(Barbados Advocate 3/9/2019) Faculty and staff of Dominica’s leading school for children with special needs recently received special education teacher training in Barbados.
They partnered with Sunshine Early Stimulation Centre, a local school for children with special needs and My Child & I Charity, for the specialised ten-day workshop at the Derrick Smith School and Vocational Centre in Jackmans, St. Michael.
Achievement Learning Centre, founded in 2011 caters to children with autism, down syndrome, hearing impairment, learning disabilities and behavioural problems – exposing them to the necessary training, skills and education programmes that will allow them to make a meaningful contribution to society.
“This training is quite important for us,” Executive Director of Achievement Learning Centre, Beverly Leblanc expressed to The Barbados Advocate.
“We were established to meet a gap that existed and based on the work that we do, more people are coming wanting to enrol their children because of our success stories.”
“As we enrol students and they come with different disabilities, we recognise that we also have to improve our skills. My background is in Special Education, the Principal’s background is in Psychology and we have a group of teachers – even if they may not have an actual certified training in special education, they are committed and passionate about it and therefore they need that skill to deliver the quality service that we want to deliver at the school,” she said.
The training was made possible by the Maria Holder Memorial Trust, the Dominica-American Relief & Development Association DARDA, as well as the Sandy Lane Charitable Trust. Topics covered included, An OT Lens for the Special Needs Classroom – Movement for Daily Living Skills; Communication Strategies for the Special Needs Classroom; Easy Curriculum Adaptation for Students with Learning Disorders; and Difficult Behaviours in the Classroom: Problem Solving with a Developmental Lens.
This academic year 2019-2020, the Centre located in Roseau, will have enrolled 22 children ages six to 16 years.
Leblanc further revealed, “With our enrolment every class has two teachers, and our largest classroom from September is going to have three teachers.”
“We don’t look at the age of the children; we look at the developmental stage, where they are developed mentally regardless of where they are chronologically… So, this training came in handy, helping us prepare better for September.” (TL)