Toddler Development - Helping Children With Special Needs

A toddler that needs special care need not be treated like a handicap. With a little help, learning basic skills and getting proper toddler development can be achieved. All it takes is your guidance to help him build self-confidence to give him the freedom he needs to properly advance.

Choose A Skill Your Toddler Can Work On

If your toddler requires special care and attention, it is important for you to teach him basic self-help skills. Select the easy ones first as your toddler can be easily overwhelmed. You can choose to train your toddler how to brush his teeth, dress on his own, tie his shoelaces or eat by himself. Remember to practice a single ability first, never teach him two skills at the same time since this will only confuse him. Together, practice the skill slowly. Just take it one step at a time and never pressure your toddler to perfect it instantly. Show your toddler proper execution. Encourage him to carefully observe you do the skill before you let him demonstrate it on his own.

Create A Step By Step Plan

Since toddler’s with special needs function and comprehend slower than normal children, it is best to teach him in a step by step manner. If you are trying to train your toddler how to make his own bed, break down the tasks into steps (arranging the pillows, folding the blanket, straightening the bed sheet and placing the comforter) and draw a chart. Have him put a check mark on every task he has accomplished. In this way, your toddler feels a sense of accomplishment which ultimately encourages him to do much better next time.

Maximize Play Time

Playing is the way young toddlers learn. Having ample play time is essential to early childhood development regardless of your toddler’s special needs. Allow your toddler to do the activities he likes. Let him run around your backyard, play with kids his age in your neighborhood’s playground or doddle whole afternoon. The more your toddler gets to play, the faster he can learn things on his own. Plus, the exposure he gets from playing is perfect for boosting social interaction and is an excellent start to make friends.

Music Therapy

Studies have shown that music is an excellent remedy for toddlers who have difficulty hearing, moving, responding, seeing or thinking. Play different kinds of music, from nursery rhymes, interactive songs to classical, jazz and ballad. It is entertaining, motivating and it permits your toddler to productively express his anger, stress and depression. The stimulation it gives increases his cognitive development which helps fine tune your toddler’s fine motor and motor skills, dexterity, eloquence and self-alertness.

Give Constant Affirmation

Sometimes, a toddler with special needs long for security. Increase cuddle moments. Kiss, hug, pat and smile together. Use positive and soothing words. Constantly credit your little one even with the littlest things. Comment on how he looks so handsome in his button down polo and khaki shorts ensemble, his new haircut or his drawings. Affirmations serve as building blocks which inspires your toddler to nurture his abilities inspite of his condition.

Praise and Challenge

The best way you can help boost your toddler’s development is to give positive reinforcement for every job well done. Say for example you are teaching him the alphabet, commend him whether he memorizes it flawlessly or with errors. After which, challenge him to do it again until he perfects it. By repeating the action, he is able to retain his learning’s and be more aware of his mistakes.

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