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ADEC’s Special Education sector highlights the importance of integrating special needs students in a school

United Arab Emirates: Monday, November 12 - 2012 @ 09:28

Based on current combined data, approximately 4,700 special education students across the Emirate of Abu Dhabi require specific intervention, including those with Learning Disabilities, Intellectual Disabilities, Behavior Disorders, Speech and Language Disorders, Physical and Health related Disabilities, Visual and Hearing Impairment, and students with Autism Spectrum Disorders.

Transitioning students are diagnosed with disabilities such as: ASD (Autism Spectrum Disorder), Hearing Impairment, Learning Difficulties, Down Syndrome, and Physical Disabilities.

As part of ADEC’s 10 Year Strategic Plan to provide students with special needs individualized education, while helping them receive quality education, ADEC’s Special Needs Sector launched the 2nd annual Special Education workshop for 130 special needs teachers from Abu Dhabi. Another 130 teachers from across Al Ain and the Western Region are due to receive the exact same training by the end of the week.

The two-day training titled: “Strategies for working with Speech and Language Disorders” offered special needs teachers various techniques on how to work with Speech and Language Disorders, touching upon disorders such as: articulation, language, fluency and hearing impairment.

Ms. Ameena AlKaabi and Mr. Aiman Abdullatif, Speech and Language Specialists from the ADEC, delivered their presentations to a room full of special needs specialists, touching on the different types of Speech and Language Disorders, while identifying the causes of Speech and Language disorders and the most important methods of diagnosis and assessment for the condition.

Methods and strategies of effective treatment were also discussed, as well as the opportunity to learn about the devices used in the diagnosis, evaluation and treatment of speech and language disorders.

Speaking about the initiative, Mr. Adam Hughes, Education Special Programs Section Manager at ADEC, said: “The ADEC regional support team through ADEC’s central office has brought together our special needs teachers to be given information on best practices in managing students with speech and language disorders. From here, our two Speech and Language Specialists, Ms. Ameena and Mr. Aiman, will be providingtraining and workshop opportunities to support schools in addressing and responding to students with speech and language support needs.”

He added: “Teachers will be able to take back to their schools knowledge and more experience. The training offers Individual Education Program development, internal systems and procedures for identifying students with special needs.. The training will.

Following the training, school leaders from across ADEC’s 268 public schools will be offered training opportunities to better understand their roles and functions regarding special education in accordance to the implementation of ADEC’s new policy and procedure handbook, which offers training modules on how to enhance integration methods for special needs students.
“This will be considered the biggest training for our Special Needs sector to date. This training will help to strengthen the way in which schools can identify and respond to the needs of their diverse student population. Schools will also gain a better understanding of the roles and responsibilities required to accommodate and support students with special educational needs,” said Mr. Hughes.

Ms. Amal Al Junaibi, Team Leader, Special Education Needs Services at ADEC caters special needs services to approximately 2,700 students in Abu Dhabi city alone, out of which 600 students have speech and language disorders.

“The most common condition among special needs students is speech and therapy. That is why this workshop is helpful and vital for special needs teachers, since it helps them better understand the needs required for speech and language disorders, and ways to help cater to the condition. It is also important to include the whole school in our strategies and activities regarding special needs students, since at the end of the day we care to help integrate special needs students into a school environment that treats everyone equally, breaking down any separation and discrimination boundaries,” she said.

Ms. Al Junaibi added: “The only request we have from parents with students of special needs is to be a little patient with us since parents obviously have individual demands for their child, which takes time to help cater for since we are one sector that deals with different departments based on the type of request we receive, whether it involves a particular type of instrument to help assist a student, or a change and/or modification in the curriculum based on the students condition. We deal with each case individually and care to provide each student with quality education. At the end of the day their success is ours,” she concluded.

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Monday, November 12- 2012 @ 9:28 UAE local time (GMT+4) Replication or redistribution in whole or in part is expressly prohibited without the prior written consent of Mediaquest FZ LLC.

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