Ministry of Education, Guyana

Monday, 29 April 2019 12:05

Special Education Needs symposium held for Region Three parents

Parents of children with special education needs and disability within Region Three benefited from a symposium today at the Department of Education’s office in Vreed-en-hoop.

National Special Education Needs (SEN) Officer within the Ministry of Education, Ms. Savvie Hopkinson, said that the parent symposium is an interactive occasion for parents to share, discuss and ask questions.
She said that the event was being held under the theme ‘Parenting with Love and Logic’. According to Ms. Hopkinson, she believes that for parents who desire to be parenting with love and logic they need to keep four points in mind, which are, acceptance, courage, wisdom and 20190507 10
She said that parents must first accept their child or children. “Acceptance is not to tolerate or to have a feeling of being trapped or saying you have no choice. Having prepared and followed the best prenatal advice, your first responsibility is to accept the reality and seek the help needed and follow recommendations that would improve the life chances of the child and grow your personality,” the National SEN Officer remarked.
On the matter of courage, Ms. Hopkinson noted that courage refers to inner strength to prevent being consumed by the reality of disability. She said that parents should praise their child for good deeds and good behaviour. Children should be challenged with new tasks and stimulating engagements to boost their holistic development, Ms. Hopkinson 20190507 6
Moreover, Ms. Hopkinson explained that wisdom allows parents to set realistic goals for their children. She said that daily interaction with children will reveal their strengths and weaknesses. “Spending quality time with your child will help you to understand him or her and set realistic achievable goals. You are your child’s greatest advocate. It is important to believe that your child can achieve and become successful”, Ms. Hopkinson said as she offered advice to the parents in 20190507 9
Lastly, parents were told that enjoying their children does not mean ignoring teachable moments and training. The National SEN Officer noted that children with special education needs and disability must also be taught to respect others. She said that parents need to be fair, consistent, calm and realistic when teaching their children.

Meanwhile, Regional Education Officer for Region Three, Mrs. Annesta Douglas said that with the month of April being used to observe autism globally, it is important to place the spotlight on the hurdles that people with autism face every day. news 20190507 11
She said that as a growing global issue, owing to its increasing exposure, in the press and common knowledge, autism is an issue that is only gaining more understanding, and activities such as today’s parent symposium are planned every year to further increase and develop world knowledge of children and adults who have autism.
During today’s symposium parents were engaged in discussions targeting four topics. These topics were understanding behavioural therapy for children with autism, characteristics and core defects of autism, classroom management and functional routines and everyday life and how to teach self-help skills.
The symposium was a collaborative effort between the SEN Unit and the Department of Education Region Three.

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