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When I embarked on this journey of becoming a special educator, it was because of my son. Early on I realised he was slightly different from others, even his own brother. His differences were not so apparent in the early years where academics is not a focus but as soon as he hit grade two and his grades started dropping I figured something was “non normal”. That he needed to be handled differently was evident and once I got on board with who he was instead of who I wanted him to be, I began to set his goals accordingly. Since then I’ve figured out a label for him but it’s never mattered because my son doesn’t wear a label, he owns it.

Children with special needs can be a challenge, there is no debating that. But as with many challenges in life you can ride the wave to fortune or let it drown you at the tide. My learnings have been many as a facilitator for these children and I share them in the hope that life will be made easier for those parents and teachers who are lucky to have them in their lives. Remember always that Life is more meaningful when it poses challenges and pushes our heart and minds to embrace them.

As a mother of one such amazing child, here goes my two bit of learning:

Children are like rainbows… A spectrum with many colours, each with its own hue and beauty. Children with special needs are one of those many colours…. Do not expect red to be yellow.

Do not be afraid to set boundaries because they need them more than others…. The earlier you get started with structure, the more beneficial it is for them.

Stop worrying and start doing what’s best for your child. Figure out the small steps and the big ones will fall in place by and by.

Stop hiding from the world. Differences are good. We are all part of the natural diversity of nature. You don’t make fun of diabetics or think them odd for having the condition. Special need requirements are no different.

Trust that the world will accept your child as soon as you do. Because your acceptance is the first step towards integration. More often than not, what parents perceive as rejection by outsiders is in reality a reflection of their own inner turmoil.

Pretending that special requirements don’t exist is the worst possible harm you can do to your own child. Get on board and start rowing… You’ll be surprised how far your child will get with just your help, forget about others.

Connect with the special needs community and trust me it is a large one… The more dots that are joined, the stronger will be the community support for our kids.

It’s not the easiest of journeys but there is lots of adventure on the way, so look forward to the ride… It might turn out to be the best one you have, with the right attitude.

7 Comments

  1. Dear Ms. Bagai,

    I salute your perseverance and positive attitude. The journey of a special educator which started with your son now comprises of many more children who need guidance and support.

    One of your statements which I feel sums up all the emotions attached with raising children is :

    ” Stop worrying and start doing what’s best for your child”

    Wishing you, the children who are part of your class and your entire team,

    A Healthy, Happy and Prosperous New Year !!

    Regards,

    Pramod Padiyath

    Father of Master Harikrishna Padiyath
    Student of Class IV
    VIBGYOR High
    Magarpatta,Pune

  2. Very touching and realistic. Wish you all the success in your endeavour in realizing his potential!

  3. Yes mam it’s very true I m facing with my child suffering from reading n writing ld learning disability I took this courageously n school is supporting me slot each teachers

  4. As a co special educator I completely agree with you. When we work with this wonderful spectrum of little angels each with his own special potential we can’t but help be amazed at the wonder and beauty of their differences. The love they shower and the satisfaction we get is beyond words.

    And I also love the spirit of VIBGYOR HIGH for its wonderful way of inclusive education.

    Purvi Shah
    PL teacher
    Vibgyor, Vadodara

  5. Very well written Nandini. Continue doing the good work. All the best.

    Sunila Amanna

  6. “Do not expect red to be yellow.”…. That is something that will stick around with me gor a long time to come. A very well written article Ms Nandini.

  7. Really you have done a wonderful job as mother and educator too.But only a mother can understand obstacles faced by child.My son LD child has been detained in 9th grade just for 2 marks as per criteria in Vibgyor high Balewadi.As I could not submit documents on time he is not considered as LD by all the teachers and councillors. Even a normal child deserves the promotion and my son was given 4-5 internal marks in almost 5 subjects.They have left me with no option.

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