Sarbari Ray, F. Optom, B. Optom
Optometrist, Eye7 Chaudhary Eye Centre, New Delhi, India
Importance of a teacher in society
As the saying goes, students are the future of the country and the magic wand to build the foundation of these students is that of a teacher. A good teacher helps us to become good human beings. (1) Obviously, education is important but behaviour and mental growth are also valuable in a child’s development.
All the children are not the same, as our five fingers. When it comes to special children, presenting with one or multiple disabilities, they would comparatively need extra attention, care, help and time than a normal child, that is called ‘Child With Special Needs (CWSN)’. (2)
Special educators (SE) are those teachers who are specifically trained in communicating with children with special needs in a way that addresses the child’s individual differences as well as needs and help them to achieve their goals. (3)
We all know that the brain is a complex and compact organ that controls memory, emotion, the ability of think, motor skills, vision, breathing, temperature, hunger, and every process which controls our body. (4)
The frontal lobe of our brain is responsible for motor function while Parietal lobe is responsible for handwriting and body positions, therefore Temporal and Occipital lobes are responsible for memory and hearing and visual processing system.(5)
The special needs accordingly the disability, classified by 4 categories –
- Physical stands for Muscular Dystrophy (MD), Cerebral Palsy (CP), Locomotors Disability (LMD) etc.
- Sensory stands for Deafness, Low Vision (LV), Blindness etc.
- Developmental and Mental stands for autism spectrum disorder (ASD), Down Syndrome (DS).
- Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and attention deficit disorder (ADD) are common Behavioural and Emotional Disorder.
How special educators conclude therapy or activity for a child –
- Current skill level assessment of a children to know either they are having any special disorder or not. Sometimes children are already diagnosed and after that they come to SE
- Identify the weakness of a child
- Create Goal that must be work on which is called Annual Goals
- Progress tracking
- Instructions for maintaining special education
- Participation in mainstream classroom and the classroom should have the least restrictive environment
- Testing adaptation of a child that means after 3 months re-assessment will be held. If child’s skills are improved- Continue same therapy. If skills are not improved- Change the total plan and re-plan
Figure 1: Individualised Education Plan
[Picture Courtesy: https://images.app.goo.gl/jxPJpLGUT1otRgDJ6]
The entire process is called Individualised Education Plan (IEP). And the total work for a visually Impaired child done by IEP team, where included special educator, child, parents, low vision specialist, doctor, and class teacher.
The IEP teamwork over-
- Visual skills
- Speech and Language
- Fine motor skills
- Gross motor skills
- Each school must have minimum two special educators
- One special educator should teach one child
Figure 2: Scenario published by the Indian National Educational Policy
[Picture Courtesy: https://images.app.goo.gl/jNg7shwafnCfiefw9]
In conclusion, optometrist can play the role of a special educator in guiding visually impaired children to live a comfortable and good life.
- Importance of Teachers in our life. Available at: https://www.supportmeindia.com/importance-of-teacher-in-our-life/ [Last accessed – 17:00AEDT, 18th Dec 2022]
- Child with Special Needs. Definition and Categories (CWSN). Available at: https://wecapable.com/cwsn-categories-of-children-with-special-needs/[Last accessed – 17:05AEDT, 18th Dec 2022]
- Special educators’ definition. Law Insider. Available at: https://www.lawinsider.com/dictionary/special-educator [Last accessed – 17:17AEDT, 18th Dec 2022]
- BRAIN. Meaning in the Cambridge English Dictionary. Available at: https://dictionary.cambridge.org/dictionary/english/brain [Last accessed – 17:07AEDT, 18th Dec 2022]
- Brain Anatomy and How the Brain Works. Available at: https://www.hopkinsmedicine.org/health/conditions-and-diseases/anatomy-of-the-brain [Last accessed – 17:15AEDT, 18th Dec 2022]