity the way it is in our culture be it products, toys and apparently everything around. She added that Barbie, by launching dolls with wheelchair and prosthetic has joined those power brands who understand that marketing and inclusion of people who have disabilities is not only right but profitable too.

The Barbie brand is trying to incorporate diversity in the dolls and hence the recent ones of 2019 fashionistas line will be seen having more realistic body types like smaller bust, more defined arms and less defined waists, to name a few. It will also add different skin and eye colors, hairstyles like braids as well as clothing. It was in 2017 when Mattel had introduced the Hijab donning Barbie and now in 2019 the toymaker is considering same gender Barbie wedding set as well.

*Sourced from the Internet

It’s Time to Equip Teachers so as to Treat Special Students as Equals – IAS Topper Ira Singhal

As per IAS topper IRA Sehgal, a specially abled woman herself who created history by topping the UPSC exam, teachers need to be trained to handle children with special needs. She feels that instead of getting in special educators, we need to train school teachers with skills to handle these children, sign languages as well as braille. Special education also needs to be a part of regular school training curriculum. She being a specially abled woman, had experienced growing up by convincing other about her abilities and that people were either skeptical or sympathetic towards her.


There were many schools where she did get admission but equal opportunity is where her father had to fight as schools offered special opportunity while he wanted equal platform and treatment for her. She also stressed that the teachers need to change their attitude wherein some are extremely liberal and some are very strict with children of special needs. The idea is to have teachers who treat them just like other children. As per her both the methods are apparently harmful to the kids as their either make the kids over confident or just hamper their potential from coming out due to over appreciation. The inclusive right needs to be there from childhood a child needs to be compassionate towards differently abled peers of theirs for better understanding and co-existence.

She even harped upon the need to have a specially designed curriculum for children with special needs. For example, an autistic child is unable to study a few languages and if forced to do so with the same curriculum, wouldn’t help. Instead if a special curriculum is designed for them, it would help.

She also harped that the current system of education is trying to push inclusive education methodology but the holistic approach required to do so is missing yet. The need of the hour is to have workshops around the sensitization of the issue and the focus needs to be on how all the children can grow together in one positive environment.

Few Life Tips For Parents of Special Needs Children

Parenting children with special needs is never a cake walk but if it can be a smoother ride if you keep a few points in mind. Here is a run-down a few tips that could help you around managing your child with special needs and even making their life easier.

MAKE YOUR CHILD INDEPENDENT – We as parents always want to be around our kids whenever they need us. We want to give them whatever they want and make their life easier and as comfortable as possible. But, have you ever thought that, you ain’t going to be around them forever. A time will come when they will be left all on their own. So, start early at grass-root. Try to make the child need you less in his/ her daily routine. For example, if you are teaching your child brush teeth. Do it for him or her first, then do it together. You brush yours and let the child brush his or her’s and finally let the child to do it independently.

Few Life Tips For Parents of Special Needs Children

GO SLOW – Parenting a child with special needs could be hectic and taxing. There are chances you get frustrated, irritated and freak out as well. Sometimes we tend to run out of patience be it making the child eat, or read, write or learn something. The idea is to go slow. Put ourselves in the shoes of the child and then think about everything. Once you learn to do so it will be a less bumpy ride for you. By slowing down, it also means to appreciate the smallest of the moments and find happiness in the kids.

ACCEPT THAT YOUR’S IS A DIFFERENT CHILD – The faster you come to terms with the fact that your child with special kids is different than other kids and are chances that he or she could not be doing as well academically as the peers, the better for you. Nonetheless, you may work around with your child to make him or her better. Many a times parents have expectations or dreams for their children. They many a times want their children to realize their own dreams that could not be realized for some or the other reason. But, you need to understand that every child is different and unique and has their own set of desires and dreams too. Forcing your child to do or become what you’ve always wanted to is not a good idea. Understand that every cloud comes with a silver lining and so does your child with special needs.

DON’T WORRY ABOUT THE WORLD – People would keep saying stuff to you around the condition of your child and more. But, it’s your choice how you take it. You do not need to obsess over it. A better idea is to leave it or ignore. You have to know that you have a child who is a bit different then others but if you go to see every child is unique and has unique qualities too.

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*Sourced from the Internet

Financial Planning For A Child With Special Needs – A Few Tips

In today’s times when fees of schools are skyrocketing and raising a child needs a lot of planning, raising a child with special needs is even costlier because additional expenditures on medicines, therapies and care is needed. But, things can get easier and stress free if you plan properly or rather ahead of time. Here are few tips to help you plan out the expenses of your child so that you need no face any financial issues in the times of need or emergency.

Financial Planning For A Child With Special Needs

DECIDE ON A BUDGET – Once you’re aware that your child has a disability is the time you gear up and plan on a budget depending upon factors like the type of disability, life expectancy, needs and earning ability in the future as well as your own income. Start with longer investments and scale down to monthly savings for the same. You may make division of funds depending upon the different needs of the child like school expenses, recreational expenses, therapy and medicines and more. So you get an idea of the approximate monthly expense of your child. While planning do take the inflation rate into account.

