Special Needs Schools In Trinidad And Tobago - 2

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Written by: Guest - 22nd Jun, 2015 - 10:12pm Mountain of Sand Blog Archive
Name: Michelle

Title: Special needs

Comments: They say that Education is a Right! My son is hearing impaired and is placed in a classroom with his desk facing the wall since the teacher says he talks too much. When I inquired I was then told. I asked why not call me in to support you?

It can either be one of two things he is not hearing well where he has been placed so he is easily distracted and talking or the work is not challenging enough for him so he finishes it and begins to talk.

Either way we need to be called in to address the issue. It seems as if Teachers are not taught to deal with children with special needs in the classroom, since most schools when hiring are simply looking for the cheapest labor. This is so sad.
Written by: Guest - 17th Jul, 2015 - 12:30am Mountain of Sand Blog Archive
Name: Lisa

Title: Special Education in T&T

Comments: I agree with most of what I've read; special needs education is spoken about conveniently by our decision makers but as we all know, actions speak volume words simply do not.

There are just about two public special schools in Trinidad and Tobago that are free to the public but sadly, like the other special schools in the country, they do not receive as much support as regular schools do, despite the establishment of the SSSD.

I must also mention that contrary to what I've read in some comments, special education teachers who possess a degree in special education from The University of Trinidad and Tobago, complete a number of behaviour management courses. Also, teachers at government run special schools do possess a degree in special education or some other special qualification.

With regards to building a school specifically for children with autism, I believe that we must first consider the needs of the child. One of the more common characteristics of autism is the inability of the child to socialize like the average child, therefore having only children with autism in a school may limit the opportunities needed to develop critical socialization skills, which can be modeled by other children.

I do not say this to compensate for what presently exists with the special education system in Trinidad and Tobago; I too am disappointed with the treatment of special education especially since I believe that we possess the ability and capability to do much better. Nonetheless, in our desperation to see improvement, we need to consider what is in the best interest of children with special needs so as to avoid using hit and miss strategies.
Written by: Guest - 17th Jul, 2015 - 1:05am Mountain of Sand Blog Archive
Name: JB

Ttitle: Special Needs Schools In Trinidad And Tobago

Comments:
international QUOTE (Lisa)
There are just about two public special schools in Trinidad and Tobago that are free to the public...

Which two public special schools are you talking about as it relates to autism children? Name and location please.

international QUOTE
I must also mention that contrary to what I've read in some comments, special education teachers...

You are referring to government institutions, however I believe most of the comments center on most private institutions that have the title of special needs school but only the principal or main teacher has the special education degree and the assistants / other teachers who are also engaging the children do not.

international QUOTE
...therefore having only children with autism in a school may limit the opportunities needed to develop critical socialization skills, which can be modeled by other children.

There are two things I can say about that:
1. Why does any special school have to worry about socialization or patterns from neurotypicals? I see a lot neurotypical children behaving like they were let out from a zoo, I certainly wouldn't want my child mimicking that. Besides it would only work if there were good examples to follow and there will be no bullying. Let's face it, that isn't going to happen.
2. Socialization building should be a choice of parents in my opinion - you go to school to learn - most times special children are bullied so much they cannot learn! During a certain period of the day or week chosen children could be brought in to interact with special needs children.

The obsession with socialization I feel is what limits things going forward. I remember this issue came up some years ago. The Ministry of Education's answer was to put special children in an already dysfunctional system and appoint a special needs teacher to help them - please, where is that today, it isn't because it doesn't work.

international QUOTE
I do not say this to compensate for what presently exists with the special education system in Trinidad and Tobago

I do not know what you are saying about "Presently exists" Unless you are referring to the very few private institutions in the country - other than that special needs education in Trinidad & Tobago is non-existent!
Written by: Guest - 20th Jul, 2015 - 7:42pm Mountain of Sand Blog Archive
Name: Adela

Title: Special Education schools

Comments: A friend of mine has a child with Autism and I know that it is really hard for her sometimes. The child was attending the special school in [...]some years ago. I'm not sure if the child is still attending the school though.

