Parent Lavanya Balgi

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Spare the rod and Spare the child

Hi! I am Lavanya. After spending eleven years with my special son and meeting various parents and special children I decided to pen down a very sensitive topic for everybody I met. Special children can be very challenging to handle because of tactile and sensory issues. They are behaviorally difficult. The initial years with your little one is definitely a test of your patience and tolerance. According to Old School ways shouting, punishing or hitting a disobedient or slow student was common. It was justified by a belief system that “ It is for the good of the student in the long run”. Lack of awareness of dyslexia, autism, down syndrome and other disabilities made life very difficult for special children integrated into normal schools. They were termed as repeaters. 

Well let’s fast forward to present times. The awareness is more, integration is happening but is the child really benefiting from this? A school admits a special child, but is unable to do anything beyond it. The parent runs from therapists to educators trying to achieve everything that is required to integrate the little one. Everything seems to be in order when suddenly disaster strikes in the form of Lack of Awareness. For every ten tolerant teachers there will be one who does not understand what is wrong with your child. The teacher would call the parent and complain about "how more should be done for the special child". The whole scenario would revolve around exams and performances. A teacher yelling in class can trigger auditory sensitivity and banging the duster or ruler on the table can serve as very wrong visual cues. Hitting a special child when they are being difficult or non compliant makes the situation worse. Teachers who do this are setting very bad visual examples of how to behave. Remember your special child may be a very strong visual learner. When hit by other children your child cannot express his misery. To add fuel to the fire all you need would be a wrong therapist who tells the parent that whatever happened would make the child stronger. As a mother I was very baffled when I saw special children being hit or pinched in the name of promoting awareness to pain or people justifying it by saying "that only when they feel pain will they stop bad behaviors". The mark of a good therapist or teacher is to promote and counsel awareness in a parent stating that the special child needs her patience to overcome difficult behaviors. A school has to revert with honest feedback about your child so that you can work out a plan with your therapist and teachers. Similarly parents need to be honest about their child without withholding valuable information. 

I remember meeting a mother of a physically handicapped girl . After fifteen minutes of conversation she opened up about how a doctor had asked her to hit her child’s feet so that the blood circulation improved and she started walking. In this field we encounter people posing as practitioners when they are not even licensed to be so. All they need is a desperate special needs parent to take care of their financial needs. So dear parents be careful every door you walk into may not be the right door for you and violent solutions are better ignored. Today laws are strict, so report such things. My question as a mother is “ Have I given birth to a special child so that somebody else can vent their frustration on him by hitting him? “ Just because my child cannot express himself, does not mean the finger marks or bruises he comes home with will not express the pain he has endured. So dear readers please ensure that our children are raised lovingly and by walking away and reporting such behaviors when you see them. Take care and keep your child very safe.
Posted in Default Category on November 21 at 04:41 PM

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