Head of European University of Lefke (EUL) Dr. Fazıl Küçük Faculty of Education Department of Special Education Prof. Dr. Ayşegül Ataman emphasized “the Importance of Family in Special Education” and made some statements.
Pointing out that having a child who needs special education is a start from long and tiring journey, Ataman said that, “As a result of the negative attitudes put by the society, and dependent continuation of daily life as a result of injuries caused by birth defects in the organs, the individual’s attempts to continue his / her life as a “disabled” result in a difficult situation to overcome in the family”.
Ataman: child is proof that the man and the woman have the characteristics of their breed.
Ataman said that, “We can clearly say that, the feature that makes the family a family is formed at by the means of association of women and men with the child’s bond. Child is proof that the man and the woman have the characteristics of their breed”, and added that the child is a creature that will fulfill the expectations of the family, be assurance of the future and keep the family name alive. Ataman further added that, for this reason, any type of disability that occurs in the child causes these meanings attributed to the child to become meaningless in most of the cases for the family. Ataman stated that, the most basic way of preventing this process of becoming meaningless is to enable the family to develop realistic expectations about their children through forcing the pace of these psychological processes. Ataman also said that, intervention in the earliest period, which will accelerate the developmental slowdowns observed, which will enable them to receive education in an environment integrated with their peers in order to achieve independence called ‘Family Education’ should be started.
Ataman: Parents are the first instructors of children.
Ataman pointed out that, family education was first introduced in the field of special education in the 1970s as part of early intervention programs for children with special needs of 0-6 years and added that parents are the first instructors of children. Ataman further stated that, education of parents is important for the whole society, and it is important for parents to focus on the issues they need, especially when planning their education, to increase the chances that children will be more productive and successful.
Ataman: Family education services include activities carried out systematically by experts
“Parents’ understanding of their children better than other people and their ability to spend more time with their children than an expert, and the improvement of the skills learned at school by parents at home, are considered to be the opinions that support parents’ education to their disabled children”, said Ataman. Ataman further said that, “The family education services provided to ensure parents’ active participation in the education of their children include systematic activities carried out by experts to enable parents to achieve certain objectives related to their children”, and added that the basis of family education lies in the idea of providing knowledge and skills that enable the child to play a role in providing or expanding the treatment.
Ataman: Family education programs are used to teach various skills and concepts to the family
Ataman pointed out that, the main purpose of family education is to teach how parents can educate their children in a natural process and environment rather than attributing the role of teachers to the parents and stated the aim of family education as informing about various aspects of parenting and making parent gain skills. Ataman said that, Family education programs that enable parents to teach children skills and concepts and methods and techniques to control their child’s behavior. Ataman also said that, “Family education programs are used to teach various skills and concepts to the family” and emphasized that these programs can differ in terms application processes and presentations. She also said that, in her study she gave places to approaches that perceive parents as parents; approaches that perceive parents as instructors and approaches that perceive parents as advocators and instructors.
Ataman said that, in the programs that aim to train parents in terms of mother and father roles, information, support and sources about the process of adaptation to parents ‘ children’s disability, socialization of children, relations with siblings, custody and legal proceedings are supplied and she also added that “According to the approach of perceiving parents only as parents, the roles of parents should be parents rather than advocators or instructors. She also stated that, in the programs that aim to train parents as teachers, it is targeted to introduce child-rearing approaches, to contribute to the language development, social and emotional development of the child, to give the teach parent a variety of behavior and independent life skills. Ataman further stated that, in the programs that aim to train parents as advocators or instructors, parents are educated in terms of legal advocacy and finding educational, social and economic resources that are expert on children.
“As a result, family education in special education is important in order to minimize the impact of inadequacy on the development of the individual. It is an integral part of early intervention when children seeking developmental support are diagnosed,” and emphasized the increasing importance of family in special education in recent years.