Skip to main content

Interaction Among Special Needs Kids - SOFTIN

  • Published: 2009-07-15 (Revised/Updated 2010-07-11) : Author: Capt. David Bacon
  • Synopsis: SOFTINs crew of experienced at-sea educators uses every observational tactic available to assess the effectiveness of an educational adventure.

Main Document

SOFTIN's crew of experienced at-sea educators uses every observational tactic available to assess the effectiveness of an educational adventure on each and every passenger as we work through our curriculum.

Captain David Bacon
Captain David Bacon - Photo Credit - Ramona Lisa McFadyen
SOFTIN's crew has learned some really useful techniques and tactics.

One valuable assessment tool is observing interaction between children. Here is what we've learned and the approach we've developed... special-needs kids typically have an emotional shell they have carefully built up. We recognize it when they come aboard withdrawn, quiet and with little eye-contact. These kids often remain in this mode while we cruise the harbor and give informative talks about the various vessels, structures, points of interest and how the waterfront functions as a community. This works out very well because they quietly soak up all of this information, as evidenced by how they recite some of what they have learned as we cruise back into the harbor at the end of the trip.

Once we begin introducing them to the critters of the sea, things change rapidly. These critters... seals, sea lions, dolphins, cormorants, loons, seagulls and pelicans (including our greatest friend, Bentwing the disabled brown pelican) help us break through the emotional shells. When the youngsters begin interacting with the critters (making sea lion sounds, cheering the dolphins, feeding the birds and other fun stuff), the truly magic moment occurs. They come busting out of their shells and become emotionally normal; happy, fully-engaged, laughing, sharing with the other kids.

This is one of the key things we watch for... how well the kids interact with one another. We've learned that once the kids share and play, they are having an exceptionally rare (for them) opportunity to forget their issues. We call it, "living large outside the shell". Caregivers accompanying the children recognize it to, and they visibly relax and celebrate.

The education and adventure our program provides is wonderfully beneficial, but the carefully-crafted opportunity to "live large outside the shell" is precious.

Capt. David Bacon
Executive Director

Have Your Say! - Add your comment or discuss this article on our FaceBook Page.

Interesting Similar Topics
1 : Last of the Seven Summits - Making History for Hemophilia! : Save One Life, Inc..
2 : Amputee Model Breaking Barriers in Fashion and Shattering Stigma of Disability : Global Disability Inclusion.
3 : Steven Foelsch - A Busy Advocate for People with Disabilities : Starkloff Disability Institute in St. Louis.
4 : Diabetic NASCAR Driver Wins at Daytona International Speedway : Eli Lilly and Company.
5 : Two-Time Cancer Survivor Heads to South Pole : Milestones Communications.
From our Motivational - Inspirational section - Full List (38 Items)

Submit disability news, coming events, as well as assistive technology product news and reviews.

Loan Information for low income singles, families, seniors and disabled. Includes home, vehicle and personal loans.

Famous People with Disabilities - Well known people with disabilities and conditions who contributed to society.

List of awareness ribbon colors and their meaning. Also see our calendar of awareness dates.

Blood Pressure Chart - What should your blood pressure be, and information on blood group types/compatibility.

1 : Eating at Night, Sleeping By Day Alters Key Blood Proteins
2 : Interior Car Temperature Can Become Life-threatening for Children in an Hour
3 : 20 New Episodes of Letters to Lynette with Dr. Lynette Louise to Air on The Autism Channel in 2018
4 : Turnstone Center Designated as Official Paralympic Training Site by US Olympic Committee
5 : Help Your Child in School by Adding Language to The Math
6 : 50% of Retirees Saw Little or No COLA Increase in Net 2018 Social Security Benefits
7 : Turnstone Endeavor Games Concludes with National Records Broken
8 : Spinning in Circles and Learning From Myself by Tsara Shelton

Disclaimer: This site does not employ and is not overseen by medical professionals. Content on Disabled World is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of a physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. See our Terms of Service for more information.

Reporting Errors: Disabled World is an independent website, your assistance in reporting outdated or inaccurate information is appreciated. If you find an error please let us know.

© 2004 - 2018 Disabled World™