Children With Special Needs-Definition And Challenges

Children With Special Needs-Definition And Challenges

What does "children with special needs" mean ?

The definition of special needs pertaining to a child includes a wide variety of conditions including physical ailments, learning disabilities, and terminal illness. Special needs are commonly defined by what a child can't do i.e. foods banned, activities avoided, or experiences denied. Youth below 18 falls in this special child category. Children with special needs doesn’t mean that they aren’t smart, talented or capable.  Just that they have specific challenges that a “normal” child would not face, that's why need extra care, love or attention. 

Who are the children with special needs ? 

They’re children who have a physical challenges including paediatric disability that makes learning or doing other activities difficult. Children with special needs are those who has been determined to require special attention and specific necessities that other children do not. 

What are the common challenges faced by the special child ?

  • Mental Retardation, which causes them to develop more slowly than other children.
  • Speech and Language Impairment, such as a problem for expressing themselves or understanding others.
  • Physical Disability, such as vision problem, cerebral palsy, or other conditions.
  • Learning Disabilities, which distort messages from their senses.
  • Emotional Disabilities, such as antisocial or other behavioral problems. 

Why it is necessary to know about the special needs in a child?

it is very necessary to know about the special needs in a child for parents or guardians to find out in which category (or categories) a child’s unique case falls into,and, once it is known about child's special needs, one can do understand better which care is needed. It is not right to treat every special child in a same manner. One thing to remember that disabled children also have many qualities that can be polished by right treatment, care and love by parents and caregivers. One just need to pay special and extra attention. 

What are the Common Types of Special Needs? 

People don’t understand that “special needs” can encompass a broad range of opportunities for children to overcome. There are four common types of special needs to narrow this umbrella down.


Children who are not developing socially, intellectually, or even physically like their peers may have developmental special needs. These can occur due to genetic or environmental factors, or both in some cases. Developmental delays can be spotted as early as infancy in some cases. 

Some of the more prevalent types of developmental special needs are: 

  • Autism Spectrum Disorder (impaired communication and social interactions)
  • Down Syndrome or trisomy 21 (genetic disorder causing developmental delays and physical disabilities)
  • PANS/PANDAS (autoimmune conditions that interrupt neurological functions)
  • Fetal Alcohol Syndrome Disorder (developmental damage due to alcohol exposure in the womb)

While there are more varieties of developmental disabilities than listed here, a combination of therapies, medical intervention, and help at home can improve symptoms and aid in developing new skills. 


If your hardworking child is falling behind in the classroom, a special need in the learning category may be the cause. 

Learning special needs indicate that the person needs additional support in an educational setting. There may be trouble expressing thoughts in a written form, reading, math, processing, and more. 

Among others, learning disabilities can commonly include: 

  • Dysgraphia (difficulty writing)
  • Dyslexia (difficulty reading)
  • Auditory Processing Disorder (the brain has difficulty receiving and interpreting sounds)
  • Dyscalculia (difficulty with numbers and math)

Parents of special needs students should know their child is in need of specialized support to make the most of their education. 

This doesn’t mean, however, that the child can’t be successful in school. Many educational institutions have a special needs program that works individually with students throughout the school day. 

Usually, testing is needed to diagnose special needs, and many public schools provide resources to get an answer on why your child is struggling in the classroom. From there, you have many options on how to help your child learn in the best way for them. 

Mental Health and Behavioral

Behavioral or mental health special needs can affect the child’s ability to: 

  • Form healthy attachments or relationships
  • Sit still or participate in family or classroom activities
  • Respond to disciplinary measures appropriately
  • Feel control over their self-esteem and habits 

This can impair academic performance and personal relationships. These special needs often require creative methods from parents, teachers, and health care professionals.

Behavioral and mental health special needs can range across:

  • ADHD (inattentiveness, often combined with hyperactivity)
  • Anxiety and/or depression
  • Oppositional Defiant Disorder (moodiness, disobedience, and frustration with authority figures)

Eating disorders (anorexia, bulimia, binge-eating, etc)

There are many other mental health and behavioral special needs, many of which are still being categorized as we learn more about these fields. Behavioral therapies and functional treatment can often improve the symptoms of this variety of special needs over time.


Children with medical special needs are often in and out of doctor’s appointments, seeking the best health care for their condition. These are often physically evident, and the diagnosis is usually more straightforward with these physical disabilities.

Frequently seen medical special needs may include:

  • Cerebral palsy (brain damage that affects movement, motor skills, and muscle)
  • Hearing loss or deafness
  • Blindness
  • Diabetes (both type 1 and type 2)
  • Muscular dystrophy (muscle diseases that weaken and break down skeletal muscle)
  • Asthma (respiratory condition that causes breathing difficulties)

These are just a few of the diagnoses in this category.

What are the usual causes for disability in a child?

There are numerous causes of disability which mainly includes:

  • Genetic problems
  • Disease (Polio for example)
  • Malnutrition

Poverty (which is often followed by the following mentioned causes).

How the parents shall deal with the special needs of their child?

Parents should behave positively to find their child's challenges and make thier triumphs sweeter though which the weaknesses will accompanied by amazing strengths. It is not right for parents to always mourn their child's lost potential due to which conditions become more troubling with time.

Abilities beleive that a good team along with required necessities, around your little one can relieve much of the concern that comes with these conditions. Abilities bring the basic necessities for disabled children including paediatric wheelchair.

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