Working with children or adults who have special needs can be a very rewarding career, but can also be very challenging. There are many skills people who work with special needs patients are required to have. Below is a list of some of these skills and how you can develop them in order to connect better with those you work with every day.

Great Communication

Anyone who wants to work in special needs has to have great communication skills. You may have to communicate with people who have behavioral issues, learning disabilities, and speech impediments. Communicating clearly and effectively can make your job a lot less difficult. Work on your commands, body language, and tone of voice. When you can clearly communicate your patients can better understand you.


Organization is a must for anyone working with the disabled. It is easier to perform any job when you are well-organized, but especially when you may have to juggle daily paperwork, medical charts, schedules, disability benefits and insurance laws, and keep track your own lists and schedules. Use technology to set reminders and alarms and to help keep you on track. Find a filing system that works for you and with the facility you’re in. It may take a bit of time and effort, but when you get a system down, stick with it!


Anyone who has ever worked with those who have mental or physical disabilities can tell you it’s anything but easy. Many employees do not have the patience to handle patients who may need help at all hours. Working with disabled patients presents unique challenges in many ways, and you have to be flexible and adaptable enough to roll with the punches. The stress can push anyone to the breaking point so you have to find your own way to relax and find peace as you go. It might be taking a longer break, learning to depend on co-workers, or simple taking deep breaths when something unexpected happens.


People who work with disabled children and adults must be committed to their profession. You will have to interact with these people daily, and build lasting relationships. You must be willing to go the extra mile to help those in your care, and have a real bond with them. If you can’t connect easily it might be hard to find your footing or feel welcomed at all.
Many people get a lot of joy out of helping those who have a physical or mental disability. Even though working with disabilities can be a very fulfilling career, it is certainly not for everyone. There are many skills necessary for working in this field and taking the time to refine them can help you find your place and keep you on the right path.