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10 Tips for Teaching Students with Special Needs

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Teaching children with special needs is a constant learning process because all children learn and grow differently.? Below are just a few tips that can make your teaching experience go a little smoother.

Do your homework. Do some research and learn about your student?s disability.? The more you know about the disability, the better you?ll understand the student and their learning process.

Switch it up. Students with special needs are often easily distracted.? Try alternating between different teaching approaches during lessons to keep the student interested.

No distractions. Simple things can distract students with special needs and it?s important to rid of all possible distractions.? For some special needs children, a metronome can be very distracting.? Instead of using a metronome when teaching, try using your hand to keep rhythm.? Removing simple distractions, like the metronome, will help the student stay focused so both of you can get the most out of lessons.

Back up plan. After working with a student for some time, you?ll learn what methods work best to teach them.? Keep those methods in your back pocket and when lessons just aren?t going well; revert back to those methods to ensure your student gets something out of each lesson.

Positive reinforcement. All children respond better with positive reinforcement.? Constantly remind the student how well they?re doing or how great that song was.? Don?t underestimate the power of a simple ?Good Job!?

Practice reinforcement. Students with special needs may have a harder time practicing outside of lessons.? Make sure the student?s parents understand how to help their child practice.

Keep it simple. Just like with younger students, keep the language you use simple.? Avoid difficult and abstract language that will only confuse the student.

Be patient! Patience is an absolute necessity when working with students with special needs. With encouragement and patience, any student can learn an instrument.

Let them think. Some students with disabilities need extra, uninterrupted time to think and process new techniques.? After teaching the child a new technique, give them a moment to process the information.

Make it fun. All children, not just those with special needs, have a hard time staying focused.? Try to make lessons as fun and engaging as possible.

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