Special education is the teaching students with differences in a way that addresses their individual needs. Special educators can provide consultations, assessments, intervention plans, progress reports and ongoing educational support for children, teenagers and young adults who are experiencing learning-related difficulties.
Special educators use a client-centred approach to planning and collaborate with an interdisciplinary team of professionals to ensure all needs are being met. In addition, our special educators provide various workshops and support groups to help all age groups, including school-aged children, teenagers and young adults. Some topics include:
- Time management and organizational skills
- Research, report writing and study skills
- Creating a functional study group
- Stress management
- Attention and focus
The role of special educators is to prevent, identify and lessen the impact of learning difficulties by:
- Screening for, identifying and assessing learning difficulties and disorders
- Customizing an intervention plan based on the needs of the client
- Assisting and advising teachers on teaching methods
- Using one-on-one or small group intervention sessions and conducting themed workshops based on needs
- Create modifications and accommodations to the general education curriculum
Special education services help children/adolescents who:
- Have an identified learning difficulty, such as Dyslexia (a reading difficulty), Dysorthography (a spelling and written expression difficulty) or Dyscalculia (a mathematics difficulty)
- Have been diagnosed with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) or other disorders that affect their academic functioning or performance
- Have difficulty with reading, writing, mathematics and/or other academic subject areas
- Have difficulty with behaviour, attention, concentration, anxiety or motivation in an academic setting
- Struggle with the transition from middle school to high school or from high school to college
- Struggle with study skills (e.g., organizational skills, time management, test taking and preparation, writing reports or note-taking)
What role can parents play regarding special education?
Parents can become as involved as they want to be. Parents are welcome to sit in on regular sessions. Special educators can teach parents about activities to do at home that support the work done in the session. Most importantly, they can keep in touch with the parents in person, by phone or through email to share ideas and insights.
How does Morneau Shepell use special education?
Our special educators work with clients of all ages and abilities and collaborate with an interdisciplinary team to develop an education plan and ensure that all developmental needs are being met.
Morneau Shepell’s Children’s Support Solutions is family-centred and interdisciplinary. This means that we always start with the questions,
“What will work for this child?” and “What is right for the family?” If special education is deemed to be useful, then the educator will propose a plan.
However, we do not think solely in terms of special education; we think about the mix of therapies and education that will help the child. In the Morneau Shepell model, therapists and educators are not just under one roof; they plan together, train together and work together on a client file. It is an integrated approach to helping the family.
How are special educators trained?
Special educators are certified teachers and often have advanced degrees such as a Master in Education. They continuously seek to expand their knowledge and frequently have additional training in specific methodologies.