Some tips to beat exam stress for children with disabilities
With exam season round the corner, parents and teachers are worried about how children with disabilities are going to perform. Stress levels and anxiety can be worse for those who are studying in mainstream schools. Here are a few tips to beat exam stress for children with disabilities.
School exams are on in many parts of India and this can be a stressful experience for many children. For children with disabilities, especially those in mainstream schools, it can be an even more stressful experience. The right support and guidance can help them do well too. Teachers play an important role as well and together with parents, they can help the child achieve its full potential.
Shakila Banu, Co-founder of JDC Sparsha, a school for disabled children in Bengaluru, says activities are a good way to keep kids engaged.
I believe involving and engaging the child in activities are a good idea to teach them things. Make everything practical learning. You can even make it fun through games and so on. It is more like a hands on activity. The child must feel engaged. – Shakila Banu, Co-founder, JDC Sparsha
Some tips to beat exam stress for disabled children
- Break down tasks – This helps children with disabilities, especially those with autism, Down syndrome or ADHD, focus better. The child feels that he or she can accomplish things easier.
- Create a comfort zone – A well-lit and quiet study room for instance with minimal distractions like TV, mobile or other gadgets can help the child focus. The parent/teacher and child must have one-on-one conversations during study time. Be patient so the child feels comfortable asking questions.
- Encourage exercise – Physical activity or exercise can do wonders especially when the child is feeling anxious. Let your child go out and play or do sun workouts to relieve stress. Cycling, swimming, playing football and cricket are some great stress busters.
- Keep the child calm – Let the child know that it is fine to make mistakes and that academics is not everything. Their mental and physical well-being must be given the most priority by teachers and parents.
Dr Kinjal Chandra, a paediatric occupational therapist says exam pressure can be too much for children with disorders and disabilities. “This can be even more so in case of children who have not received any remedial intervention. It is common for teachers and parents to overlook the learning challenges faced by the children and it negatively affects academic performance. The lack of proper guidance and support also affects the self-esteem of the children and they may lose interest in learning. Early intervention, awareness on the part of parents, educators can make a huge difference in the performance of children”.
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