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Mentoring youth with special needs

Mentoring students with disabilities may be quite challenging because until recently mentoring programs didn’t specifically cater for them. However, in a recent study, it was found that mentoring students with special needs has potential benefits such as increased self-esteem, social competence and independent living skills.

Furthermore, it may also be important for the development of social skills such as; self- determination, quality of life and career and employment goals.

Parents, teachers, and society need to understand that disabilities are merely factors of life, not life itself. Parents of disabled children should teach them to accept their disabilities and then encourage them to live their lives to the utmost normalcy.

However, too many people today still hold outdated and ignorant views about people with disabilities .Caring mentors can impact and shape the self-esteem of a child, especially one who is disabled. When these youth are supported by a mentor, they feel special and valued. This mentor can let the child know that they believe in them. A belief is one step on the road to success..

Author: Catherine Perri - JUMP Trainer

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