The game is not the only thing that chess helps students with special needs learn. Students also learn etiquette and social cues, like shaking hands. These social skills will prove helpful as the students go on to fulfill their goals.
There are numerous reasons why learning to play chess may benefit children with special needs. The skills that kids learn playing chess, like decision-making strategies and concentration, can transfer to academics like math.
There have been substantial changes in the way that math is taught. Math has moved beyond the memorization of facts and fast computational skills to focus on the theoretical understanding of mathematical processes and numerous strategies for problem-solving. These are skills that are encouraged for enhancing the math abilities of every student, including those with special needs.
Skillful math students are able to make sense of problems and proceed through solutions, reason abstractly and quantitatively, make arguments and evaluate the reasoning of others, use math to solve problems in everyday life, use right tools to solve problems, communicate accurately, discern structure and patterns, and use universal methods for calculations that repeat.
Chess can offer an different educational teaching strategy to help students with special needs become acquainted with mathematical practices and concepts.
There are a few studies that assess the possible benefits of chess for students with special needs. In one study, special education classes were unsystematically assigned to have one day of chess instruction instead of math class for a school year or continue with five days of customary math instruction.
The researchers evaluated students in the treatment and control groups in the areas of concentration abilities and math calculation. At the end of the year, the two groups didn’t differ in written mathematical tasks or concentration. Though, in the areas of calculation tests and counting, the children who took part in the chess program did better.