School-Based Rehabilitation Services in India: What School Counsellors Can Do

School-Based Rehabilitation Services in India: What School Counsellors Can Do

Thomas Jacob, Aneesh Kumar
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-7998-7630-4.ch010
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The chapter focuses on significant aspects of counselling students with special needs. This chapter emphasizes continuing life adjustment through the lens of a person-centred approach. The chapter familiarises counsellors with ways to create an environment/climate for the learners in school for them to develop to the fullest and learn to cope with life. The focus of the chapter lies in a school-based rehabilitation model. Additionally, the chapter provides a three-tier model of different interventions for use in school settings.
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Background: Counselling Students With Exceptional Needs

Counselling is a personalised and intimate conversation between a trained counsellor and a client, facing social, emotional, and other varied problems (Paré & Lysack, 2006). Counselling can help in incorporating valuable lessons in daily life. Counsellors promote their clients’ development and growth by assisting clients in working on roadblocks in their growth journey. Counselling acts as a guide to solve problems or to learn to cope with these problems, which are tough to crack (Reddy, Devi, & Banu, 2018). The counselling space provides a safe space for the client to try out the skills learnt during the process before using it in the real world. Furthermore, it aids in the improvement and learning of skills for daily functioning and thus increasing self-esteem and self-acceptance. The counselling requirements of students with special needs are varied and therefore need focus and attention.

As the name suggests, counselling students with special needs involves improving lives and dealing with these students’ challenges. Although this population’s requirements are different, counselling follows the same process for all people. The ultimate goal of counselling is to help the client live a satisfying and resourceful life in the contexts in which they are. Counselling practices for the special needs population has developed over time. The significant growth in counselling is learning how to manage emotions and understand different perspectives to control the environment better.

Since many schools in India do not have a formal counselling centre for children with disabilities and needs in the school environment, students do not have access to counsellors. They are unable to deal with the school’s needs (Kodad & Kazi, 2014). Many places provide untrained staff support services that can harm a child (Rajaraman et al., 2012). School counsellors can help students better adjust to the school environment and further relieve parents and schools the problems they face in managing these students.

Key Terms in this Chapter

School-Based Intervention: Strategies applied in school settings which require interdisciplinary collaboration and coordination to improve the health and well-being of students, often by reducing or preventing pathology and problem behaviors (e.g., depression, social anxiety, cigarette smoking, drug or alcohol use, bullying and aggression).

IEP: Individualized Education Program. A plan describing the roles and responsibilities of different professionals such as special education and related services to meet the unique educational needs of a student with a disability.

Inclusive Education: Inclusive education means including children from all backgrounds and kinds in the same school. It can aid and create learning opportunities for groups who have traditionally been excluded.

Rehabilitation Counsellor: A rehabilitation counsellor is a counsellor who possesses the specialised knowledge, skills, and attitudes needed to collaborate in a professional relationship with persons with disabilities to achieve their personal, social, psychological, and vocational goals. (Rehabilitation Counseling Consortium, 2005)

Consultation-Collaboration Model: A model of creating effective programs which require consultants from different disciplines to work together and consult and collaborate regularly to create efficient and effective programs. The successful implementation of the model depends on this consultation and collaboration between the professionals.

Rehabilitation: The World Report on Disability says rehabilitation is “a set of measures that assist individuals who experience, or are likely to experience, disability to achieve and maintain optimal functioning in interaction with their environments” (World Health Organization, 2011).

Client-Centred Theory: It is a form of psychotherapy which was developed by Carl Rogers in the early 1940s. It focusses on therapist’s consistent empathic understanding of, acceptance of, and respect for the client’s frame and understanding the ability of each individual to grow.

Students With Exceptional Needs: Students with physical, mental, or emotional disabilities or disadvantages who require special care.

Special Education: Education programs, services, and instruction specially designed and provided to children with learning, behavioral, or physical disabilities to assist them in their learning and development.

School Counselling: Guidance and counselling offered at school to students, parents, and other caregivers—focusing on academic, personal, social, career adjustment, development, and achievement of students.

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