In this application, the interviewee was a parent with a special needs child. The experience was great as most of my beliefs were dismissed, and assumptions were cleared. Therefore, this interview was a success and it greatly contributed to my future practice. This paper features a summary of what the interview was about, the insights, and the impacts it has on my future practice.
The general experience was amazing. The parent of the special needs child opened up, hence facilitating the interview results. Aside from that, the parent turned out to be very proud of the special needs child; he was not hidden in another room but was present as we discussed the content of the interview. I always thought that parents to such kids were either embarrassed of them, or were too afraid to bring them out in the open for fear of them being discriminated by others. This was not the case, and I was amazed that this parent ensured that his child was present outside whenever others came out to play.
Unlike most who simply assume that their child are weak, this parent had so much strength to state about his special needs child. For instance, I learnt that there are special needs children who can sing, speak in a crowd of abled individuals, and even be able to do most of the activities that able children can do. For this specific child, the only challenge is speaking when under pressure. For example, if the child is found being naughty, and confronted by the parent or a teacher, the child is unable to utter a word.
Although special needs children need the parents to take special roles as their caregivers, this is rarely the case with this specific family. However, the major advocacy role is communicator. This is because most people assume that the child is able to interact well in all situations. Therefore, they do not take special measures to communicate when chaos erupt or disagreements occur. This is where the parent is forced to step in so as to maintain the confidence of the child when around abled children.
Another area where a stereotype has been proven wrong is in the child’s school. Most people have a perspective that children with special needs cannot be taught in the same environment as those who are abled. This is why even parents with special needs children do not consider an inclusive school setting. They just assume that there is no way that all these children may be taught in the same class. However, this specific parent takes the child to an inclusive school. The parent feels like the setting is what has encouraged the child to develop all of his strengths and skills, including the confidence to interact and perform in the presence of a room full of abled people.
When dealing with such children and their families, I now know that there are cases where children may be able to do well in a normal environment, including the schools they are enrolled in. Therefore, I would encourage parents to take their children to inclusive schools, depending on the confidence of their children. I would also advise them to determine the strengths of their children so that they can encourage them to develop them further.