Yes, I can: Special Needs Students and Inclusive Education

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Programme summary
Special needs is an umbrella term for a staggering array of diagnoses: physical (e.g. muscular dystrophy, chronic asthma, epilepsy), developmental (e.g. dyslexia, processing disorder, autism), behavioural/emotional (e.g. ADHD, oppositional defiance disorder, panic attacks), and sensory impaired (e.g. blind, visually impaired, limited hearing). Understanding the characteristics of special needs and their implications for behaviour, learning and the ability to process information is critical for anyone working or interacting with special needs students. This course will give participants a fundamental understanding of different special needs diagnosis, planning inclusive lessons, creating inclusive school environment, teacher’s emotions and attitudes working with special needs students and working with parents.

The main objective of the course is to prepare participants to work effectively with different special needs:
- While teaching other subjects
- For working with parents
- For creating inclusive school environment for all learners
By the end of the course participants will have a substantial understanding of different special needs characteristics and consequences for learning. They will also practice to use evidence-based practices to provide effective interventions and explore typical strengths and weaknesses of individuals with special needs. The course will address the specifics of working with parents of students with special needs and creating inclusive school environment.

The course is designed as an interactive process with emphasis on establishing a mentor relationship between participants and trainer. The format of the course is didactic, experiential, and interactive along with discussions, individual and team exercises. The focus is on experiential learning and workshop approach. The participants will also see examples of inclusive education for special needs students in Slovenian education system.

Programme day-by-day
Introductory meeting, explanation of practical arrangements, presentation of timetable, information about course venue.
Understanding differences: this part provides an overview of different types of special needs including physical, developmental, emotional/behavioural, and sensory impaired. The emphasis will be on introducing the consequences for teaching and learning and making effective contact with students with special needs.
Patterns of strengths and weaknesses: participants will learn about strengths and weaknesses amongst special needs students, especially as these pertain to learning differences. Growth mindset theory is also discussed and how the lack of appropriate attitudes can lead to various social and relationship challenges.
Using evidence-based practices: hyper and hypo reactivity, body awareness and balance issues, and how these sensory difficulties can sometimes manifest themselves into strong emotional and behavioural reactions, including the importance of prevention and teaching self-advocacy and coping strategies. Participants will practice different tools for working with special needs, e.g.,,
Practical strategies: reflection about current teaching strategies and brainstorming about new effective strategies for working with special needs, peer exchange.
Best practices in inclusive education: study visit.
Half day excursion.
Design and development of learning material: we use the term “universal design” to emphasize the inclusive design of instruction to make it meaningful and useful for all students. We also look at best practices for documents such as using clear fonts, organizing text with headings, and describing images with alternative text.
Motivation: expectations and goals, reflection, feedback, social learning, appreciate differences, student space, promoting positive behaviour.
Teacher’s professional and personal growth for working with special needs: teaching resources, personal reflection, supervision, emotional care.
Creating inclusive school environment: participants discuss the process used for deciding on reasonable accommodations for students with special needs. We identify specific accommodations that students with special needs might need in order to fully participate in broader life at the school.
Working with parents: parents’ perceived competence, parents’ attitudes and beliefs towards school, communication with parents (discussing concerns, listening, producing written information), involvement of parents in school life and their child’s learning.
Key learning points. Planning follow up activities, dissemination and implementation of learning outcomes. Discussing possibilities for future cooperation among participants.

Course organiser
Primera Group
Ljubljana, Slovenia

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Upcoming sessions

03.10.2021 > 09.10.2021 (ID: 103866)
Register before 24.09.2021
03.04.2022 > 09.04.2022 (ID: 175151)
Fully booked
09.10.2022 > 15.10.2022 (ID: 175152)
Register before 13.09.2022

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Primera Group
Primera Group
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