Special-needs school runs workshop

A school for children with special-needs has run a workshop to assist parents take care of their children at home during a two-week break.

The Aoga Fiamalamalama held the workshop on Wednesday with the activities revolving around the goal of “supporting learning in the home” as the school prepared to go into a two-week break.

It is understood one of the aims of the workshop is for parents to spend more time at home with their special-needs children, which would make it easier for teachers upon the students’ return to classes, in terms of consistency in approach and learning methodologies.

Aoga Fiamalamalama Principal, Sharon Suhren, told the Samoa Observer that the workshop was the result of a parents and teachers meeting.

“Parents find it difficult to help their children in the home, today is to give them some quick ideas to help with children with Intellectual disability,” she said.

“We are encouraging parents to give effort and work hand-in-hand with us to take good care of our children.

“We’re trying to let parents do the same as what we do here in school so it’ll be easier for us to deal with students.” 

Participating parents also shared how the workshop helped them to know what their children face daily but lack understanding. Some of them got emotional and thanked the principal and her staff for how their work in school has changed their children’s behaviour.

The program for the day focused on four areas: lack of social skills and inappropriate behavior; lack of interest; inability to follow verbal instructions; and lack of confidence in themselves.

Ms Suhren and her staff also did a demonstration as well as presentations to help parents increase their knowledge of their children and their special needs.

The demonstration and presentations were done to get parents to understand that all students learn best in an environment which is engaging, meaningful and relevant. 

The workshop was also held to identify barriers to students’ learning and to work as a team to share ideas and overcome challenges.

The workshop also helped parents to manage inappropriate behavior by children who are not aware of boundaries where safety is concerned not only for themselves but others as well. The parents also participated in fun activities such as answering questions which also contributed to their knowledge.

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