Look at the Child, not the label

In their book, “The Child with Special Needs,” Geenspan and Wieder draw upon 20 years experience of working and researching special needs children to advise against a simplistic approach to labelling children, ADD, PDD, PDDNOS, autistic, etc.

For example, a child may be labeled as autistic because he has difficulty relating to others, yet his underlying problems may be more specific and involve difficulty in processing auditory information and a severe over reactivity to sound. As a result of these challenges, the speech of people around him is confusing and assaulting, making him physically and emotionally uncomfortable. To protect himself, the child withdraws and becomes aimless, earning the diagnosis of autism.

When children are labeled, the underlying assumption is that the children thus classified are similar to each other, or at least more similar than they are different. But research by Greenspan & Wieder has shown that children who have been traditionally grouped in the same categories are quite different from each other and indeed the differences are generally greater than the similarities.

Each child has a unique nervous system and a uniquely developing mind. EACH CHILD IS A CLASS OF ONE, therefore we must construct an approach based upon the child’s uniqueness rather than follow a standard programme designed for all children with the same diagnosis

Mr. Bill Curry
(A retired special educator, UK)
 Also a founder trustee of AK- UK

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