Finally, children with special educational needs can now get the quality education they deserve. Special education has always been a challenging area, as most institutions lack the resources and expertise to provide support for children with special educational needs in Nigeria.
In the last couple of years, special needs education has gained more exposure in Nigeria, with schools such as Greensprings at the forefront of promoting inclusive education and providing appropriate support for children with special needs.
Efforts have been made by the government and other regulatory institutions towards supporting special needs education. An example is the promulgation of section 8 of the National Policy on Education.
The policy describes special needs education in Nigeria as “a customized educational program that is designed to meet the unique needs of persons with special needs that the general education program cannot cater for”
“Everyone has the right to education,” says Article 26, section one of the Universal Declaration of Rights.
These initiatives have led to the opening of Anthos House, a unique school for special education needs, located at no.1 Platinum Way, Osapa London, Jakande Lekki.
At Anthos House, Greensprings say that they will be helping children to understand and connect with their learning styles. This will be supported by using systematic methods to discover their skills, abilities and individual needs.
Anthos House will care for children with special needs including, but not limited to the following:
- Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD):- this is a neurological and developmental disorder that affects how a person acts and interacts with others, communicates, and learns. It is called a “spectrum” disorder because people with ASD can have a range of symptoms.
- Dyslexia: this is a condition that makes it hard to read and learn. It happens when there is a problem with the way the brain processes graphic symbols.
- Cerebral Palsy: this is a group of permanent movement disorders that appear in early childhood. Symptoms often include; poor coordination, stiff muscles, weak muscles and tremors.
- Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD): this is a brain disorder characterized by a pattern of inattention and/or hyperactivity-impulsivity that interferes with functioning, development and learning
- Down Syndrome: this is a genetic disorder caused when abnormal cell division results in an extra full or partial copy of a chromosome called “chromosome 21”. Symptoms include a flattened face, small head, short neck, protruding tongue and tiny white spots on the coloured part (iris) of the eye called Brushfield’s spots.
- Behavioural disorders: these are the most common reasons that parents are told to take their children for mental health assessments and treatment. These are irregular behavioural patterns recorded in children over a period of time
If left unattended in childhood, these disorders can negatively affect a child’s ability to secure a job or maintain relationships.
ASDAN is at higher levels, is comparable to GCSES and A/AS level. However there are different qualification levels as follows:-
- Entry 1,2 and 3 (Access) qualifications meet the needs of learners working below GCSE (Intermediate) level
- Levels 1 and 3 ( Intermediate) qualifications are comparable in size to GCSE’s
- Level 3 (Higher) qualifications are comparable in size to A/AS levels
Assessments will be based on a variety of methods used to gather the information required to enrol a child. It includes observation of the child, interviews with the family, checklists and rating scales, informal test and standardized formal test.
Aside from admitting students to the school for special needs, Anthos House will provide these 3 core services:
– Counselling and Assessment
Kimberley Scollard, the principal of Anthos House stated ‘If you are a parent searching for the right school for your child’s special education needs, then your search is over. Anthos House is a unique place for your child to learn and grow”
Kimberly graduated with a Bachelor of Art, Masters of Art in Education and a Doctorate of Philosophy in Psychology from Trinity University in Canada. Although she was born in Canada, she has been an international educator for many years.
Special Needs Education and the link with Early Childhood Development
For children; early childhood education prepares the foundation for life-long learning and participation, as well as prevents potential difficulties in learning and delays in development.
Developmental delay refers to children who experience significant variation in the achievement of expected milestones for their actual or adjusted ages.
Some children have been diagnosed from an early age with a genetic condition that is associated with intellectual disability and this can be easily spotted during the developmental stage. Other children possess less obvious difficulties and these can only be detected through observation and assessments.
The chart below shows the different developmental milestones in children and the appropriate ages:
If a child shows signs of delayed development, that child should be taken immediately for assessment by experts because such a child may require special needs education.
What are the signs to look out for in children with special needs?
Here are some of the signs to look out for if you suspect that a child may require special needs education:
· They may have difficulties with attention control.
· Lack of concentration in class.
· Easily distracted by noise in the environment.
· Inability to access mainstream curriculum.
· Irregular communication patterns.
· Unprovoked aggressiveness
. Abnormal quietness.
· Lack of fine motor skill coordination.
Take your child for assessment today
Every child deserves an opportunity to become the best that can be. Understanding your child’s developmental milestones is key to ensuring that they receive the support they may require, as early intervention is imperative.
If you are still unsure about your child’s development or progress, kindly call Anthos House on 0702663554 or send an email to [email protected] for immediate assessment of your child.