As far as I'm aware, the only government special schools for kids are [....] I got the schools addresses online so I'm not sure how correct they are. I counted 17 special schools listed on the same website but when I had gone with my friend to a sports day in Penal for children with special needs, I was told that there were more than 30 special schools in the country.

There were a lot of schools at the sports but I certainly don't know how many of them properly cater for children with autism. I read that the [....]for example deals with cases of emotion and behaviour problems.
Written by: Guest - 28th Nov, 2015 - 3:54am Mountain of Sand Blog Archive
Name: Zalayhar

Title: Special education schools

Comments: Quite a comprehensive article. I want to respond to the perception that autistic children are not worth the use of the resources required to educate them. Au contraire. This is precisely the reason we need to educate them: to alleviate the burden to families and state of dealing with the fallout of citizens who are ill-equipped to take care of themselves and to contribute to their environment in a meaningful way. Because this would be the outcome if these families are not supported to have them access the education to which the children are entitled.

Written by: Guest - 12th Jan, 2016 - 11:18pm Mountain of Sand Blog Archive
Name: Kelly

Title: Opening a School

Comments: Before I start may I say what an amazing article! Reading through the comments I couldn't imagine there's so many people that are having this issue.

I obtained my Bachelor's Degree at CREDI in Education and specialized in Special Education, I also completed the workshop for Autism. I intend to start my Masters at Uwi in Speech and Language Pathology in the new school year. Now that I'm ready to work it is an obvious and disappointing situation that I will not be able to help any child with any special needs while working through this government. I would be forced to go into an average primary school setting where I may come across one or two kids with dyslexia but what about the rest?

My aim has always been to open a school for children with ASD, preparing them for Primary school and also life. I actually came across your post after googling 'procedures of opening a special school in Trinidad' where by the way I got almost no helpful information. Now, being qualified is one thing but there are many other requirements that parents may want.

What are your opinions as parents on the following questions :

1) Although you are a required to have a Bachelors Degree to open a school, in this case do you think my qualifications (Bachelors in education, specialised in Special Education) is suitable to teach your child or any child with ASD?

2) In my situation, I am qualified but only have approximately two years experience, experience being almost impossible to get as the government will just place me in an average primary school setting. However I do believe that it takes more for someone to be a good teacher than being experienced. You also need to be genuine, kind and passionate about what you do. In my situation my dad suffered through his life with both a physical and learning disability. This definitely isn't about the money but at the same time if we do want to have experienced teachers and proper equipment (Which I obviously do), requires quite big overheads.

3) What else would you like to see at this school ? (Materials, surroundings)

4) What do you think is a fair price worth paying at a school that meets your expectations/ most of your expectations?

I am working on my starting my school but hearing back from you as parents will be my greatest accomplishment in moving forward to do so. Hopefully one day we can all live as one and all children in our country can have equal opportunities!
.
Written by: Mountain of Sand - 13th Jan, 2016 - 12:32am Autism Issues
Hi Kelly, these are my answers. I would suggest that you can join the Autism Parents Association of Trinidad & Tobago so other parents can also answer these questions. Source 9x

1) Although you are a required to have a Bachelors Degree to open a school, in this case do you think my qualifications (Bachelors in education, specialised in Special Education) is suitable to teach your child or any child with ASD?

Ideally, it should be a combination of formal education through a degree in Special Education and experience. Most of the time, parents are faced with "Teachers" who do not possess the academic requirements necessary to teach children with special needs.

2) In my situation, I am qualified but only have approximately two years experience, experience being almost impossible to get as the government will just place me in an average primary school setting. However I do believe that it takes more for someone to be a good teacher than being experienced. You also need to be genuine, kind and passionate about what you do. In my situation my dad suffered through his life with both a physical and learning disability. This definitely isn't about the money but at the same time if we do want to have experienced teachers and proper equipment (Which I obviously do), requires quite big overheads.

