Rita Szőke

Early childhood professional
Special education teacher

I have been teaching children with extreme behaviors for 25 years as a Language and Communication Therapist. The focus of my work is children with attention deficit and behavior issues. Throughout my career, I have often worked directly with kindergartens, counselling kindergarten teachers on how to involve children with extreme behavior. I have often found that if non-disabled and disabled children play together there are long-lasting, positive effects on both sides. I believe in playing together which can build lasting friendships, broader social skills and personal principles, increased comfort levels with people who have special needs (and vice versa), and caring, nurturing kindergarten environments. The most important function of friendship is to make people feel cared for, loved, and safe. Children with disabilities can create long-lasting friendships that would not be possible otherwise and these friendships can give them the skills to navigate social relationships later in life.