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Special Education in the Philippines

Special Education is showing growth in the Philippines. More and more schools are offering inclusion and mainstream education as an avenue for children with special needs. According to Education Secretary Armin Luistro, last 2012 the budget for Special Education has been increased from 115 million pesos to 180 million pesos. Moreover, it is a considerable progress that parents nowadays are more open in talking about their child with special needs to their own families, as well as to medical experts.

Organizations         

At this time, there are many notable organizations, such as the Down Syndrome Association of the Philippines, which encourage families to bring their children with Down Syndrome to participate in active movements, like marathons, to foster the spirit of camaraderie. This also teaches the children the value of keeping a healthy body. It is through these organizations where parents can bond with other parents who are raising kids with special needs. Support groups are formed, too.

Special Education Centers

These centers are open to gifted children and those with learning disabilities. Secretary Luistro promotes the training of the personnel who are in charge of these centers. He believes that they should study and be trained under schools which have special education courses. In 2012, 69 new SPED centers were opened.

Schools

There are public and private schools in the country which cater to children with special needs. Depending on the needs of your child, there are specific schools which follow an inclusive, mainstream, or an exclusive special education curriculum. Be sure to visit these schools yourself. If their philosophy is aligned with yours, then that is the time you can place your child in that school.

Home School

If, as a parent, you feel more comfortable educating your child at home due to safety reasons, another option would be home schooling him. With the assistance of a special education teacher, you can oversee the education of your kid from the four walls of your home.

Back to Basics

If your passion is really special education, universities offer special education degrees such as University of Santo Thomas and the University of the Philippines. These schools offer special education in undergraduate, graduate, and doctoral levels. This will enrich your knowledge on children with special needs, and equip you with better understanding of how to help your own child. You can then try your hand at applying to special education schools, depending on your teaching philosophy.

Click here to check special education schools in the Philippines.

Five Benefits of Special Education

Why place your child with a disability in a special school? Why do some gifted children thrive in an environment with fellow gifted classmates? The answer is: special education. Let us discover five benefits of special education which will assist kids with special needs as they go into school:

  1. Smaller Class Size

Special education schools tend to have a smaller student-teacher ratio when compared to regular schools so the teachers can better monitor the progress of the students. A smaller class size would also benefit children with special needs because of programs such as IEP (Individualized Educational Programs), which are different for each child. IEP targets a child’s specific needs, and how to better help them improve in areas like language or gross and fine-motor skills.

  1. Better Communication

Students who have a speech delay will learn more words as they practice speech with classmates and teachers. Something as simple as asking for their name, if done on a regular basis, will be considered routine for them. Repetition is a good way to ensure that children remember what was discussed during class. For students who are blind or deaf, they can practice their Braille reading or sign language with their peers and teachers as well.

  1. Socialization

An aspect of school which greatly affects kids with special needs is how they interact with their peers. Group games such as duck-duck-goose or even as simple as tag will help the children get to know one another while having fun. For the gifted ones, being placed in a class where there are also gifted peers challenges them. They study harder and engage in friendly competition with their classmates; they feel motivated instead of bored.

  1. Daily Communication With Parents

As a rule, teachers and parents need to work hand-in-hand to ensure children get quality education in a safe and secure environment. Special education schools have more cause to follow this. Daily reports and Parent Teacher Conferences would have anecdotal reports on each child’s progress.

  1. Professionals and Experts

Special education schools cater to students with special needs. They will have the contacts of medical experts like developmental psychologists, speech therapists, and occupational therapists. These qualified personnel will help children become more adjusted to school without their disabilities hindering their education.

Special education may be intimidating at first, but it is a wonderful field where kids with special needs may grow together with their peers.

 

Party Popping!

Childhood is ‘the best years’ of our lives, and yet it passes so fleetingly. Before we know it, the kids are all grown up and childhood is but a distant memory.

One way to fill your kids with fond remembrances is through memorable events. An awesome, fun-filled seventh (or fifth or twelfth or any!) birthday party may just be the perfect childhood moment your kid takes with them in their adulthood.

So how can you ensure your kid has a party to remember? Here are some tips:

  • Listen to your child. There was an American show called Outrageous Kid Parties, which, aside from the ostentation and massive expense on display, frequently thrived on conflict. One episode even had a pushy grandma insisting on adding a disco element to her grandson’s pirate theme! Don’t be that grandma. Before organizing a party, ask yourself: is this for me, or for my kid? If your aim is to impress your adult guests, you’ll probably succeed – but leave your kid puzzled. Take your cue from what your kid wants, from the theme to the menu and even the guest list. Nothing makes a kid feel more special than being ‘boss’ for a day.
  • Get creative. A party need not be extravagant to be memorable, but it should be distinguished from an ordinary day. A little effort from your part, such as handcrafting spaceship party favors, turning the living room into an ultra-cool alien cave, or transforming popcorn into ‘moon rocks’, will delight your child and your guests. The goal is to make the day as special as possible. Not the creative type? Scour Pinterest for inspiration, or assign imaginative older siblings or cousins to add a touch of whimsy.
  • Think of age-appropriate activities. If you have a mixed guest list, try different ‘stations’ where kids can do a variety of activities at their own leisure. Ideas can include cookie decorating, a mini-obstacle course, a scavenger hunt area (for active older kids), or even a drawing and coloring table. Face-painting and temporary tattoo stations seem to be a big hit, too. Remember to include unstructured free time for kids to play on their own and let their imaginations run free.

  • Plan appropriately. Obviously a swimming party in the middle of monsoon season is bound to fail, and overextending the guest list when your venue is your backyard is unwise. As much as you want to pack everything into one event, you need to take a step back and manage expectations – your own as well as your child’s.
  • Get organized. Failing to plan is planning to fail, and anyone who’s ever done an event can tell you that in parties, Murphy’ Law is king. So get your checklist ready, make sure you have a Plan B and a Plan C, get your back-ups in line. Assign family members to monitor their share of work (ex. Hubby picks up the cake, ate is in charge of following up with the photo booth operators, kuya is the DJ) and hope for the best.

But when all else fails… take a deep breath and smile. Disasters happen and sometimes things are beyond our control. If you find yourself in this situation, make the best out of it and reassure your child. Here’s where your imagination and quick thinking come into play. Sometimes it’s the spontaneous things that kids love and remember the most.

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2017
May