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Parents urged to maximise lockdown for special needs children

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Parents and relatives of children living with special needs have been urged to make the most of the COVID-19 lockdown to provide all-round support to them.

President of the International Association of Special Education (IASE), Nigerian chapter, Prof. Tolu Eniolorunda, gave the charge while speaking at a Webinar on supporting children and persons with special needs during the COVID-19 pandemic. The webinar was organised by the inclusive education and IEP centre (IEIEPC).

Pointing out that the lockdown provides an opportunity for parents to give deserved attention, care and support to the children, Prof. Eniolorunda called on the families of special needs children to be consciously involved in their wellbeing.

She advised them to take the opportunity to understand the strengths and weaknesses, abilities and disabilities of those categories of children to enable them give the support necessary for the realisation of their potentials.

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“This period offers a significant advantage to parents, teachers and caregivers of children with special needs to give more attention to this category of children. Prior to now, most parents were too busy with so many engagements that they never had time for them; hence they lack awareness of the abilities of these children.”

They should take full advantage of this period to understand their abilities to support them accordingly.”

She also stressed the need for families of children with special needs to appreciate the challenges of such children; exercise patience with them; engage and study them to discover their hidden potentials; inculcate healthy living styles in them; and seek to understand their temperament and behaviour.

Other notable special education professionals who spoke at the webinar were the director, IEIEPC, Mr. Oyeyinka Oluwawumi; Prof. Olufemi Fakolade and Dr. John Oyundoyin, both of the department of special education at the University of Ibadan (UI).

The IEIEPC is a non-governmental organisation devoted to improving lives of special needs children and persons through advocacy and enlightenment campaign.

The campaign is for inclusion, providing services, training teachers, parents and other stakeholders on issues of inclusive education, special education and individualised educational planning in unique ways.

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