Thispaper examines Ruth Wilson’s book Specialeducation needs in the early years. The book is non-fictional and focuses on the genre of specialeducation in early childhood. Ruth Wilson has in the past writtennumerous books and articles on the area. This particular edition aimsat expounding on critical issues in the field.
Theideas proposed by the book emanate from a backdrop that the bestpractices in the field are likely to change and grow over time.Consequently, the knowledge on early childhood special education willcontinue to evolve as the conditions and values of the societycontinue to change. With this in mind, there is need to educateteachers on the best practices in early childhood special education.The central theme of the book is to provide an understanding of thebest practice in early interventions for young children with specialneeds by adopting a more suitable framework with the changes in thesocial and learning environment.
Thebook is written specifically for qualified teachers and those intraining. Other people who may find the book helpful are schooladministrators, parents with children that have exceptional needs andthe general public.
of the content
Accordingto Wilson (2003) the most common approach or intervention that hasbeen used by most educators is the focus on the deficit or disabilityof the child with an attempt to
‘’ FixIt’’. Wilson (2003) argues that this tactic has limitedpotential for success. Many disabilities cannot be fixed. Forinstance a blind child may not have the ability to see. A childmissing a limb may not have the inability to kick a ball. Thebenefits of a ‘’ Fix it’’ approach to a more generalizedlearning context are usually very minimal. The approach is thereforenot suitable.
The book proposes that the most suitable intervention should involvecircumventing the barriers that young children with special needsoften face in their attempt to learn, play and interact with thesocial and physical environment. By-passing these barriers can beattained bycreating competencies in the overlapping areas oflearning, play and interaction with the environment. The competency-based approach takes a look at the child in a holistic manner asopposed to focusing on the deficits of the child. The main objectiveis to develop confidence in the young child, while reducing thenegative impacts that the disability may bring to the learning anddevelopment of the child. The approach therefore focuses on thestrengths of the child as opposed to the challenges that the child isfacing due to disability.
The book proposes a framework that promotes services that are bothintegrated (offered in the main stream environment) andindividualized. The book also propagates the need to haveprofessionals who understand the nature of disabilities and how toassess the various disabilities. In addition, teachers should workwith the families in order to provide the best learning environmentfor the children. In summary, Wilson proposes a framework thatinvolves: the ecological framework, a family centered approach andmeeting the needs of individual child by developing a curriculum forevery child.
MyReaction to the Book
In my opinion, the book is instructive. Ruth Wilson providespractical guidelines that can be improve the teaching approaches ofchildren with disability during their early years. This thereforemakes the book to be more informative.
I agree with a number of issues proposed by the book. One aspect isthe integration of the child’s family when coming up with teachingand learning approaches. In my opinion, the views she proposesstrikes a useful balance between the school environment and the home.In addition, the focus on an ecological framework is also verybeneficial. This is because children learn from the environment. Itis therefore essential to develop a leaning environment that can meetthe needs of disabled children.
Apossible factor that the book suggests is involving parents whenteaching children with special needs. The family spends a lot of timewith the child therefore their integration in creating a vision forthe child is important. The book however leaves out the fact that itis not possible to teach children with special needs without actuallylooking at what causes of the special needs and how they can beaddressed. When compared to other books by authors such as Wall(2010), there is need to respond to this special needs. As a result,educators should look into this inabilities in order find mechanismsof effectively dealing with them.
Ican state that the book has in a way affected my perception aboutchildren with special needs. I plan to work with young children withspecial needs. I have learnt that just as Wilson (2003) argues, wecannot fix disability, as educators we can find the best ways toeffectively teach this children.
The book is indeed beneficial because it improves knowledge in thearea of Special educational needs in the early years. What is evidentis that if the prepositions of the writer are implemented they canactually assist children with special needs during the learningprocess. The book advocates for problem solving as opposed toconcentrating on the problem. Readers will find the book educativeand informative.
Wall,K. (2010). SpecialNeeds and Early Years: A Practitioner Guide.Sage.
Wilson,R. (2003). Specialeducation needs in the early years.Psychology Press.