Here is an essay on ‘Exceptional Children’ for class 9, 10, 11 and 12. Find paragraphs, long and short essays on ‘Exceptional Children’ especially written for school and college students.
Essay on Exceptional Children
- Essay on the Definition of Exceptional Children
- Essay on the Types of Exceptional Children
- Essay on the Characteristics of Exceptional Children
- Essay on the School Provisions for Exceptional Children
- Essay on the Need and Problems of Exceptional Children
Essay # 1. Definition of Exceptional Children:
The term ‘exceptional’ means different things to different people. Some use it when referring to the particularly bright children or the child with unusual talent. Others use it when they refer to any typical or deviant child. Telford and Sawrey (1972) said, “To be exceptional is to be rare of unusual”.
According to Crow and Crow:
“The term ‘exceptional’ is applied to a trait or to a person possessing trait upto the extent of deviation from normal possession of the trait is so great that because of it the individual warrant or receives special attentions from his fellows and his behaviour responses and activities are thereby affected.” According to W.M. Cruichshank (1974)
“An exceptional child is he who deviates, physically, intellectually and specially so marked by from normal growth and development that he cannot be benefited from regular classroom programme and needs special treatment in school.”
“An exceptional child is he who deviates from the normal or average children in mental, physical and social characteristics to such an extent that he requires a modification of school practices or special educational services or supplementary instruction in other to develop to his maximum capacity.” Hewell and Forness (1984)
“An exceptional learner is an individual who, because of uniqueness in sensory, physical, neurological, temperamental or intellectual capacity and/or in the nature and range of previous order to maximize this or here functioning level- “All children traditionally labeled as exceptional fall under this definition.”
Exceptional children are of various types such as the following:
(1) Children with Hearing Handicap:
The hearings handicapped are those children who have a damaged hearing mechanism and face difficulty in speech and language development. There is loss of hearing. The degree of hearing loss is less in some children while it is more severe in others. The hearing handicapped children may be hard-of-hearing or deaf.
The hard-hearing children are those children who have hearing loss but who can hear if spoken too loudly without a hearing aid. A hearing aid will enable them to hear better. For such children education in general schools in common with other children is not difficult. Most of them are already studying in the general classroom.
The deaf are those who cannot hear even if spoken to very loudly. The require preparation in basic skills through special techniques before they are admitted in general schools. Hearing aids help them to become more functional.
Children with hearing impairment need hearing and auditory training, more of visual cues in the teaching-learning situation, services of audiologist, ENT specialists, and special needs of such children differ depending upon the type and nature of hearing loss. The quality of previous training received in the home and pre-school centres etc.
(2) Children with Visual Handicap:
The visually handicapped children are those who have problems with vision. Some visually handicapped children can read large print and are functional in their environment whereas some have server vision loss and cannot be taught through visual methods. The visual loss is measured with the help of Snellen chart. Depending upon the degree of loss they may be partially sighted or blind.
The partially sighted are those who require large print or magnified print materials. Their visual acuity (sharpness of visual image) is very low (20/70 in the better eye). This means that the child can see at 20 ft. distance what a normal child sees at 70 ft. Their eye-sight may be weak due to short sightedness, long sightedness, astigmatism, and glaucoma or muscle detachment.
The blind are those who need to be taught through braille or through aural method. Their visual acuity (sharpness of visual image) may fall in 2/20 9. Such children must be prepared in pre-academic before they are admitted in general schools. They need orientation training, mobility training and more of oral instruction depending upon the degree of loss of vision.
(3) Children with Mental Handicap:
Mentally retarded children are those who have a lower level or intellectual functioning and have problems in social adaptability. There is various degree of mental handicap. Consequently, there are various categories of mentally handicapped children—the educable mentally retarded (EMR), the trainable mentally retarded (TMR) and the custodial mentally retarded (CMR).
The educable mentally retarded are those who have minimum educational retardation in school subjects. Such children have problems of social adjustment, but are usually not recognized as mentally regarded at the pre-school level. The need repetition of instruction. The adaptive so that they can be identified in the early stages.
The custodial mentally retarded need help in developing daily living skills. They can be educated in special institutions/special classes. They are very poor in adaptive behaviour. They need constant care and attention.
