The Communication Gap – Part III

The communication gap that exists between parents and teachers is a topic that’s often discussed among educational professionals. There is also a communication gap between students and teachers.

Students are still learning critical communication and social skills they need to be successful. When these skills are underdeveloped, students may not be able to communicate their needs or advocate for themselves effectively.   Because they get frustrated by this, it can come across as being disrespectful or defiant.

When surrounded by students with underdeveloped communication and social skills, it can be challenging to remain positive and neutral.

The communication gap between students and teachers are not limited to underdeveloped skills. There are also medical reasons why some students are unable to communicate effectively with their teachers or understand what is being communicated directly to them. 

More than 20,000 children are born addicted to drugs each year in the United States. These children enter the world with prescription or illegal drugs in their system and suffer from Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome.   Entering school years later bring multiple challenges to these kids that are outside of their control.  Many of them have learning disabilities and physical health issues.

Fetal exposure to drugs causes many physical and developmental side effects so these children will show signs of brain damage, cognitive delays, and behavioral problems. These issues present themselves at school, where teachers and paraprofessionals are not properly trained to identify and manage them.  In schools where the parent/teacher ratio is high, this adds an additional burden to everyone in the classroom.   

An estimated 40,000 children are born addicted to alcohol each year.   These children suffer a lifetime of side effects from Fetal Alcohol Syndrome. Fetal Alcohol Syndrome can cause health issues such as learning disabilities, attention disorders, poor memory functioning, and hyperactivity.

Addressing the delays and behaviors of children born addicted to drugs or alcohol make it much more difficult to communicate effectively, get them to pay attention in class, help them regulate their behaviors, and bridge the learning gap that exists between them and their peers.

The increasing rate of students entering school with autism creates a whole different dynamic in the classroom. Students with autism have an incredible amount of strengths and abilities that lend themselves to academic pursuits.  These include having an exceptional memory, following schedules and routines, having the ability to think logically, and learning to read at an early age.

However, autism can make communication extremely challenging with these students, especially those who are non-verbal.

Building training programs specifically designed to teach the school staff the what’s, why’s, how’s and when’s of the various behavioral, social, educational, emotional and mental issues that children today have or experience is a critical to effectively communicating and teaching kids.