Teachers far and wide! Our integrated course on “Special needs students in the European framework,” “non formal education” and “stress management” has taken place. Participants from Poland, Germany, Romania and Greece had the chance to explore different countries approach, the recognition of neurodiversity, early identification of special needs, non-formal education for inclusion and stress management techniques. Because teaching special needs students can be challenging, but it’s also an opportunity for personal and professional growth. So, buckle up and keep reading!
The discussion between participants has spotted out that, just like differences among people, every country has a unique approach to special needs education. Some countries segregate special needs students like pencils, markers and crayons in the same art supply box. They belong to different compartments but still are part of the same box. Others integrate them into regular classrooms like different color pencils in a pencil case.
Coming to neurodiversity, every special-needs student is like a unique puzzle piece. They may have autism, dyslexia, ADHD, or other conditions, but each one of them has their unique strengths and challenges.
This approach has the benefit of relieving the individual from the belief of being inherently pathological appreciating individual strength and accommodating for weaknesses.
Onother important aspect is early recognition of special needs. It is like spotting a treasure in a pile of rocks. By identifying signs of conditions early on, teachers can develop personalized plans to help students overcome their challenges and maximize their potential.
Promoting non-formal education can be like hosting a party where everyone is welcome and has something to do. Students with special needs can benefit from art therapy, music therapy, and physical therapy, among other activities. These activities can help develop skills and promote social interaction, making students feel included and improving their self-esteem.
Stress management techniques can fit in student’s toolbox, for them to use when they need to regulate their emotions. Techniques such as deep breathing, mindfulness, and meditation can help students cope with their challenges and develop healthy habits.
In conclusion, teaching special needs students is a rewarding and vital job that requires understanding, patience, and dedication. By recognizing neurodiversity, identifying needs early on, promoting non-formal education for inclusion, and teaching stress management techniques, teachers can create a supportive and inclusive environment for all students. Remember, every student deserves an equal opportunity to learn and grow, just like every puzzle piece has a unique place in the bigger picture.
Author: Giuseppe Perrotti, JUMP Trainer