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Special-School-Placement Assessments
Port Elizabeth | Eastern Cape

Not every individual thrives in mainstream, academic settings, learning in an often times fast paced manner, with little individual attention. When children or teenagers have unique learning needs or require special attention in certain activities, special school may be conducive for their growth and allow them to reach their full potential.

 

It is important to remember that children learn at different rates and they can have different strengths than their peers- and that is okay. It is key to view the possibility of special school placement not as due to a weakness but due to either known or still unknown strengths that will be able to be discovered when the individual is in an environment that allows for their growth, success and progression.

This ties in with a common misconception regarding special school. This being that special schools or special education are only for children with severe physical or intellectual disabilities. Many individuals who would benefit from special schools also include children with specific learning disabilities like dyslexia and dyscalculia, autistic learners, learners with speech impediments, hearing issues or low vision learners and children with behavioural disorders such as ADHD or Conduct Disorder. Depending on the school, special schools can make provision for extra time for examinations, employ assistive devices such as using a computer or can provide readers and scribes.

Other schools also include ‘school of skills’ in which learners can learn simple skills or trades and take part in workshops that can provide them with the skills necessary to enter the working world and attend certain colleges.

I offer psychometric assessment services that can determine whether or not a child will benefit from learning in a modified environment/special school which are required by the Department of Education for such applications to be made.

Typically, an assessment for special school placement will be conducted over two sessions (two days) and you will receive the necessary documentation and copy of the report that you will need for application at the Department of Education. This process will also be thoroughly explained to you and depending on the client’s age, alternative options will be explained to you as well.

It is important to note that while myself as the practitioner can make recommendations regarding special school or the type of special school that would benefit the child- ultimately the Department of Education will place the learner in a school that they think will best suit the child’s needs after consultation with the parent or guardian.

Additionally, the process of applying and getting your child into a special school can sometimes take more than a year, depending on the availability in schools. So it is important to be proactive if there are concerns that your child may not be suited to a mainstream learning environment and they can thus be assessed and the process can be started as soon as possible.

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