These Include Physical, Emotional, Social, And Intellectual Needs In Addition To Love, Warmth, Care, And Security: Special Needs Assisting Essay, OC. Ireland

1.1        What is Special Needs Assisting?

All children have needs – these include physical, emotional, social, and intellectual needs in addition to love, warmth, care, and security. Children with special needs have the very same needs as other children, along with some added needs. These needs can vary and may affect children in a variety of ways.

The aim of special needs assistance is to provide support to children with special educational needs who also have additional and significant care needs. This support is provided to facilitate the attendance of children with additional needs at school. It aims to promote the successful inclusion of children with special educational needs into mainstream education, and to provide care support to children enrolled and attending special schools and classes.

As of September 2022, in schools, these resources are distributed to children based on the Frontloaded Allocation Model.

1.1.1      Examples of diverse types of supports for children with additional needs

  • Special needs assistant – an individual employed by the department of education. They will assist children with special educational needs who also have additional and significant care needs.
  • Special education teachers – Special education teachers are deployed within schools to provide extra support to children who need it. The support provided is based on a child’s individual learning needs. The additional teaching may be provided in the classroom, one-to-one, or in smaller separate groups.
  • July Education Programme – Special schools and mainstream primary schools with special classes which cater for children with either autism or a severe/profound general learning disability may extend their education services through July.       
  • Special classes within mainstream schools – Special classes within mainstream schools allow children with more complex special educational needs to be educated, usually in smaller class groups, within their local mainstream school. Examples of special classes within mainstream schools include ASD (Autism Spectrum Disorders) Early Intervention and Speech and Language Disorders.

1.1.2  Classification in terms of frequency

Special needs are often categorised in terms of how often they occur within the general population (McCoy, 2011).

  • High incidence special needs – this category is less severe and occurs more often within society. Examples of high incidence special educational needs may include but are not limited to, mild learning disabilities and dyslexia. Additional needs, which fall under this category, may not warrant the need for a Special Needs Assistant. However, children may receive support, such as learning support or resource hours.
  • Low incidence special needs – this occurs less often and might be more severe in terms of the needs of the child. Examples of low incidence special needs may include down syndrome and Autism. Children within this category will receive more support. Supports could include special needs assistance, learning support, special education teachers, special classes (speech and language disorders, ASD Early Intervention).

For a child to qualify for access to Special Needs Assisting support their care needs must be of such significance that they are beyond those which would normally be expected to be provided by the child’s class teacher, support teacher or other teachers. The care needs must also extend beyond those which could be provided for by alternative support approaches or modification to the classroom environment (Department of Education and Skills, 2014).

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