School supports and resource-teaching allocations raise the question of how much support a child actually needs in a classroom, or in a school. Has anyone asked if certain children need help, and if so – when exactly, just how much help, and at what stage of schooling?
The Sound Advice team knows of SNA requests for deaf preschoolers, when nature wants children to learn by playing, and exploring their world. A SNA at creche or preschool may be well-intended, but a child gains no benefit from having an adult heed their every whim.
That’s why we need articles like “When Less Is More” (by Kathie Snow).
Some hard-hitting questions in this text, include:
- What if the child began a school year without a para-educator?
- What if we allowed the child … to see what he can do on his own?
- What about assistive technology and individualised learning, with peer support from classmates and the classroom teacher [instead of a para-educator]?
Children Learn To Learn, Independently
Children gain autonomy, self-direction and inclusion with this strategy, says Kathie Snow, writer of this very honest, revolutionary common sense piece. If a para-educator is deemed necessary at the school, they should be guided by the student, as needed.
This hands-off strategy works throughout a person’s life, advises Snow, who adds,
Would you like someone next to you all the time, watching over you, helping you, keeping you ‘on-task’? Most of us would resist this intrusion.
Individual Education Plans (IEPs) Are Critical
Individual education plans (IEPs) for children with hearing issues define:
- What a child is to learn in a specific time-frame and
- How a child will achieve this learning (with X hours of resource and/or speech teaching time, plus other directed support that may be needed).
Planning maximises resources and if a child has a head-start from early detection of hearing issues, early intervention, hearing devices and family interactions, they will settle into their school life.
- The Visiting Teacher Service – Background Details
- The Effective Use of IEPs In Irish Classrooms
- Question: “Do Deaf Children Really Need A SNA?”
- Question: Can A Deaf Child Participate At Creche?
- Parent Question: School Resource Hour Allocation
- What To do If Your Child’s Support Hours Are Cut
- School Awareness Poem: I am deaf, and it is okay