The preamble on “Special Needs Education”
Little Angels International School, was founded fifteen years ago with the firm belief that every student is a unique individual, and as such has a different learning style and personality.
The school has always accepted students with various learning difficulties and strives to provide an environment of acceptance and equal opportunities. As an educational institution, it is part of it’s mission and moral obligation to determine each student’s strength and weakness and address these issues to make them life long learners.
The “Special Needs” students are not segregated, but placed in the same class with other ‘normal’ or even ‘gifted’ students. Each student contributes to the success of one other and learns to live with students who may need varied ways of learning. The students tend to appreciate each others’ ways of learning. The presence of a “special child”, invigorates others and ensures both compassion and care. The teachers and parents work together to figure out the best way of imparting knowledge to students with difficulties. The objective and the goals of each student’s achievement are set depending on the child’s abilities. A brief description of some students (present and past) who had posed challenges is listed here:
Student A: Having been diagnosed with Spectrum Disorder Syndrome, he is in the middle school and studies the same subjects along with other students. He is given special assignments as part of Science as his interests are into airplanes and trains. One-on-one explanation of certain topics and additional help is provided and he is thriving in this environment of acceptance and friendly environment.
Student B & C: These are twins and both have different learning difficulties. They have trouble in reading and decoding the meaning and slow in writing. A visiting expert in teaching students with learning difficulties from the USA, came to the school and met them to assess them properly, and, we offer them special classes online with her with courses designed exclusively for them. Note that this Educational Therapy is unique and not offered in Japan. These students are placed in the same year classroom for the majority of the classes as inclusion is a must to foster proper upbringing.
Student D: This student is diagnosed with ADHD/ mild Asperger’s Syndrome, but possesses high level intelligence and is extremely gifted in certain areas, for example in reading, spelling and number concepts, but is very poor in social interaction. Each teacher comes with their own unique ways of keeping him interested in the class by giving challenging exercises and he is given freedom during class time if he wants to do different activities.
Student E: A former student who was diagnosed with acute Asperger’s, but was truly a genius with extremely poor social skills, enrolled in LAIS and spent two years which has left a lasting impression on the other students as well. He, subsequently, moved to the USA, and after a year, was transferred to a school for the ‘gifted’. Presently, he is thriving well in the USA, and his parents remain very grateful to the school for the efforts to help him integrate into social life and provide a nurturing environment.
Apart from these examples, the school also has a few students with various other issues and are also attended to. Some of these are auditory learners, while yet others are visual learners, and each subject is taught in a way such that it appeals to all kinds of students and make them keen on learning. The school is well equipped with games and other educational tools to take care of each and every student, and, further more, lets them learn with joy and without any hurdles, while at the same time empowering them to understand the underlying subject matter.
The school motto is “Nothing is impossible” and it continues to live up to this rallying cry.
The school builds excellent communication channels between the teachers / parents / students to ensure a smooth school life. Little Angels excels in providing a sanctuary of acceptance in spite of differences – physical or otherwise.
This post is also available in: Japanese