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Special Children... A Different Perspective

Posted by on in Early Childhood
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As a teacher of young children, the chances of having  children with special needs in your classroom is very likely. We know that with the proper support and collaboration, the benefits of inclusion extend to all parties involved... the child with special needs and her parents, the other children in the classroom and their parents, and you, their teacher.

Most of the time, we think of children with special needs as those who have some sort of disability... physical or developmental, perhaps. However, it is important that we think beyond this in order to make the most difference. Children with special needs come in many more varieties than that.

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Consider this, for a moment... what about the child whose parents are going through a divorce or a child whose daddy is in Iraq or a child whose mommy just found out she has cancer. Or, how about the child who is gifted? Are these not children who have special needs?

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Won't they need special care and some adaptations in the usual day-to-day in the classroom? If we intend to embrace all children, we must consider them individually to meet their needs... taking into consideration all the shades of "specialness."

Remember this when you go into your classroom tomorrow. It is a different perspective that will change the way you see children, teach them, and care for them.

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Debra Pierce is professor of Early Childhood Education at Ivy Tech Community College of Indiana. Ivy Tech is the nation's largest singly accredited statewide community college systems, serving nearly 200,000 students annually.

Her professional background has always involved children, over the past 40 years, having been a primary grades teacher in the Chicago Public School system, a teacher of 3 and 4 year-olds in a NAEYC accredited preschool for 15 years, and a certified Parent Educator for the National Parents as Teachers Program.

Debra is a certified Professional Development Specialist for the Council for Professional Recognition. She has taught CDA courses to high school career/tech dual credit juniors and seniors in preparation for earning their CDA credentials. She also conducts CDA train-the-trainer events across the country and develops and teaches online CDA courses for several states, is a frequent presenter at national and state early childhood conferences, and is a Master Trainer for the states of Minnesota and Arizona. She was also awarded the NISOD Teaching Excellence Award by the University of Texas.

Debra is active in her community, supporting children's literacy and is on the board of directors of First Book in Indianapolis. Debra is a contributing author for Hamilton County Family Magazine and Indy's Child in Indianapolis.
She loves spending time with her two grandsons, Indy, who is 6 and Radley, almost 3.

Debra has spent the last 16 years dedicated to the success of those pursuing the CDA credential and is the author of The CDA Prep Guide: The Complete Review Manual for the Child Development Associate Credential, now in its third edition (Redleaf Press), the only publication of its kind. She hosts a website providing help and support to CDA candidates and those who train them at http://www.easycda.com
The comments and views expressed are not in collaboration or affiliation with The Council for Professional Recognition or Ivy Tech Community College.
Follow me on Twitter at /easycda

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Guest Thursday, 08 December 2016