HAVE A SEPARATE EMERGENCY FUND – Setting up an emergency fund is also a top priority. This will help you live without stress and have enough money to meet your financial requirements if any expense crops up for the child. This money could be kept in fixed deposits or liquid funds so that liquidising them in times of need is real easy.

INSURANCE IS A MUST HAVE – Insurance needs to be at the top of your list and should be at least 10 times your annual income. Annuity plans are good option to be financially secure when the parents grow old and the child ages too. Investing in health insurance policies for children with special needs is also a good idea.

TRUST FOR THE CHILD – This is a part of a vision plan so that your child can receive all the benefits in case anything happens to the parents. For the same a good idea is to set up a trust and appointing a person who will act for the interest of the child.

INVEST IN YOUR CHILD’S LEARNING – A special child not only has special needs but special skills that can be honed in order to help the child to excel. It’s not just the skills that help the child to shape a career but even basic skills that help the child live a quality life like manages finances, self-care and independence, to name a few.

Special children only have special needs and if they are fulfilled, these children do blossom into beautiful flowers spreading their fragrance all around them.

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*Sourced from the Internet

Music Helps Improve The Auditory Skills of Hearing Impaired Says A Study

A recent study carried out by the researchers of the University of Helsinki, Finland as well as University College London have found – hobbies that include music and more so singing can benefit the children who are hearing impaired with cochlear implants. The lead author of this study Ritva-Torppa said that the children who are hearing impaired and have the cochlear implants and sing on a regular basis. Hence, children with hearing impairment can learn music and singing at home and also take help of the traditional Finnish musical play schools.

Music Helps Improve The Auditory Skills of Hearing

As per this expert communication skills as well as the ability to perceive speech in noise is of great significance in academics. Hence, all children need to pursue music but particularly hearing impaired children need to learn music, singing more so. Another expert who was supervising the study mentioned that even though musical hobbies have great significance they aren’t available to all. She also added that in her country Finland, they do have very high quality of music culture for children.

The study included participation of few children in musical sessions while some did not. The results of the study were published in the Journal of Music perception. The results as per researchers did imply that singing of parents is important. Huotilainen also suggested that the kids that are kept in day care should also be considered for the music sessions and said that as per her opinion music had to be used every day for support learning. She went on to explain how it gives children the possibility to enjoy music, singing and the benefits they bring, she explained.

Well, it is a known fact as on how music has worked wonders as a therapy in more ways than one and hence its use in helping hearing impaired kids does make sense.

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*Sourced from the Internet

The Power of Inclusive Education

“Inclusive good quality education
is the foundation of equitable societies “

Earlier, in our education systems across the world, we used to give preference to the perceived talented ones, skillful ones and paid more attention to capable ones. And habitually or conveniently ignored or refused to acknowledge the emotional plight of the differently abled. Our teaching systems had become cozier and comfortable in just making the brighter ones succeed, while brushing the existence of ones with difficulties under carpet, labeling them as abnormal, lazy, stupid and incapable.

Power of Inclusive Education

Inclusive Education – The Revolutionary Idea
The concept of Inclusive education has opened the doors to equal attention and opportunities to all. There is enough research to prove that bringing the differently abled under one roof with their abled peers is but a win-win for all, not just the differently abled. Inclusion offers an opportunity to nurture relationships and develop long lasting friendships. It is friendships that make people feel loved, cared and safe. They render the skills needed by the differently abled to maneuver through social relationships smoothly later in life. Similarly, their abled peers show increased awareness, tolerance and positive attitude towards others and ultimately learn to live cohesively in the society, while respecting the existence of others. The good news is that schools and government have started to take the right to education seriously. It has become an international phenomena more so and schools across the globe and in India have already started implementing policies around it.

Inclusive Education – The Progressive Change
Learning challenges, differently abled, deficit in intellectual capacity or emotional-behavioral problems and myriad neurodevelopmental conditions such as autism hamper easy acquisition of academic and life skills. Inclusive education has paved the way for such children with special needs, to be given a fair chance like all other students to participate in education and school. It has enabled us to look beyond the blindfold of academic scores, at multiple intelligences to foster varying capacities in different children. Now, a child can take help of a special educator and work around his/her reading writing difficulties to acquire knowledge and go on to pursue a successful and happy life. Special educators, clinical psychologists, occupational therapists, speech therapists, teachers and parents now work together to attend to the unique needs of every child in the school.

The Road Ahead
The road to inclusive education for all, is not a cake walk for sure, primarily considering the humongous population of India, besides other complexities around implementation of this concept. The implementation is in process but at a very micro level today. Well, to meet the challenges surrounding it we as educators, parents as well as community leaders need to get involved and cooperate whole-heartedly.

Perhaps, Inclusive education is more of a journey than a destination. Come let’s contribute towards building a world free of disorders or disabilities… a world full of equal opportunities and endless possibilities.

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