Helping Students with Special Needs in Mainstream Schools

special needs children in mainstream schools receive books

All children have the right to life opportunities and a bright future.

Children with special needs have as much right to the resources in mainstream schools as their regular peers, as an Allied Educator shares. This article focuses on a teacher’s perspective.

Special needs students in Mainstream Schools: Overwhelming Beginnings

A (not his real name), an Allied Educator at a top mainstream school in Singapore, remembers his first day on the job eight years ago as frightening because he didn’t know his students well. However, the help he received from his colleagues allowed him to adjust quickly.

‘A’ began to highlight the strengths and weaknesses of individual students. He also tailored his communication to help them function. He believes that each child is unique and will succeed in a mainstream school, given the right guidance and support.

Special needs students in Mainstream Schools: Rules of Good Behavior

Like all children, those with unique needs require ground rules in a regular classroom. A provided these and addressed the behavioural issues of his students to give them a sense of ownership.

Tailor-made for Success

Special needs students become frustrated by changes in routine, so A creates customised schedules for them to counter their anxiety. They have fewer problem behaviours when in mainstream schools and develop self-esteem. It also creates a comfortable environment in which they can learn.

Sharing Ideas

‘A’ shares ideas with his colleagues and develops teaching practices with them. That helps them to connect with every child. It also helps ‘A’s personal growth.

The importance of encouragement

The encouraging words of a parent, according to ‘A,’ are vital for the personal growth of a special needs child. Parents should work hand-in-hand with teachers and counsellors because they may not have the skills required to attend to their child’s needs. Besides, children with special needs require more attention regarding their well being.

In all, what helps ‘A’ survive is seeing his students perform, whether they have special needs or not.