Guide to Finding Tutor for Your Special Child


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About 7% of the child population of America is suffering from developmental and other disabilities and around 2.8 million children in America have special needs. When we mention special education in everyday conversation. It is often perceived as education for children with physical or intellectual disabilities.  Although the term covers a vast array of disorders and disabilities under its umbrella. However, special education widely covers four major categories of disabilities which are mention below:

Developmental Disability

These involve diagnoses such as Traumatic Brain Injury, Down Syndrome, Autism Spectrum, Processing Disorders, and other learning disabilities. These also involve disabilities such as slow learning, dyslexia or dysgraphia, etc.

Behavioral / Emotional Dysfunctions

These consist of disorders such as ADD or ADHD, Conduct Disorder and Oppositional Defiance Disorder, etc.

Sensory Impairments

Blindness or a visual impairment, hearing impairments, dumbness or other speech and language impairment come under sensory impairments.

Physical Disabilities

Physical disabilities include Muscular Dystrophy, Multiple Sclerosis, Serious health impairments, Epilepsy, etc. Children may also suffer from multiple disabilities such as intellectual disability concomitant with a physical disability. Such children face even more severe educational challenges that cannot be handled without a properly designed program or a tutor for special education. The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act helps provide access to better quality educational services. Ensuring that every individual gets equal rights to education more specifically special children.

According to the IDEA, students with disabilities must be prepared for further education employment and independent living. This becomes your right as a parent or a guardian as well as an obligation and responsibility to educate the children. Labeling these students with different disorders doesn’t mean that they are not capable of achieving high-life (or educational) goals. But it simply means that they have to need more challenging than those faced by ordinary students and that is exactly why special children need extraordinary tutors. Tutoring for special children, therefore, requires more specific skills and training. Some children also require personal tutors and homeschooling as well.

However, finding an appropriate tutor for special needs children can be a very challenging task for parents based on their child’s specific needs. A very well trained tutor is required who will understand the needs of their child with a clear understanding that special children need special care and love. But what to look for when finding an appropriate disability tutor?

Here’s a list of 10 most important traits which will educate you to find a tutor for your child.

1: Licensing and Certification

Firstly, ensure that the teacher is qualified and certified in special education. The individual better is the American Tutoring Association certified as well.

2: Aware of IEPs

Ensure that the tutor is very well aware of Individualized Educational Programs (documentation under IDEA). IEPs are designed for each child based on his/her specific needs so that the child can reach his/her full potential.

3: Age-based Needs

Special children of different age range face different challenges. Tutors for learning disabilities are usually trained to handle the needs of special children on the base of their age and pace of development as well. So, this is a point to consider before hiring learning disability tutors.

4: Reliable

You must ensure that the tutor is responsible and reliable as a person for your child.

5: Patient in Nature

With special children, patience is a must-have trait. Special children may act in a stubborn way such as children suffering from autism or conduct disorder. They may take longer to learn something very simple such as slow learners. Therefore, it is necessary that the tutor for kids with learning disabilities is very patient and a calm individual.

6: Assertiveness

Where patience is required some assertiveness is also needed. Ensure that the tutor knows how to use balanced assertiveness without going rough on the child.

7: Sense of Humor

The tutor should be able to produce a cheerful classroom environment or build a good rapport and develop trust with the child. This empowers special needs children to learn and grow better.

8: Creative and Adaptive

If the tutor is well aware of the specific illnesses and disabilities physical or mental then he/she will be able to identify needs. Specific to each child and adapt to them in a creative way so as to polish their strengths and tackle their weaknesses. Some children may also throw temper tantrums or emotional outbursts, the teacher should be trained enough to handle such situations. It is better for parents to look for a learning disability tutor who is always prepared for all kinds of situations and has the ability to adapt.

Most special children have difficulty in expressing their emotions. They may withdraw or act in a negative way when they get confused or are not being understood. It is comparatively easier for a parent to understand what their child wants but very hard for other people. Therefore, parents should try to find an individual who is intuitive and understands the psychological needs of the child as well.

9: Organization

The organization does not just work but personality is also very important for special education tutors. Special children learn and groom better in an organized environment. They build better confidence and learn to live more independently. Keeping track of the child’s progress also helps a lot. Tutors who are organized are also detail-oriented and detail orientation is also necessary for special education. Special education tutors have to consistently make assessments of students’ progress and learning in which details matter. The organization is, therefore, probably the most important trait to look for when choosing a tutor for your child.

Certain other skills that should be considered by parents looking for tutors of special education are leadership skills, communication skills, counseling skills, and collaborative skills. Apart from these, there are other beneficial skills and traits as well but when the above-discussed traits are possessed by the learning disability tutors, students are sure to bloom.

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