If you’ll be spending time with a physically disabled child, whether it’s your own child or not, you might be nervous about how to best work with him or her. Especially when it comes to things like doing projects, getting homework done, or learning new things, it’s important that you know how best to work with this child so you can help him or her feel successful if what they’re trying to accomplish. To help make this easier on you and easier on the child, here are three tips for working with a child who’s sustained some type of injury to make them physically disabled.
Have Meaningful Interactions
When you first see a child with a physical disability, you might be taken a back for a moment or two. You might not know how you should act or what’s going to be best for that child. So to help each of your get comfortable being around one another, Karen Wang, a contributor to FriendshipCircle.org, advises that you focus on having meaningful interactions with this child. Introduce yourself and have the child introduce him or herself so that you can get to know one another. Depending on the disability, you might also need to create a type of physical relationship where you help them or lift them in certain circumstance. If this is happening, you’ll want to ensure that you’ve built a relationship of trust, both physically and emotionally, before this stage comes about.
Try To Engage Their Senses
As you start working with a child with physical disabilities, you’ll have to learn how they best function and learn certain things. Depending on what the physical disability is, the child may not be able to use one or more of their five senses. If this is the case, SpecialNeeds.com recommends that you try to engage all their other senses to help them learn and grow. Try using things like images, sounds, or even taste to help them gain new knowledge and confidence in their ability to interact with the world around them.
Don’t Stress About The Clock
If you’re used to working with children who don’t have any physical disabilities, you might be used to certain tasks taking a certain amount of time. However, when you’re working with someone who has a physical disability their learning to work with, Jennifer Laszlo Mizrahi, a contributor to the Huffington Post, shares that you should learn to not stress about timeframes and getting things done within a certain amount of time. As you work longer with this child, you’ll learn how long certain things will take with him or her, which might be longer than you’d expect. So try to expand your patience and allow this child to do things in their own time and at their own pace.
If you’ll soon be working with a child with a physical disability, consider using the tips mentioned above to make this time enjoyable for both of you.