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Why we should not put limits on children with disabilities

Why we should not put limits on children with disabilities



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We know that all childhood is a stage of discovery, where the child touches, knows, recognizes and interacts through play, to learn and acquire motor, language and social skills that help their vital development.

Play is a highly effective instrument and resource, as it promotes the development of the child in all these aspects, learning through their own experience. This exploration of the world can be altered if the child has a physical disability, since it often involves a set of motor limitations that make it difficult to explore the environment in the conventional way.

Many families will think: "Yes, but I take my son to rehab and multisensory stimulation." Still, I ask myself: Is going to the gym the same for an adult as going on a hike with friends? Obviously, you will agree that the motivation is not the same in one case as in the other.

The same happens to children with motor diversities. Like any child they need to play alone and with others, in whatever way. And it is that, if we leave them, in a safe environment like any child, obviously; They themselves look for strategies and ways to move, explore and get the toy that catches their attention, whether it is on their knees, crawling or rolling over. This freedom to find their own ways to achieve their purpose, such as in this case reaching a toy, encourages the child's motor and intellectual development and, in turn, we are giving them opportunities to have fun through self-motivation like any child your age.

On the other hand, if we project our fear of harm being done, protecting it and, inadvertently, limiting its interaction only to a controlled and rehabilitating stimulation, in a certain way, we will be depriving him of an innate exploration that, to the best of their ability, can facilitate an improvement in their mobility, emotionally greater self-esteem and an illusion of their own to continue moving forward.

I remember that, when I was 5 years old, crawling in the nursery school of the special school, I saw two classmates climb the wooden slide that was inside the classroom. I dreamed of reaching the top like them, but because of my spastic dystonias, no matter how hard I tried every day, I never succeeded, since, shortly up, it slid down. One day, it occurred to me to ask the therapist to give me a rope and to teach me how to tie knots. Little by little I was tying knots in the whole rope, maybe I did 2 a day, but I was getting it. When I finished, I asked an assistant to tie the rope at the top of the slide (which was naturally short and small, but for me that little top was my goal). Of course, the assistant and the rest of the teachers asked me what I was going to do, to which I replied: "What my colleagues do, but with help."

What do you think happened? Indeed, little by little I went up that small slide on my knees, holding tightly to each knot that I had made myself, until I reached my top. With that little whim of playing as 2 of my teammates, I was learning that with effort and enthusiasm things can be achieved.

That is why we must allow the child, regardless of the disability they have, to play and explore, even if it is moving their arms freely on a carpet. Because that freedom will favor their development and the improvement of their quality of life.

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