Education of Exceptional Children in India

By Sharma, Vandana | International Journal of Education and Management Studies, June 2014 | Go to article overview

Education of Exceptional Children in India


Sharma, Vandana, International Journal of Education and Management Studies


"Every child has the right to an opportunity to grow, develop, and learn to the fullest measure of his or her capacity be that great or small'' - Norris G. Haring

For the development of any state, resources play a vital role. Resources are basically divided into 3 parts i.e. Natural Resources, Human Made Resources and Humans themselves are considered as a resource. So, the over-all development of a state depends upon the nature and kind of its human resources. All the members of the society irrespective of their age, economic status, gender, potential, personality as well as disability contribute towards the development of the nation-state. We cannot exclude exceptional children from this process of development. If we look around us, we can easily find ample examples of individuals with special needs who contribute towards the development of a state.

Every child is born with certain innate abilities like imagination, feelings, curiosity etc and education helps in the development of these powers. Education in its general sense is a form of learning in which the knowledge and experiences of an individual is transferred from one individual to another through teaching. No human being can survive without education. Education tells people how to think, how to act, and how to make decisions. The better your education, the more choices and opportunities you are going to have in life. With that being said, you cannot make it through life without education. Education is a life-long process, which starts with the birth of a child and continues till his/her death. Education is an important instrument of the over-all development of an individual.

Disability

According to World Health Organisation, "Disabilities is an umbrella term, covering impairments, activity limitations, and participation restrictions. An impairment is a problem in body function or structure; an activity limitation is a difficulty encountered by an individual in executing a task or action; while a participation restriction is a problem experienced by an individual in involvement in life situations. Disability is thus not just a health problem. It is a complex phenomenon, reflecting the interaction between features of a person's body and features of the society in which he or she lives. Overcoming the difficulties faced by people with disabilities requires interventions to remove environmental and social barriers."

According to legal obligations under the Disability Discrimination Act (1995) and Special Education Needs and Disability Act (2000), "A person has a disability if he/she has a physical or mental impairment which has a substantial and long term adverse effect on his/her ability to carry out normal day to day activities."

According to Gulliford (1971), "Disability is the kind and degree of impairment which results in some loss of capacity or function."

Exceptional children

All the individuals of a nation contribute toward its development and this development depends upon the type of citizen of that country. Exceptional children also contribute to this development. We can find lots of example of exceptional children in the history; the famous Indian Poet "Surdas" was blind by birth. The famous writer and traveler Helen Keller was blind and deaf. Vocabulary of Albert Einstein developed very late. All these examples show that compensation of any type of disability is possible. Exceptional child that child who deviates from the average or normal child in mental, physical or social characteristics to such an extent that he requires a modification of school practices or special educational services, in order to develop to his maximum capacity (Kirk, 1962).

According to Hallahan and Kauffman (1978), " Exceptional children are those who require special education and related services if they are to realize their full human potential."

Education of exceptional children

Earlier education was only meant for normal children and limited for physically disabled children. …

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