Children are amazing.  They are energetic, eager to learn, and creative.  Teaching these unique individuals can be a fun and rewarding experience that cannot be compared in value to any other profession. Speaking of these precious gems, children are uniquely created.  They vary in shades, personalities, and even in disabilities. Schools have always identified children who have excellent grades and ethical behavior as exceptional students.   However, medical researchers have now defined exceptional children as children with these cognitive disabilities, as defined by Webster’s Dictionary.

  • Autism
  • A mental condition, present from early childhood, characterized by difficulty in communicating and forming relationships with other people and in using language and abstract concepts.
  • Asperger Syndrome
  • A developmental disorder related to autism and characterized by higher than average intellectual ability coupled with impaired social skills and restrictive, repetitive patterns of interest and activities.
  • Attention Deficit Disorder/Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder
  • Any of a range of behavioral disorders occurring primarily in children, including such symptoms as poor concentration, hyperactivity, and impulsivity.

Although this list does not include all cognitive disorders, these are the top three most frequently diagnosed among today’s youth.  Teachers have to re-strategize their teaching techniques to accommodate exceptional students. Exceptional students think outside-of-the-box, and teachers are required to do the same.  Here are a few characteristics to remember when working with exceptional students.

  1. Be patient.
  2. Be flexible.
  3. Be creative.
  4. Be caring and compassionate.
  5. Be willing.
  6. Be loving.
  7. Be dedicated and committed to their learning.

So, the truth is, exceptional children are taught no differently than any other children. All children require the same amount of love and kindness.  Exceptional children just may need you to utilize these characteristics more frequently.