Children with Special Needs

Meaning of exceptional children

According to pre-primary teachers training“an exceptional child is that child who deviates from the averages or normal child is mental, physical or social characteristics to such an extent that he requires a modification of school practices or special educational service in order to develop to his maximum capacity”.  This definition says that an educationally exceptional child is one who requires a modification in the education programme to meet his specific needs. The usual classroom activities cannot help him much.

Classification of Exceptional Children

  • Mentally Exceptional
  1. Gifted
  2. Backward
  3. Retarded
  • Physically Exceptional
  1. Cripple
  2. Blind and near blind
  3. Deaf and hard of hearing
  4. Defective in speech
  • Socially Exceptional
  1. Delinquents
  2. Problem Children


Distance Learning Teacher Trainingdefines gifted children as “Children possessing high intellectual ability, generally or in a particular field”.

According to Montessori Online Course“gifted children are those individuals, from kindergarten through high school age, who show unusual promise in some socially useful area and whose talent might be stimulated.” Generally, the individual, having I.Q range more than 140, is termed as gifted children.


Definition and meaning of the term backward child

According to Early Childhood Education Programbackwardness is general, is applied to cases where the educational attainment falls below the level of their natural abilities.

According to Pre Primary Teachers Training Course backward child is one who is mid-school carrer is unable to do the work of the class next below that which is normal for his age.


No retardation means impaired or incomplete mental development. Montessori Teacher Trainingdefines mental retardation as significantly sub average general intellectual functioning existing concurrently with deficits in adaptive behaviour and manifested during the developmental period.


During the preschool years i.e. between 2 and 5 there should be some systematic stimulation programme for the slow learners. A good preschool atmosphere will help the child develop confidence and be ready for formal learning. There should be complete freedom for the child to move around, manipulate and experiment with objects around. Opportunities should be provided for developing observation and listening skills so that he could develop the capacity for discrimination. There should also be encouragement for doing their own work and taking up simple responsibilities in the school. There should be direct contact with objects so that the slow learner gets concrete concepts of the objects. The slow learners should never be forced to do anything at this level.

Readiness activities for reading, writing and arithmetic should be given to the children which will encourages them for furthering their interests for formal learning. There should be activities for visual readiness, auditory readiness and motor readiness. The children should be taught to have proper visual perception and discrimination. Hearing deficiencies could be reduced if proper training is given to discriminate between different sounds. In learning to read and write a child has to acquire the habit of moving the eyes from left to right along the line to fix at certain points, to look at the words and then to move to the beginning of the next line. Proper eye-hand co-ordination should be enriched at this stage of educational system.