Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Teaching Learners with Multiple Special Needs: Wordless Wednesday (Sorta)

I pull this post from my sidebar into the main page because it is so very critical to my child's well being, as it is for all of us. Parents and teachers spend most energy taking care of those bottom tiers with our exceptional children, without a lot of creativity for the rest of our child's basic and essential needs - sometimes because the physiological needs and safety take all we have...

Drop a comment - let's talk about it.

Teaching Learners with Multiple Special Needs: Wordless Wednesday (Sorta)


Jacqui said...

In addition to being a mom to Matt I am also a part time social worker. My work entails training volunteer within churches to start orphan care projects. (Our government does not have specific support for these kids, but with HIV there are unfortunately LOADS of orphans) Any way we have long discussed Maslows hierarchy of needs, and have chosen rather to adopt Manfred Max-Neef's model.

His is a wheel of human needs, rather than a hierarchy and he argues that all the needs are interrelated and interactive. thus to focus on one need to the exclusion of the others would not result in holistic and healthy development.

And I have seen this with my own eyes, I have seen someone living with all the physical comforts of life but without self esteem or self worth - and their life is misery. I have seen people who are living below the bread line who, because of spiritual and social support networks, are functioning remarkably well despite not having enough food.

Thinking about our kids. I would be very concerned if Matt was in an environment that viewed his physiological needs to be more important or urgent than his need to belong or self esteem etc.

Coming back to the orphan situations - it has been documented that orphans who have been institutionalised and receive adequate food and clothing, but do not receive love and interaction; develop at a much slower pace when compared to orphans who are loved and touched in addition to receiving the basic food and clothing.

In the training that I run, we use a physical demonstration of Max-Neefs Wheel of human needs where we have a cardboard wheel. We cut out parts of the wheel and try to roll it. It literally falls over when any part of it is missing - highlighting powerfully that all the needs of a human being need equal attention.

Ellen said...

Hi there. I'm a fellow writer over at Hopeful Parents, it's nice to meet you here. Your kids are beautiful! That is a good post you linked to... I don't know the answer, I do know that Max's teachers do the best that they can, and that between what they do and what my husband and I can do at home, Max gets the education and stimulation and care that he needs. I used to stress more about this, but then I realized that I can only do what I can do. You know?