Special Needs: Exactly What Does It Means And Why Do We Care?

Spe·cial needs.

noun

(In the context of children at school) particular educational requirements resulting from learning difficulties, physical disability, or emotional and behavioural difficulties.

“the absorption of children with special needs into mainstream schools.”

specialWhat Exactly Is A Special Needs Child

The definition above is taken straight from the Dictionary.

Soon after Daughters of Sheba Foundation was publicly launched, one of the things we announced was that we would be hosting an online Christmas Auction. The benefactor of whatever amount we raise, we said, would go to our Special Needs Funds.

As this Auction will open on Sunday, November 1, 2020, thought it a good idea to have a brief conversation about what exactly does special needs mean.

Given that we were and remain in the middle of a pandemic, we wanted to find ways to fundraise online. We were also concerned not to simply constantly “beg” for money but exchange value with potential donors. Our first campaign, the Students Data Grant, has been a success. However, it is a one-way street in as much as donors only have the satisfaction of helping the children. For many, I would say all, knowing that several children are able to access learning online during this pandemic is all they need. We, however, went further and post regular updates about the progress. In fact, at the time of writing this, we are only C$149 away from our targetted C$1,000.00.

A Special Need Child Is…

All sorts of images come to mind when we think about special needs children. One that most often come to me is that of an internationally well-known public figure mocking one such person, albeit an adult.

A special needs child is a youth who has been determined to require special attention and specific necessities that other children do not. The state may declare this status for the purpose of offering benefits and assistance for the child’s well-being and growth. Special needs can also be a legal designation, particularly in the adoption and foster care community, wherein the child and guardian receive support to help them both lead productive lives. Julia Kagan, Investopedia

Wikipedia adds another level to the above definition by Kagan.

Special needs can range from people with autismAsperger syndromecerebral palsyDown syndromedyslexiadyspraxiablindnessdeafnessADHD, and cystic fibrosis. They can also include cleft lips and missing limbs. The types of special needs vary in severity, and a student with a special need is classified as being a severe case when the student’s IQ is between 20 and 35. These students typically need assistance in school, and have different services provided for them to succeed in a different setting.

Why Did We Choose This Group

specialIt was Clara Brown‘s suggestion that we target this group for support. If I am recalling the conversation correctly her exact words were, “Let us focus on special needs children as in Jamaica, too little attention is given to these kids.”

While this article is a little dated, the concern remains the same – exactly as Clara said. Invite you to read the full article here but this is a brief excerpt from it.

“At the age of two years, DJ’s mother became concerned about his speech. They visited their local health centre where his mother was told, “boys are slower than girls.”

So there were no alarm bells. She was somewhat reassured, though she was still a little concerned. So when he was almost three years old, she took him somewhere to be assessed. They told her at the assessment centre that he could not be assessed properly until he was six.

Next, she tried to get him into school and when she went to the first school she was told that ‘they don’t take children like him’. This made her very frustrated because she had done so much in trying to get services for him. So she kept him at home until the age of six years when she thought she would get him into a government-run primary school that took children who had special needs.”

A Drop In The Bucket

What we will raise from our Christmas Auction will, of course, be a drop in the bucket. However, my response to that is – it is a start, at least for us.

With the help of six wonderful women, who donated their craft, art, products and services, our Auction will open from November 1 and closes at midnight on November 15, 2020.

The six women helping us are:

  1. Aims Abson of Big Blue Barn Designs in Red Deer, Alberta. You can see more of her work on Instagram @bigbluebarndesigns
  2. Lea of Mersi Cookware in Calgary, Alberta. She is on Instagram as well and you can see more of her products there @mersicookware
  3. Kedesha Dallas Goode of Creative Goodness Hub in Kingston, Jamaica, donated product and more of her work is on Instagram @creativegoodenesshub
  4. Ann McLarty Jackson, professional during the day and excellent artist at all other hours in the USA. See more at @amj550
  5. Alissa McLeod you might recognise as one of our first clients. Author and creative, she is giving back and paying it forward and you can learn more about her @insideoutam
  6. Viviene of Veloria Art Jamaica, also in Kingston, Jamaica. You can see much more of her amazing art here @veloriaartja

Grateful To Them And To You

We all are so grateful to these women who said yes to our request for help! Not one of them hesitated!

Also grateful in advance to you who will support us come November 1, 2020. You can bid for any or all of the items by emailing your bid to daughtersofsheba@gmail.com. Maybe you do not want any of the items but would like to support our Special Needs Fund, simply donate here.

Thank you and peace and love,

2017

 

 

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