(4) Children with Learning Disability:
These children are like other children in intellectual functioning. They are not mentally retarded, nor spelling, reading, writing, arithmetic, listening and comprehension. Their problem may be due to cerebral dysfunction/emotion/behavioural disturbance, but it is not due to mental retardation, sensory handicap children may be categorised into mild learning disabled and severe learning disabled.
Such children have a severe discrepancy between their achievement and intellectual ability.
Such children may have the following specific problems:
i. Reading disability.
ii. Writing disability.
iii. Problems in comprehension and communication.
iv. Problems in numerical ability.
Such children need repetition and drill, cognitive modelling, process training, multisensory experiences and remedial instruction.
(5) Children with Emotional Orthopaedic Handicap:
Speech handicap refers to minor and major speech and language problems. There are children with mild language and speech disorders in our classrooms, and they often go unnoticed. While speaking and writing they tend to omit, distort, add or substitute words phrases, letters of the alphabet etc. They stammer and are quiet or have long gaps in speaking full sentences. Their problems should be corrected before they start school.
The major types of speech disorder are:
(i) Voice disorders,
(ii) Articulation or pronunciation disorders, and
(iii) Fluency disorders.
(6) Children with Special Health Problems:
Under the category we have children whose poor physical condition makes them inactive and who require special health precautions in school and adequate medical check-ups and support.
Such children can be categorised into two groups:
(i) Children with mild health problems, and
(ii) Children with severe health problems.
Epilepsy, diabetic problems, asthma pain in the joints and anaemia are some of the special health handicaps.
(7) Children with Multiple Handicaps:
Multiple handicaps refer to more than one handicap in the child. A child be blind and deaf, blind and orthopaedically handicapped, deaf and orthopaedically handicapped, mentally retarded and orthopaedically handicapped and so on. In case of multiple handicaps one handicap may be primary handicap and the other secondary or one handicap may be more severe than the other handicaps. It is, therefore, important to identify the primary medical care, superior instruction from the teacher and a little love and affection from the parents and teachers.
(8) Children with Orthopaedic Handicaps:
Some children have orthopaedic handicap or locomotor handicap. Locomotor handicap refers to problems with the functioning of bones, joints and muscles. In some cases the problems are so severe that they require artificial limbs to compensate for their crippling conditions. In other cases they need wheel chair or crutches. They need removal of architectural barriers and some environmental modifications in the schools. Usually mildly orthopaedically handicapped children do not have learning problems. They can be integrated in the regular school without much difficulty.
(9) Children with Emotional Disturbance:
Children with emotional disturbance are very often considered as problem children in the school. An emotionally disturbed child has certain inner tensions which create anxiety, frustration, fears and impulsive behaviours. Such a child may find excuses for this inner tension in some physical difficulty.
An emotionally disturbed child may attempt to solve the anxiety by behaving in a premature or childish way, becoming aggressive towards other people, or withdrawing himself to the world of fantasy. Such children need love and protection, security and recognition, pleasant and success experiences in the home and the school.
(10) Gifted Children:
Gifted children are in some way superior n intellectual ability to other children of the same age. Gifted children are those who have demonstrated high ability (including high intelligence), high creativity and high task commitment—a high level of motivation and the ability to see a project through to its conclusion. A variety of terms have been used to describe individuals who are superior in some way such as ‘talented’ ‘creative’ ‘genius’ and ‘precocious’ (remarkably early development in particular areas likes language, music, mathematical ability).
Most of these children remain unidentified in the class. Specific efforts are also not made to meet the special needs of such children. Such programmes need early admission in schools, skipping grades telescoping grades, early admission in secondary schools and colleges and enrichment activities and materials.
(11) Children with Creative Talents:
In a school teacher may come across few students who have the ability to produce something new—a composition, a system of ideas or a material or a process which is essentially new or novel and previously unknown to them. Such children behave differently. They are courageous in their convictions. They have independent thinking and adjustment. They become absorbed and preoccupied in what they are doing. They are intellectually self-confident. The prevailing school practices and situations create hindrance for their creative expressions. Teachers need to modify their attitudes towards such children and employ suitable strategies for promotion of their creativity.