This is why I believe it is the government's solely responsibility to ensure every citizen in this country receives the same benefits and have equal rights, this includes the right to free and proper education. Please see: Source 8z This is the organization I preside.

3) What else would you like to see at this school ? (Materials, surroundings)

Proper equipment that can help the children reach their full potential, lots of visual aids, technology use, lots of space for them to move and explore.

4) What do you think is a fair price worth paying at a school that meets your expectations/ most of your expectations?

Please kindly see question #2. .
Written by: Guest - 12th Feb, 2016 - 10:41pm Mountain of Sand Blog Archive
Name: Marcia

Title: Special Education

Comments: My son is on the spectrum. He was in the regular school system and it was a struggle. I made a mistake by notifying his teacher (Who boasted her 20yrs experience as a Special Ed teacher) everything went down hill after that.

After numerous complaints about my son from the school I recognize that the teachers did not care enough to go the extra mile for my son so I willingly took it upon myself to educate him. I studied him, I discovered his strengths and weakness I treated him as I would a normal child.

I learnt from my mistake and never mention his disability. He continued going to school, he continued giving teachers trouble but today my son is an adult. He has accomplished things that his primary school teachers thought he would have never accomplish. He finished school with five passes. He attended UTT to learn Information Technology but dropped out because the person in the exam room kept walking the aisle which irritated him. I asked for concession but none was given.

We will try another institution soon. He recently got his drivers permit and is driving like a pro. I always say we get the children we deserve.

Before my son I was disorganized, timid and laid back. Now thanks to him I have improved as a person. I have become strong mentally because children with autism require a parent who is strong enough/worthy enough to guide them.
Written by: Mountain of Sand - 12th Feb, 2016 - 10:56pm Autism Issues
Hi Marcia, thank you very much for sharing your story. It is so wonderful to hear about your son's progress! Please if you haven't yet, join the Autism Parents Association of Trinidad & Tobago (APATT). We would love to have you as part of our family.

Autism Parents Association of Trinidad & Tobago.
Written by: Guest - 22nd Jul, 2016 - 7:00pm Mountain of Sand Blog Archive
Name: Angela

Title: Support services in trinidad

Comments: My son is four and a half. He has severe autism and needs intervention in a school who knows how to teach pupils with autism. At the moment we are paying privatel for therapy for him.
Written by: Guest - 22nd Jan, 2017 - 2:17am Mountain of Sand Blog Archive
Name: Navita

Title: Less talk more action

Comments: We have passed awareness it is action time.
Written by: Guest - 3rd Feb, 2017 - 10:53pm Mountain of Sand Blog Archive
Name: Chris

Title: Finding a school

Comments: I am looking for a school for son he has austim how can I get some information concerning my son thank you.
Written by: Mountain of Sand - 3rd Feb, 2017 - 10:55pm Autism Issues
Hi Chris, please register with the Autism Parents Association of Trinidad & Tobago (APATT) here:

Autism Parents Association of Trinidad & Tobago

Once you register (It is free), you will be able to access a database of schools, doctors, therapists, etc. All the best for you and your son *smile*.
Written by: Guest - 24th Mar, 2017 - 7:21pm Mountain of Sand Blog Archive
Name: melina

Title:

Comments: My 22 year old daughter has recently been diagnosed with aspergers syndrome. Her main problem is interacting with people, finding friends and socialising. I would be grateful if someone can recommend a therapist trained in socialisation skills who can help my daughter. Thanks.
Written by: Mountain of Sand - 24th Mar, 2017 - 7:23pm Autism Issues
Hi Melina, please register with APATT:

Autism Parents Association of Trinidad and Tobago

You will be able to access a directory of doctors and therapists. You will also be able to talk to other parents and seek reviews and information. All the best to you and your daughter!
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