How to help handicapped children – Needs of Handicapped children and available welfare services, seven categories of disabilities in India. Any child who demonstrates a physical, mental or psychological departure from the normal is a handicapped child.
Tips on how to help handicapped children !
Crippling of a limb or two, blindness, deafness, cleft lip or palate, etc. are instances of physical handicaps. Mental subnormality or retardation is one type of mental handicap.
Maladjustment, emotional deprivation and loss of parents will render a child – psychologically handicapped.
According to conservative estimates, India alone has about 1.5 million mentally retarded children, three lakh deaf, five lakh blind, and four lakh cripped children, in the year 2000.
There is, no doubt, a clear-cut place of medical or surgical treatment of handicapped children. But, its role may well be only up to a point.
You should, by all means, secure the best possible treatment. But, once you know all medical opinion favours the same diagnosis and the same management, it is advisable to accept it.
What is important is that both you and the child should accept the reality and then start endeavouring to live with it.
You can certainly assist the child to make the best from the disability.
Children with nasty crippling from cerebral palsy or poliomyelitis learn to run and play games just like normal children after they are trained on artificial limbs.
Many children without arms have learnt to feed themselves, to draw sketches and to write.
Disables since birth with no hands, the boy began practicing to write with his foot and eventually mastered the art. He can also swim and ride a bicycle.
Helen Keller, though blind and deaf, has rendered excellent service to the world of writing.
Handicapped child’s needs
Never forget to take care of the emotional, psychological and social aspects of the handicapped child’s personality. Your attitude is going to have a lot of bearing on the performance of the child. Make sure that, as far as possible, he is treated like other children in the family.
He does not need your pity. His need is to gain independence to try and achieve tasks graded to his ability. Of course, you and other children in the family can assist him.
Are the requirements of a handicapped child very much different from those of the normal child? No. The needs are more or less the same. But the problems may be complex. You require rather different ways and means to satisfy them.
Like any other child, a handicapped child is in dire need of affection and love. Unfortunately that does not always come from all parents. Many feel such a child is a sort of stigma to the family.
Sometimes a sense of guilt also overwhelms them. As a result, they may reject the child, though at times, they may overprotect him. All that is rather sad.
Though a particular handicapped child may need to be placed in a special school or institute, it is generally agreed now that such children should as a rule attend ordinary schools. That gives them a feeling of belonging and sameness as normal children.