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Introduction: Literature has led us to conflicting and unclear results about the relationship between Self-Concept and children with Special needs. It leaves the question unanswered whether there is or not a clear connection between the two. Assumptions have been created that children with special needs usually report a significantly low Self-Concept when compared to other children of their age. Terms like "self-idea", "self-observations", "confidence", "self-image", "self-assessments", "self-comprehension", "self-esteem", and "self-respect" have been utilized to allude to a person's thoughts and emotions about oneself (Damon & Hart, 1986; Minke et al., 1996; Grolnick & Ryan, 1990; Morvitz & Motta, 1992; Stone & May, 2002). Self-Concept is simply the discernment including our mind frames, sentiments, and information about our aptitudes, capacities, appearance, and social adequacy (Byrne, 1984).
Review of literature:Growing up is a problematic phase for children, as they face exceptional amount of burden inflicted on them by the society (Lukash,2002). An analytic study (Farokhi & Hashemi,2011) depicts that children talk about their encounters/experiences and their perception of things through their drawings. This makes it important for us to assess what children with special needs experience in their day-to-day life through their drawings. Another study (Onetti, Fernandez-Garcia & Castillo-Rodrigue, 2019) conducted on Self Concept changes of children over time stated that children deal with lower concept due to constant shifts in school and also as they age. This study brings us to the awareness that we need to empower children with substantial psychological and academic self-concept.
Methodology:The data comprises of 38 children of age ranging between 6-12 years belonging to both the genders. It was collected from a reputed private school in Delhi-NCR. The age range of the children made them fall in the group of middle childhood. The study aimed to explore the self-concept of children with special needs in their middle childhood. The objectives were: -
- To assess whether children with special needs in their middle childhood faced a negative or positiveself-concept.
- To assess the different predictors of positive or negative self-concept (if found) in children with special needs through their self-portrait drawings.
- To assess whether the children with special needs (CWSN) are able to achieve age-appropriate socio-emotional behaviors.
A hypothesis was made stating that there would be a significant negative Self-Concept seen in young children with special needs.
Results & Conclusion: To assess the self-portrait drawings, we used indicators from the DAP Test, a study by Lukash,2002 & Farokhi &Hashemi, 2011. The most common indicators that were seen to affect self-concept through children’s drawings were omission and distortion, use of erasure, excessive details, Pencil pressure, accentuation, encapsulation, faint lines, surroundings around the person. The interesting observation that made was that some children drew robotic figures, some drew shapes that depicted their face and body. A very different and interesting factor was seen in a drawing by a boy who drew a crown over his head also another child drew rain and sun together in his painting. A drawing clearly depicted that the child was unsure about how to portray herself so she drew herself in 3 different figures, first being only her face, second her half body and third was her complete self. 18 children out of 38 drew a very small self-portrait which signifies feelings of incompetence, shame, cheese, fear and shame. Another important theme that came to attention was stretched out hands drawn by 22 out of 38 children which depicted feelings of insecurity and need to connect with the environment and others.