Exceptional children are those children who are different or deviate from normal or average children either to the lower or higher side in relation to mental, physical emotional and social characteristics. Mental characteristics considered as super intelligence, sub- normal intelligence and feeble mindless etc. Emotional characteristics like psychoneurotic, psychotics, character irregularities, emotionally disturbed. Social characteristics considered as socially maladjusted, isolated and delinquents and physical dimensions includes visual and hearing deficiencies, speech disorder, chronic illness, psychosomatic disease, epilepsy and superior physique. Crow & Crow “the term exceptional is applied to a trait or to a person possessing traits up to the extent of deviation from the normal possession of the trait so great that because of it the individual warrants or receives special attention from his fellow and his behavior responses and activities are thereby affected”.
A concept universalization of education provides equal opportunities to all in respect of class, color, creed, religion. Children suffering from any kind of deficiency also having an equal right to get good education in a normal education system.
Exceptional Children having some distinct characteristics like they are very distinct and clearly notably among the average children. Exceptional children are mentally, physically, emotionally and socially different in some aspects of growth and development. Exceptional children may belong to both extreme cases can be upper and lower side both. Generally exceptional children may not be benefited from regular classroom teaching or environment. They need special environment in the school for better development and to nurturing of their talent. They require modified teaching methods and practices to develop their maximum capacity.
Assistive technologies are new and innovative devices or equipment which may contribute to make their learning more meaningful. These devices provide an assistance to overcome their learning difficulties and disabilities. Devices can be categories in two forms i.e. simple assistive technologies and complex assistive technologies. Simple assistive technologies may help to support general deficiencies like stick, digital calculator, tape recorder etc. Complex assistive technologies can support specific deficiencies like hearing loop, braille, talking books, screen reader etc. These technological devices can improve learning speed of the child, help them to adjust in classroom situation, it also promote active participation of the special children, help to make them self-dependent.
Some important consideration must be keep in mind for successful implementation and use of these devices and tools. It requires appropriate infrastructure facilities and resources should be provided by the school, provision for the counselling, special training program for teachers and students to use these assistive technologies, medical or financial support should be provided by the government, supporting devices should be available on feasible cost, curriculum should be framed by keeping the needs and requirements of these exceptional children, provision for resource room with regular classroom instruction and supporting activities. In some severe cases there should be a provision for special classes to provide moral and technical support.
Raisa Khan (Assistant Professor, B.Ed)