Caring for children with disablility and special needs

Caring for Children with Disabilities children and special needs.

Disabilities come in a huge variety of forms. A child may have been born with a disability or may have acquired it through an illness or accident. The disability may be very mild or it may be severe. Caring for a child with a disability can vary greatly in degree depending on the nature of the disability.

What is important for a childminder to remember though is that the child is first and foremost an individual with hopes, feelings and aspirations and the right to enjoy life in the same way as any other child, regardless of whether they have a disability or not

A child should never be defined by their disability and as such disabilities should not be allowed to be seen as the main part of a childs identity.


It may, in some circumstances, be necessary for you to undertake specialist training if you have agreed to provide care for a child with additional needs though in a lot of cases parents can often provide the information and guidance needed in caring for their child. If you agree to take on a child with a long term medical condition it is vital that you equip yourself with the relevant knowledge required to provide the appropriate care for the child.

Again, parents are usually the most knowledgeable people with regard to their children and may well be the greatest experts with regard to a particular disability. They will know what may trigger a certain condition, how their child reacts to the medication and what to do in the event of an emergency. Charities and support groups may also provide valuable information and support and it is advisable to work with the parents to find a solution that works well for everyone concerned.

In the past disabled people have been treated as outcasts and as such have suffered greatly. It is no longer acceptable for someone with a disability to have a poor quality of life and it must be recognised that they have the same goals and needs in life as everyone else. As a childminder it is up to you to ensure that the resources you provide reflect disability in a positive light and you should aim to provide images and resources which show disabled people achieving in the same way as able bodied people. You should encourage children to look past a persons disability to see a true picture of the person themselves.

Children should be encouraged to ask questions in a polite and respectful manner and these questions should be answered truthfully depending on the age and stage of development of their understanding. Never encourage a child to keep quite or ignore someone showing signs of a disability as this may lead to prejudice resulting in a lack of knowledge.

However never assume that a child who has a disability will be happy to discuss their impairment as some may have difficulty coming to terms with it and become angry or upset. It is a good idea to discuss special needs with children regardless of whether you actually provide care for a child who has them as this will encourage children to explore their own feelings and to learn about diversity.

If you agree to care for a child with a disability you may need to adapt your environment or resources accordingly. Talk to the parents of the child to get an idea of the equipment which the child relies on at home and source specialist firms where necessary.

Some of the aspects you may need to consider adapting are:

1. The toilet you may need to provide a rail for support or adapt the toilet seat.

2. Sink you may need to provide a step to reach the sink and adapt your taps as it may be difficult for a child to grip and turn, levers may be more suitable.

3. Your actual environment a child in a wheelchair will require much more space to manoeuvre and you may need to look closely at the layout of your furniture. Doors will need to be wide enough to accommodate wheelchair access and ramps will be necessary in place of stairs.

4. Toys Increase your provision of tactile and noisy toys for children with visual impairments or provide colourful toys with flashing lights and vibrations for children experiencing hearing difficulties.

5. Books Tactile books and Braille are useful for non-sighted people.

Caring for Children with Disabilities children and special needs.

Disabilities come in a huge variety of forms. A child may have been born with a disability or may have acquired it through an illness or accident.