(12) Socially Disadvantaged Children:
Most teachers encounter a group of children in their classrooms who appears lifeless, incurious, and deceptively unintelligent. They show lack of interest, involvement, and motivation for academic success. They underachievement the cumulative deficiencies in learning ultimately lead to their wastage and stagnation. These children and socially, economically, and educationally disadvantaged. School readiness programmes in preschool centres, enriched experiences, and remedial instruction are very useful for them.
1. It is applied to a trait of a person possessing upto the extent of deviation from normal.
2. It is commonly applied to children who differ notable from the average children.
3. An exceptional child deviates physically, mentally, emotionally and socially from normal growth and development.
4. An exceptional child is he who cannot be benefited from regular classroom teaching programmes.
5. An exceptional child requires a modification of school practices and needs special treatment in school to develop his maximum capacity.
6. An exceptional child belongs to both the extremes of physical mentally, social, emotional and educational achievement.
General school admitting disabled children should arrange to provide the following aids and appliances for.
1. Orthopaedically Handicapped Children:
Adjustable furniture. Special writing material (thick pen). Artificial limbs wheel chairs and crutches.
2. Blind Children:
Braille late and stylus, braille sheets. Abacus. Taylor frame. Mobility canes. Cassette and talking books. Braille text-books. Bulletin board. Flat desks. Embossed graph sheets with rubber band push pin tactile maps.
Concrete objects to teach shape size, thickness, weight, ascending and descending, etc. number, texture and motor coordination.
3. Partially-Sighted and Low Vision Children:
Magnifying glass, Spectacles. Portable reading lamps. White board in place of black-board and Large print materials.
4. Hearing Impaired Children:
Hearing aid (group hearing aid and individual hearing aid). Speech trainer or voice trainer. Mirror (big and small). Special learning materials like flash cards, educational games and toy materials, had-outs of classroom instruction.
5. Mentally retarded and learning children:
Educational games and play materials. Concrete objects for teachers different concepts. Picture cards and pictures. Day, Date and Month Calendar.
Acids for sensory-motor coordination and Alternate learning materials (simplified).
All children have certain basic needs. The needs of children are often accompanied by or result in certain problems. The needs and problems of exceptional children are similar to and at the same time different from those for exceptional children. The needs and problems of exceptional children also very depending upon the direction and degree of their deviation from normal children and their type of exceptionality. For example, the needs and problems of mildly and moderately handicapped children are different from those of severely handicapped children.
Similarly, the needs and problems of handicapped children are different from those of children with superior ability. Even though the needs and problems of exceptional children are related to their characteristics they have certain common needs and problems such as, need for appropriate education, need for independent functioning, need for respect for their individuality, etc.
Disabled children are like non-disabled children except their specific disabilities. For example, a blind child is like any other sighted child except his loss of vision. Disabled children have a fundamental right to live and participate fully in all settings and programmes that are as normalized as possible. But consciously or out of ignorance we tend to treat them differently in school, at home, in the work place and in the community. Our differential treatment creates in them and among their peers a feeling of ‘otherness’.
Disabled children have strong desire for independent functioning. Instead of assisting them to maximize their independent functioning in normal environment we make them dependent on others. It is perhaps for this reason that many blind and orthopaedically handicapped children resort to begging. One of the objectives of special education is to teach the disabled children self-help skills, daily living skills, vocational skills, and to assist them to manage their own affairs independently during adulthood.
An exceptional child, whether he is handicapped or gifted, has an individuality of his own. He thinks, learns acts and adapts in his own way. He has the capabilities to live a better life and to improve his functioning level in the community. Teachers need to have confidence on his capabilities and respect for his individuality. In schools exceptional children do not have the opportunity to express themselves fully. Their individuality is suppressed and at times punished by teachers.
Exceptional children need free and appropriate education to maximize their capabilities. Such education should not be provided to them out of sympathy or as a privilege granted to them. Education is a basic human right and this must be granted to them just as we provide free and compulsory education to non-exceptional children. India is under pressure from international agencies to make education a basic right of the child. But, it is surprising that the bill making education a basic right of the child is in the cold storage of the MHRD.