Parental Role in Providing Educational Needs for Children With Disabilities
By Anthony M. Wanjohi
There are a number of ways parents can participate in providing the educational needs of Children Living With Disabilities (CLWD). Parents can participate through meeting educational costs, providing health care and safe environment and monitoring learning progress.
Meeting educational costs is another key component under parents’ domain of responsibilities. Tuition, maintenance, stationary, remunerations for the teachers, feeding programs, learning materials, and special equipment are key requirements in teaching and learning process. Parents are called upon to provide the basic needs that children with special needs may require in the learning process. Children with visual impairment for instance require certain facilities like braille, embossed map and touch sign. Children with physical impairment on the other hand need physical facilities such as wheelchairs, clutches and tailor made toilet to fit their physical condition. Catering for these needs may pose a greater challenge to CLWD from poor backgrounds. These children may be affected in terms of their enrolment in school, retention and school completion.
Safe and healthy environment
It is the duty of the parents to provide safe and healthy environment for optimal growth and development of CLWD. According to the extent of child’s disability, parents or guardians can take appropriate interventions to meet the health needs of the disabled child. It is more of importance if a parent gets to understand the special health needs of his/her disabled child. Parents should try to give quality time to special need children, for their healthy emotional development (Sigh, 2009). Parents have sole responsibility to help children with disabilities to grow in a better environment by understanding and maintaining their special health and academic needs and helping them to become active participants in classroom for effective learning. In a school set up, provision of safe and healthy environment for a parent implies meeting medication needs, and providing devices needed for effective learning.
Monitoring Learning Progress
Parents have a duty also to monitor their children’s learning progress, much so, those who are challenged. In cases where there is no good progress, parents are obliged to discuss the arising matters with the teacher(s). They have a duty to initiate changes in their children’s educational program. Participation is a very vital part of a child's development enabling them to understand societal expectation and acquire the physical and social competencies needed to succeed in school and even the community.
There are various stakeholders in child’s development process. Parents are among the major stakeholders in the life of a child’s integral development. As such, their role remain crucial, and much so in the life of a child whose abilities are challenged.
Sigh, R. (2009). Special Health Needs of Disabled. Available online at www.brighthub.com/education/special/articles/19519.aspx