A child with learning difficulties or disabilities that make learning harder for him or her can be described as having special education needs (SEN). For your convenience, we have copy pasted the Beijing section of the US State Overseas Schools office provided guide on Beijing schools that provide support to children with special needs. The contents of the guide were originally provided by the schools.
If you suspect your child might be learning at a slower pace than other children of similar age and that it might be a problem, consult Olivia’s Place for an assessment, advice, or for opportunities to attend free parent education workshops.
Extracted from the US State “Overseas Schools Offering Support to Children with Special Needs” 2015-2016:
In BSB Shunyi, the Inclusion Department consists of a Leader of Inclusion, Special Educational Needs Coordinator (SENCO), Special Educational Needs (SEN) Teacher and Counselor. The SENCO in collaboration with the Leader of Inclusion plays a key role in determining the strategic development of the Special Educational Needs policy, support and provision in the school to raise the achievement of children with special educational needs.
The SENCO will coordinate additional support, Individual Education Plans (IEPs) and Action Plans for pupils with special educational needs and liaise with their teachers and other professionals who are involved with their education.
The counselor supports children’s needs when they are going through a difficult time; this can be emotional, social, or behavioral. For children it can be difficult to talk about their problems with their family, teachers, or friends and they might prefer to talk to someone that isn’t a part of their life. The counselor gives them the chance to share their feelings in a safe and non-judgmental environment. By using different therapy, such as play and art therapy, the feelings of the child will be explored.
The School has a few SEN certified teachers that work with a small portion of students as part of the mainstream program.
The School does not offer a comprehensive SEN program. They do have trained SEN specialists within their network of schools and work with professionals and organizations locally. The School endeavors to work with families to ensure that they have provisions in place to cater to the specific needs of their child. The School offers the support of a one-to-one teaching assistant for any student that may need the additional support during their lessons.
Learning Support Policy: In support of the mission, purpose, and philosophy of the School, as existing space and resources allow, students with mild to moderate learning differences will be admitted in accordance with the School’s admissions policy. This might include students with learning disabilities, ADHD and some high-functioning students on the autistic spectrum. However, placement in the learning support program is not based on diagnoses. Placement is determined by the level of support needed to be successful.
Description of Services: At this point, the School does not have self-contained classes for students who require a separate curriculum. Most services are provided through a push-in, inclusion model, with the exception of first and second grades in which a pull out model is utilized more frequently. Presently, they have ten learning support teachers, one speech and language pathologist and a director of student support services who also covers the school psychologist position. The School tends to use a modified response to intervention model (RtI) as the referral identification process. The modification is that they use standardized assessments as well as curriculum based to inform intervention.
Decisions regarding admission and services for a student will be made on a case-by-case basis within the policy parameters. The School does not have an educational program for:
- A student with intensive learning needs.
- A student who requires a self-contained learning environment with separate curriculum.
- A student with significant cognitive, developmental, physical and/or emotional needs/disabilities.
- A student who exhibits a continual pattern of behavior in the classroom that is disruptive to the learning process.
- The Student Support Team generally consists of an Administrator or designee, Counselor, Learning Support Teacher, and Classroom Teacher who interacts directly with the child.
While several of the School’s teachers are special-needs trained or informed, they are not equipped to accept children with special needs on a regular basis.
MSB employs two Learning Support teachers who are trained to diagnose and support children with learning needs. All learning support students must be identified during the admission process and will undergo observation and testing by our Learning Support staff. Admittance to the school will take into account their recommendations.
Side By Side:
Their program is solely for students with special needs and learning difficulties. The School will consider students with a variety of special needs, though they are unable to admit those in wheelchairs, or with moderate to severe medical needs. Their special education students usually have autism, are mentally challenged, have down syndrome, language delays or disorders, or global delay. The majority of their students have a combination of communication, behavioral and social issues.
Side by Side also offers 1:1 learning support and 1:1 music therapy for students who go to international school and have learning, behavior, emotional or communication difficulties. The School has a qualified special needs teacher, a music therapist/social worker/special needs support worker, and an assistant on staff. They refer to external therapy centers for diagnosis, speech and language therapy, occupational therapy and/or physical therapy if it is required.
The School aims to assist children of foreign personnel as much as possible. However, there are limits to the range of services provided, resources obtainable, teacher and specialist expertise available in YCIS. For this reason, YCIS can only accept students with mild learning difficulties, i.e. children who can work successfully in a regular classroom environment with minimum support. The School employs a SEN teacher to work with students, in-class and in a withdrawal capacity. The School reserves the right (in consultation with the parents) to review all prior school reports, recommendations, and external assessments, and conduct an interview to determine the student’s level of need/s. The School will only accept students whom it believes will be successful in the YCIS program. Should a special educational need/s be identified after entrance (or a more serious need develops), the School reserves the right to review the placement.
Children with special needs are considered on a case-by-case basis to ensure that all their needs can be met if admitted.
Beijing City International School – BCIS
BCIS provides learning support for those students who require additional assistance in mastering the curriculum. Acceptance into the school for children with special needs is made on a case-by-case basis. Determination is based on whether they have sufficient expertise and resources to accommodate the student. BCIS personnel do not diagnose disabilities.
The School accepts students with learning needs on a case-by-case basis. Mild needs are supported either through in-class or pull-out sessions. Students needing extra support are requested to hire a shadow at their own expense. They do not have services for severe learning needs that may require professional services such as speech or physiotherapy.
The School currently has 4-5 mentally handicapped or sight impaired students. These students’ families engage a personal assistant (with the help and agreement of the school) to assist their child in classes. The School also has several dyslexic students; 2 external speech therapists assist them after school.
Learning Support Program: Students are eligible for admission if it is believed that WAB can meet their emotional, social, physical and academic needs. WAB can offer places at each grade level to a limited number of students with mild learning difficulties. For these students, assistance is provided by their Learning Support Center, both in and out of the classroom as appropriate, usually in small groups and occasionally on an individual basis.
Since WAB does not have separate classes for children with learning difficulties, a primary consideration in offering a place will be the student’s ability to access the regular curriculum with limited support. WAB takes into account the number of other students requiring learning support in the grade level applied for, and the level of resources needed to support the applicant. Thus, while WAB recognizes the value for all children of the social learning which can occur through contact with a peer group, places cannot be offered to students who need extensive program modifications, an alternate curriculum or constant support.
In accepting students with learning difficulties, WAB usually also adheres to the school admissions policy of placing students by chronological age and educational background, so the ability to function with a group of similarly aged students is an important factor. WAB is able to accept some students with minor physical disabilities, although expertise with any type of adaptive communications systems is not available. In accordance with the general admissions policy, the school reserves the right (in consultation with the parents) to conduct all necessary assessments and obtain copies of all previous reports and records. The School will offer a provisional place only to those students who they believe can benefit from the educational program it provides.
Photo: Flickr (US Army)