Our approach combines multi-sensory techniques along with the structure of the English language. Those items taught include: phonemes and morphemes, such as prefixes, suffixes, and roots. Common spelling rules are introduced as well. Multi-sensory education incorporates the three learning pathways, which are: auditory, kinesthetic, and visual. The approach allows for implementation of Response to Intervention (RTI) at all levels while allowing for differentiation of instruction.
The uniqueness of this type of instruction is that it allows the educator to capitalize on an individual student’s dominant learning modality while delivering instruction that will strengthen the remaining learning pathways.
For students with special needs learning a language enhances skills such as problem solving and critical thinking.
The instructional strategies and programs are based on six teaching principles.
Provide opportunities for success.
Use multisensory approaches.
Micro-unit and structure tasks.
Ensure automatization through practice and review
Include students in the learning process.
Teaching Math to special needs students isn’t just challenging, it’s game changing!
Math-related learning disabilities are complex and not only require intervention by skillful teachers to help students achieve success, but also a carefully planned educational plan that equips them with the basic math skills.
Our approach to teaching numeracy –is that we should be teaching for understanding, in a hands-on and multisensory way, and not through rote-learning or memorised procedures, for example working with concrete and highly visual materials, such as Cuisenaire rods, is an ideal way to explore numbers and the relationships between numbers in a way that enables children to discover facts for themselves and develop true conceptual understanding.
Offering plenty of Mathematical games is a good way of motivating children to spend time on those facts or topics that they need to practice, without them realising how much learning and reinforcement is happening as they play.
In accommodating Math Students with Learning Disabilities, we use the following strategies for teaching a student with Math-related learning disabilities.
Avoid memory overload. Assign manageable amounts of work as skills are learned.
Build retention by providing review within a day or two of the initial learning of difficult skills.
Provide supervised practice to prevent students from practicing misconceptions and “misrules.”
Make new learning meaningful by relating practice of subskills to the performance of the whole task.
Reduce processing demands by pre-teaching component skills of algorithms and strategies.
Help students to visualize Math problems by drawing.
Use visual and auditory examples.
Use real-life situations that make problems functional and applicable to everyday life.
Do Math problems on graph paper to keep the numbers in line.
Use uncluttered worksheets to avoid too much visual information.
Practice with age-appropriate games as motivational materials.
Have students track their progress.
Challenge critical thinking about real problems with problem solving.
Use manipulatives and technology such as computers and calculators.
The Sciences teach us everything we need and want to know about our world and how we interact with it, from components as small as elements to entities as large as planets.
Science and Social science at TIPS will be an integrated approach involving hands on activities, that will include experiments and research.
TIPS focuses on using Assistive technology (AT) to enhance learning as an effective approach for children with special needs. Additionally, students with learning disorders often experience greater success when they are allowed to use their abilities (strengths) to work around their disabilities (challenges). AT tools combine the best of both of these practices.
AT doesn’t cure or eliminate learning difficulties, but it can help the children reach their potential. It allows them to capitalize on their strengths and bypass areas of difficulty. In general, AT compensates for a student’s skills deficits or area(s) of disability and can also improve certain skill deficits (e.g., reading and spelling).
Assistive technology (AT) tools for Math are designed to help students who struggle with computing, organizing, aligning, and copying Math problems down on paper.
A child who struggles with Math can use a hand-held calculator to keep score while playing a game with a friend. AT can also help students who have difficulty processing and remembering spoken language.A student who has difficulty writing can compose a school report by dictating it and having it converted to text by special software.
AT tools help students circumvent the actual physical task of writing, while others facilitate proper spelling, punctuation, grammar, word usage, and organization.
OCCUPATIONAL THERAPY (OT)
OT at TIPS is aimed at helping kids with various needs to improve their cognitive, physical, sensory, and motor skills and enhance their self-esteem and sense of accomplishment.
Our Occupational therapists working with children will typically use techniques and routines that may seem like play, but are designed to target areas of delay and difficulty. Therapy will be done with a sensory integration approach which uses play-like activities to help children better process and tolerate the information they get through their senses.
