Children with learning difficulties face a lot of challenges in their endeavor to achieve academic success. Statistics indicate that quite some people face learning difficulties. Some of these learning difficulties come as a result of autism and Downs Syndrome in learners. Children with autism spectrum disorders usually show communication and social interaction problems. They have a propensity to involve themselves in repetitive behaviors. In severe cases, lack of spoken language challenges the normal life of the victims. For example, in the United Kingdom, more than 1.45 million pupils have special education needs. The situation requires more support and help to help such pupils. Stakeholder involvement in the provision of care and education is critical. Health students and practitioners also play a crucial role in molding the future of these pupils.
Skills Demonstrated in the Work Placement
Dealing with children with learning difficulties is difficult and at times challenging. The caregivers need to possess important skills to handle the situation well. Communication skills form one of the essential skills (Karakaş et al., 2016, p.67). Communication skills adequately help the caregiver to understand the social areas of the pupil’s life. The social life of the student brings challenges as a result of the deficits in memory, auditory processing, attention and visual. Communication skills include listening skills, ability to stay calm, and empathy. As a class assistant and healthcare student, I demonstrated communication skills through interactions with teachers and pupils. I interacted closely with the pupils, especially during physical education activities. Through this, I was able to observe their areas of weaknesses and strengths which I would capitalize on the following classes.
Further, emotional skills form another important skill for teachers who teach autistic children. A lot of patience is needed to teach these children (McLeskey et al., 2017, p.97). During my placement, as an assistant teacher, I practiced repetition, new behavior focused learning and tender prompting. I was patient in teaching the Makaton language which was heard at first for the students. Additionally, I was persistent in my work. Occasionally, I used rewards to improve speaking skills among the students continuously.
Qualities Demonstrated in the Work Placement
The task of teaching and providing care to special education pupils. One of these qualities is organization. Special students require a structure to succeed. The teaching of such students needs proper physically equipped and structured conducive learning environment (McLoughlin et al. 2017 p. 43). While undertaking my work in the school, I used Makaton language to help the students write messages and letters. Additionally, they learned how to label diagrams, shapes, and objects. Moreover, their ability to recognize places and pictures improved.
Another quality is being creative while delivering education to pupils with learning disabilities. As an assistant teacher, I thought outside the box on how to improve learning outcomes of the pupils. The Makaton language is one of the tools I used. Its flexible to facilitate the needs of every student. The individualistic experience presented by Makaton helped the pupils develop better speaking skills, self-awareness and confidence to articulate themselves adequately. The other teachers adopted Makaton language because of its proven benefits to achieve their intended academic objectives. The ability to come up with new ways of teaching and demonstrating subject in class is one of the useful traits of a special needs teacher (Gargiulo &Metcalf 2017, p.64). Special needs teachers need to bring creativity into the learning environment which enriches the classroom environment and breaks the monotony.
Teaching children with learning disabilities such as autistic pupils bring both joy and challenge. Autistic pupils frequently struggle with issues of social relationships and communication barriers. Teachers of such students require unique skills and qualities to cater to the needs of the children. Essential skills include communication skills, interpersonal skills, and emotional skills. Qualities critical for autistic teachers include being creative, caring and organized.
Gargiulo, R.M. and Metcalf, D., 2017. Teaching in Today s Inclusive Classrooms: A Universal Design for Learning Approach. Nelson Education. p.64-67
Karakaş, G., Yilmaz, A. and Kaya, H.B., 2016. TEACHERS COMMENTS BY 5-6 AGE CHILDREN WITH AUTISM SPECTRUM DISORDERS AND BEHAVIOR OF THE EFFECT OF SOCIAL SKILLS LEVEL SPORTS. Journal of Physical Education & Sports Science/Beden Egitimi ve Spor Bilimleri Dergisi, 10(2). p. 65-80
McLeskey, J.L., Rosenberg, M.S. and Westling, D.L., 2017. Inclusion: Effective practices for all students. Pearson. p.86-97
McLoughlin, J.A., Lewis, R.B. and Kritikos, E.P., 2017. Assessing students with special needs. Pearson. p.43