For many students, learning disorders and other disabilities make traditional education difficult, causing them to seek refuge at special needs schools and other institutions. Special needs schools are founded to help students with behavioral problems, learning disabilities, and physical disabilities get a quality education. Some parents may wonder what makes a special needs school different from traditional schools.
Many schools have programs to help children with learning disabilities, but they may be under-funded and under-staffed. Often, teachers in traditional schools have little to no experience working with learning disabilities. Many children with special needs have challenges communicating and learning in addition to behavioral, physical, and emotional disorders and developmental disabilities. Instead of sending the child to a traditional school where they may not get the level of care they need, parents often opt to send them to schools for children with special needs, where the teachers are trained and experienced in educating children in similar situations.
While teachers at special needs schools are experienced with working with special needs children, they understand that each child is different. Curriculum at special needs schools can be tailored to meet each child’s individual needs, and an Individualized Education Program (IEP) is drafted for each student, outlining how the school will help them reach their educational goals.
How each school teaches varies by child and by school, but special needs schools commonly use games, songs, and activities to help children understand concepts and ideas. Many schools have sensory tables for children who may need to take a time-out from socializing, and ensure that classrooms are run on a strict schedule for children who thrive on routine.
Choosing the right school is difficult for any parent, but for parents of children with special needs, it becomes a task of monumental importance. Parents are encouraged to tour potential schools and discuss their child’s individual needs before making a final decision.