Supporting Special Needs Students

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All children learn differently and some need a little extra support. Exceptional students require teaching materials that are adapted to suit their unique learning styles. It’s important to recognise that these students are not less intelligent than others, but that they process information differently.

It can be a challenge for educators to adapt to the needs of exceptional learners, but there are many things parents and teachers can do to assist students.

Choose the Right School

The school environment is vital for ensuring special needs students achieve their full potential. The school should be supportive, respectful of diversity and provide personalised learning plans when required. Teachers should be trained to work with exceptional students and tailor the curriculum to suit their needs. Many schools employ co-teachers and aides who work individually with students, providing valuable one-on-one support.

Communication

Communication between parents and teachers is essential for supporting students with special needs. Teachers can gain much insight into their students’ needs by discussing strengths and weaknesses with parents. Together parents and teachers can design personalised learning plans that build on strengths and foster self-esteem. Being engaged with their child’s education also gives parents the opportunity to reinforce skills learned in the classroom at home and implement consistent behaviour management strategies.

Seek Support

Meeting the needs of exceptional students requires time, knowledge and specialised skills. Fortunately, there is a lot of support available today. Detailed lesson plans and learning strategies can be found online, and there are also support groups and forums for sharing knowledge and information. These resources can provide an important lifeline when educators and parents are feeling overwhelmed. There are also experts in the field of special education who assess students and provide advice about how to manage learning needs. These professionals have a range of strategies and approaches to draw on., depending on the student’s requirements.

Assistive Technology

Technology is advancing rapidly and there are many low-cost applications available to assist students with special needs. For example, kids who struggle with writing can now make use of speech-to-text applications when completing assignments. In the past, these students were penalised because they couldn’t put their thoughts into writing, despite the fact that their comprehension skills were sound. Students on the autism spectrum have been found to benefit from assistive technology such as virtual-reality headsets in the classroom. These applications boost confidence and make learning fun.

Exceptional students require exceptional educators. These tips will help parents and teachers rise to the challenge.