The program will cater to the following areas:
Fine Motor Skills -Fine Motor Skills involve the use of precise and coordinated movements of the fingers to perform hand use tasks.
Bilateral Coordination- Bilateral Coordination involves the ability to use both sides of the body at the same time.
Visual Perception -Visual Perception is the vision skills needed to understand, evaluate, and interpret what is seen.
Visual Motor Integration – Visual Motor Integration is the coordination of hand movements based upon the perception of visual information.
Sensory Processing- Sensory Processing refers to the way a person’s nervous system receives sensory messages and turns them into adaptive or functional responses.
Handwriting – Handwriting is a complex process of recording language by hand, often by using paper and a pen or pencil.
Executive Functioning- Executive Function is a term used to describe the many tasks one’s brain performs that are necessary to think, act, and solve problems.
Self Care / Life Skills-Self Care and Life Skills include the various ADLs and IADLs that a child performs.
Gross Motor -Gross Motor Skills involve the use of large muscles groups for the performance of functions such as walking, running, jumping, riding a bike and playing sports.
Speech therapy is the corrective or rehabilitative treatment of physical, cognitive disorders resulting in difficulty with verbal communication. This includes both speech (articulation, intonation, rate, intensity) and language (phonology, morphology, syntax, semantics, pragmatics, both receptive and expressive language, including reading and writing).
A speech therapist figure out what kind of language problem a student has. They determine what’s causing it and decide on the best treatment. A Speech therapist helps with:
Articulation problems: Not speaking clearly and making errors in sounds.
Fluency problems: Trouble with the flow of speech, such as stuttering.
Resonance or voice problems: Trouble with voice pitch, volume and quality.
Oral feeding problems: Difficulty with eating, swallowing and drooling.
Receptive language problems: Trouble understanding (receiving) language.
Expressive language problems: Trouble speaking (expressing) language.
Pragmatic language problems: Trouble using language in socially appropriate ways.
Language intervention activities: These activities build skills in a variety of ways, including modelling and giving kids feedback. The therapist might use pictures and books or play-based therapy. She may also use language drills to practice skills.
Articulation therapy: The speech therapist models the sounds the child has difficulty with. This might include demonstrating how to move the tongue to create specific sounds.
Feeding and swallowing therapy: The speech therapist teaches the child exercises to strengthen the muscles of the mouth. The speech therapist might include facial massage and various tongue, lip and jaw exercises. She might also use different food textures to encourage awareness during eating and swallowing.
THE BENEFITS OF SPEECH THERAPY
Speech therapy can help kids learn to speak more clearly. This helps them feel more confident and less frustrated about speaking to others. Kids who have language issues can benefit socially, emotionally and academically from speech therapy.
For kids with reading issues such as dyslexia, speech therapy can help them hear and distinguish specific sounds in words: the word bat breaks down into b, a, and t sounds. This can improve reading comprehension skills and encourage kids to read.
Speech therapy is especially beneficial when kids begin early in life. In one study, 70 percent of preschool kids with language issues who went through speech therapy showed improvement in language skills.
Apart from academics and skill building TIPS Special Education wing incorporates the holistic development of all children. All children are born with innate abilities and talents. With a view to nurture these talents and interests of the SEN children they are exposed to the following six co-curricular activities.
Real World Learning – a field trip is one of the best tools that we can use to provide every student with real-world experiences. Whether that’s a trip to the local grocery store, an animal park, a library, a museum, a theatre, a community garden or a restaurant, each experience that a student participates in contributes to their understanding of the world.
When students leave the classroom, they see the connections between what is happening at school and in the ‘real-world’. They begin to see that what they learn within the walls of the classroom can help them solve the problems they see in the world around them. Each experience solidifies learning and supports important academic concepts and aids in their socio-emotional growth.
