Special needs learners come in all shapes and sizes. From auditory or visual learners to those with cognitive disabilities, special needs learners often require unique approaches to teaching, but all learners can be successful if given the right tools and guidance.
To ensure special learners are able to reach and expand their potential, take these tips into consideration.
Provide visuals and manipulative tasks
Don't rely on just the textbook when teaching special needs learners. Use concrete materials, experiments, songs, and charts to aid lessons. Using a multi-sensory approach to introducing a concept provides visual, auditory, and kinesthetic learning opportunities that activate multiple areas of the brain and lead to better understanding.
Provide opportunities for social interactions
Special needs learners can often be shy and have difficult times initiating interaction with other kids, however, social skills and collaboration are important aspects of education. By structuring time and projects to include teamwork, you can make participating in social interactions easier for a special needs student.
Allow them to work at their own pace
Learning may take more time for some students-- and that is OK. The goal is for special needs learners to be able to fully grasp concepts and this may take longer. Pressing them for time will lead to stress, frustration, and ultimately discouragement in these learners.