Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Say What? What about quality of life for children with special needs? Part II

It pleases me no end to see that my granddaughter, Aimee, has a wonderful quality of life. She is well-loved and has many activities and events with her family and friends.  I notice that she enthusiastically anticipates activities and events that include her.

A loving and supportive family can make all the difference in the world. Inclusion in most, if not all family activities, outings, and travel will provide rich experiences and opportunities for the child to develop quality relationships.
Sports and adaptive sports can provide an outlet for physical activity and an opportunity to build confidence. Music and art can also provide opportunities to develop creative outlets and interests; even if it is simply listening to music or looking at art. Reading, crafts, and other activities with others can provide hours of enjoyment and gratification.

Appropriate equipment and mobility aids, as well as a safe and accessible home will provide a secure environment. Physical therapy and training will help maintain body strength and a good physical quality of life.

Emotional well being: A sense of belonging, participating, and inclusion provide the child with the confidence to interact with family and friends and reap the rewards of loving relationships. Participation in school and community activities can also help to develop appropriate behavior, as well as communication and social skills.

Education and school involvement are important. Classroom participation and perhaps even mainstreaming in school all contribute to a positive and rewarding learning process. The right tools, as well as technological assistance in the classroom can heighten the child’s overall interest and satisfaction in learning.

We can all make a difference in adding to the quality of life for our children with special needs. I encourage you to think about what you can do to make a difference to a child in your life.


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