Students who go on field trips become more empathetic and tolerant. This multisensory learning experience can bring one dimensional lessons to life and create enthusiasm for a subject that is hard to replicate through other media. Field trips and hands on learning make concepts more memorable. So, students who struggle with traditional learning can feel smart and confident.
Art is a medium of expression. Research has consistently demonstrated that involvement in the arts increases student achievement across all subject areas, as well as social and adaptive skills. Part of this is due to the multi-sensory nature of the arts.
This becomes important in the context of children with learning difficulties. Some children with special needs may be able to communicate their needs verbally, but may require a medium like art to describe their feelings and emotions.
To allow adequate expression through art, we at TIPS believe that art is one activity where there is no fixed standard. There is no wrong or right. No work of art can be labelled as ’bad’. This allows the child to be able to do art at their own pace without competition and expectations. Whatever they do is beautiful and as good as what everyone else does. They can finish it in five minutes, or work on it for a week. Children love art because there are no fixed expectations. Children with special needs who find it hard to perform as well as the other children in the class; will enjoy art activities at TIPS for this reason.
All children can benefit from the exercise, energy release, and pure enjoyment of playing sports. This includes children with special needs. Physical activity is as important for special needs children as it is for any child. Participating in sports can help instill a sense of self-confidence and improve skills in relationship building and working as part of a team.
Keeping this in mind TIPS provides the sport activities – Swimming, Bicycling, Soccer, Basketball & Badminton.
Yoga therapy can provide crucial support for children with special needs. Behaviour and focus, strength, flexibility, balance, and self-regulation are all improved through yoga, making it an ideal practice for children on the autism spectrum, with ADHD, sensory processing and emotional/behavioural disorders, and other exceptionalities.
TIPS provides Yoga strategies that both calm and energize, emphasizing sensory and bodily awareness and the “sacred space” that is so important for these children.
Our aim is to promote play, social interaction, speech, language, and motor development; and enhance their self-esteem. It teaches an array of creative relaxation techniques using posture, breathing, and mindfulness designed specifically for children with special needs.
Dance is not just a physical activity, but also it is a form of creative expression.
Expression through dance or participating in group movement are activities for special needs children that can help improve difficulties and put children on the level of their neuro-typical peers.
At TIPS, when the SEN children are taught dance, they need to be aware of the space around them, align their bodies, or follow particular movement patterns, which involve gross and fine motor control. While most of the activities for SEN children do not suggest a right or wrong way to do things, dance allows children to explore the space and their bodies, and through direction from instructors, they will be able to practice and improve their movements.
At TIPS, through regular and organized dance, children with special needs will be asked to replicate particular body movements. From just a physical point of view, movement and dance help with body awareness, which refers to knowing and understanding parts of your body and how they function. Performing in front of each other strengthens peer bond and motivates them to improve. It will also help in promoting social interaction and help them gain confidence.
Hans Christian Anderson once said, “Where words fail, music speaks.”
Music tends to be one of the top motivators for children with special needs, because it engages and appeals to many of their sensory strengths and needs. It is unquestionable that through the medium of music many essential and enabling life skills can be learned and the benefits that playing and learning music can have on a child’s growth and development are immeasurable.
All children have the same need to express themselves and playing a musical instrument can provide an outlet for creative and emotional expression. It helps children to overcome their frustrations and assist to boost their self-esteem.
TIPS provide a Music Therapy lab where students can experience and express with musical instruments. Music is not the goal of music therapy. Cognitive stimulation, self-expression, self-awareness, or increased motor movements are some of the goals that music therapy can focus on and the music itself is simply a tool to achieve these goals. The playing of percussion instruments during music classes can be of inestimable value for children who have difficulties in hearing, seeing, moving, thinking or responding; each can experience the music in their own unique way.
Music can positively impact everything from emotional development to motor skills to cognitive functioning. Kids with learning disorders can benefit from Music as it will help them to feel calmer and less impulsive. Further, many children will feel more comfortable opening up about their feelings when they are exposed to music. The act of practicing playing classical music and listening to it at the same time can teach kids to lengthen their attention span.