Working with Special Needs Children

Child Guidance - Tara Coones

Working with a child with special needs

Many people find a good job in working with special needs children is not only financially lucrative, but emotionally fulfilling. Working with children with special needs lets people earn a place in someone's heart as well as helping make a difference in someone's life. But working with these children can often times be challenging and there are a few things to know before starting to work with them.

Be positive

For anyone who works with children with special needs being positive is a very important quality. Positivity allows for the child to feel safe in your care, and is a way to make the child feel comfortable around you.

Be flexible

It's important to configure to how anyone learns. You should be flexible in your work through a variety of ways to help a child understand new skills.


Remember that all behavior is communication, always keep a lookout for differences in behavior and what the child is communicating to you.

Use common sense

With common sense most problems can be easily avoided. It's important to arrange things for your and the child's comfort and to put safety first.

Use visual, auditory, and tactile cues

All children learn and have fun in different ways, so accommodating to each of them is very important. Taking pictures, providing objects, listening to things are few ways to use these cues.

Have plans

If things go badly always have other plans. Always have a space to calm down and think about what each child can do instead of what they can't.

Be consistent

If rules are presented apply them consistently. A child with special needs can't be expected to remember all rules at one point and follow them for time and time to come. Children need to be reminded of rules and eventually they will get the hang of them.


It's important to interact with a child for them to know why you're there and that he feel secure around you. Don't start with questions and expect them to answer you. Holding their hand, putting a hand on their shoulder, and explaining to them what you'll be doing is important for the child.