Friday, August 30, 2013

Include them too !

Inclusion- Inclusion is a type of educational approach. In this approach children with special needs usually spend half to all of their school day with children who do not have special needs while having lessons adapted by teachers and other support staff to fit their needs.

With the web-based research I have been doing, I have come across some really different views about Inclusion  throughout Special Education classrooms everywhere.

Some think that it's  a hindrance on the teachers and other staff to have to incorporate modified lessons for the special needs children into the daily lessons that are planned for the typical needs children. Others believe this is what a special needs student needs and adapt and cater to the needs of the special needs child as well as the typical needs child.

Being that not much research has been done about the true outcomes and feelings of inclusion, I figured I would posse the question:

Do you as a teacher believe inclusion classrooms are beneficial?
Where you trained to be a teacher who works in an inclusive classroom?
If beneficial, how did your students benefit from this type of setting?
If not beneficial, why do you feel it didn't help or benefit your students?

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Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Oman's Special Education

I have been on vacation in Oman for the past several days. While here I noticed they have "Oman Association for the Disabled" so I decided to look further into their special education system. 

There is an estimated 60,000 people in Oman with special needs. Most of those mentioned are deaf and blind. 

The following article is about Inclusive education in Oman. The outlook and perception of inclusion education in Oman seems to be similar to that of Saudi Arabia.  

Read this article for better information regarding inclusion in Oman. 

Monday, August 19, 2013

Helping Hands Educational Program's FREE Teacher Seminar

Helping Hands Educational Program is now offering a Free-of-cost teacher training seminar to schools in Jeddah KSA. This seminar covers topics pertaining to special education and children with special needs throughout the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. The free seminar should be approved by school administration and personnel. 

The free seminar will be held between the dates of August 24- August 29, 2013. For those interested, leave your email address and other contact information here and Helping Hands Educational Program will contact you to confirm a date and a time. 

Please note: this seminar is only offered to schools. This is not offered to individuals or on an individual basis. In order for us carry through with the seminar we must have  permission from the schools director or coordinators. Without permission we will not be able to hold the training in the school.

There will be a training in the near future for individuals who would like receive training in the field of special education. Though this training will be paid. 

For more information or questions about our trainings or seminars, please email us at: or call us at: 054 042 4132

Saturday, March 2, 2013

A Parents Love

I have recently had the pleasure to contact and interview a mom who has a 2 year old son, both living here in Saudi Arabia who was diagnosed with Down Syndrome. Please read our conducted interview below. Leave comments of questions or concerns in the comment box below.

Mustafa :-)
What is your child’s name?
How old is Mustafa ?
What is Mustafa's diagnosis?
"Trisomy21 down syndrome"
When did you find out about Mustafa's child’s special needs?
"We found out after birth it was never suspected during pregnancy so it was a huge shock to me and my husband"
What challenges has your family faced since Mustafa's diagnosis?
"Our biggest challenge was accepting and coping and facing the fact that our son has Down Syndrome. Feeling different emotions from shock ,sadness ,denial, to accepting it and finally coping with it. As well as doing all we can for Mustafa to be the best he can be."
"The other challenge was our society. At first some advised us to not tell anyone that their is something wrong with our baby. They even advised me to get pregnant right away. Anyways I blame it on the lack of awareness in our country. I don't blame the people because I was like them. I had no idea what Down Syndrome was. I thought it meant retarded."
What kinds of support have been helpful for you? (family, teachers, friends etc.)

"Alhamdullilah our family and friends support to us was unconditional, they were and still are amazing with us and with Mustafa. At first they didn't know what down syndrome was so they all searched it online and gathered so many helpfull information and some talked to doctors ,Others read books ,watched DVD's. They all stood by us and I thank god for each and everyone of them. But our main support came from an amazing woman who works at the Help Center.  Her name is teacher Nahla. When I met her Mustafa was 2 weeks old and I was so broken. She helped me become a strong mother for Mustafa.  I owe her my life because she is the reason I am living a normal life with my husband and children."
If I were Mustafa's teacher, what advice would want to give me so that he has the best possible education?
{ I would tell you} "Deal with my son as you would deal with your own flesh and blood.With Passion and patience 
Teach him with passion and, help him accomplish his goals with patience."  

What other information would you like me to know about your child?

"Enrolling my son to Help center when he was 2 weeks old is the best decision my husband and I made. Well Mustafa is only 2 but he came a long way. When he was a baby his muscles were so weak. He couldn't lift his head. With care and physical therapy by the Help Center his muscles became stronger, and he's looking great now all his muscle tone is strong and very normal."
What other information would you like other people to know about your child?

"I would like people to take a very good look at my son. He is happy and healthy. As you can see Down Syndrome is not an illness, its a condition. He is just a baby with an extra chromosome. He behaves as other children his age.  He eats sleeps and plays like normal kids. I would like people to wipe away the negative info they have about Down Syndrome and look at the children that are taken care of by their parents. Look at the children that go through the early intervention programs." 
How do you view special education in Saudi Arabia, in the next 10 years?
"It still evolving we need stronger awareness."

Is Mustafa enrolled in any services? (centers, schools, daycares)

"In the Help Center, on Tahlia St {Jeddah}"
What are some of Mustafa’s interests?

"Music, cars, toys, books and the beach." 

In what ways have you educated yourself about Mustafa’s special need?
"The internet helped me a lot. I also bought books and DVD's.{ I also} Spoke to doctors.  
I like talking to parents that have children with special needs and learn from their experiences." 

Mustafa and his sisters :-)

Thank you Nada and family for your time :-)

Thursday, February 28, 2013

Kleine - Levin Syndrome (Sleeping Beauty Syndrome)

Below is an article (in English) about a teenage girl who suffers from what is nicknamed "Sleeping Beauty Syndrome". It is a neurological disorder that causes one to sleep for long periods of time (reported cases say up to 8 weeks) and also causes Jekell and Hyde personality changes.

Additionally, there is an article from "Time" magazine about the disorder and treatments for it.