• What are special educational needs?

    Children with special educational needs all have learning difficulties or challenges that make it harder for them to learn than most children the same age. Children with special educational needs may need extra help because of a range of needs, such as in thinking and understanding, physical or sensory difficulties, emotional and behavioural challenges or difficulties with speech and language or how they relate to and behave with other people.
  • What can you do, if you are worried that your child may be experiencing difficulties at or before, they go to school, why special needs education?

    Many children will have special educational needs of some kind at some time during their education. Some children overcome the barriers of their difficulties quickly and easily. But a few children will need extra help for some or all of their time at school. For some the School Leavers Certificate (or matric) would be too difficult to achieve.
  • How can you help your child?

    If your concerns lie around helping your child fulfil his / her potential, it is often advisable to have your child formally assessed. The results of such an assessment will give you insight into where your child is currently functioning, and what needs to be undertaken to best help your child.
  • What therapies can help your child?

    If your child experiences difficulties in the areas of gross (muscle tone, postural control, bilateral integration, balance, ball skills, general skills such as hopping or skipping etc.), fine motor (finger strength, pencil grip and pencil control, in-hand manipulation skills, block building, threading, colouring skills, cutting skills, pre-writing skills, writing skills, eye hand co-ordination) or perceptual difficulties (body awareness, concepts – shapes, colours, numbers, size, directionality – left and right concept, spatial awareness – which enables the pupil to orientate his body in relation to other objects, as well as orientate objects in relation to one another e.g. concepts like above, under, behind, in front, next to, on top, inside are used. Visual figure ground – is the ability to focus ones visual attention on one object, which is a skill the pupil will need later to enable him to focus on one word at a time while he reads. Visual discrimination – the ability to perceive the similarities and differences between objects, shapes and symbols. At school the child will use the skill to discriminate between numbers and letters and also to see differences between two words which are very similar “sand” and “land”. Position is space – enables the pupil to orientate his body or an object in space. This skill is used to discriminate between the “b” and the “d”. Visual closure – the ability to complete a figure, word or sentence which is perceived as incomplete. The pupil will use this skill when reading different handwritings. Visual motor integration – the ability to integrate the functions of the visual system and motor skills in order to enable the pupil to copy pictures or drawings. This will enable the pupil to copy what his teacher has written on the blackboard), then a formal Occupational Therapy Assessment is advised. If your child experiences difficulties with speaking, or following of instructions. If they’re not able to make their needs known, and are not responding to or responding incorrectly to questions, if they have poor word order, difficulty being understood by unfamiliar people then a formal Speech and Language Assessment is advised. These difficulties could also be related to a hearing problem. If your child is struggling to socially integrate, make friends, play appropriately or isn’t socialising at an age appropriate level, play therapy may be necessary. Children experiencing different types of social, emotional, behavioural, and learning problems, including post-traumatic stress, conduct disorder, aggression, anxiety/fearfulness, depression, ADHD, impulsivity, low self-esteem, reading difficulties, and social withdrawal can benefit from Play Therapy. It is also helpful for children whose problems are related to divorce, relocation, hospitalisation, chronic illness, abuse, and death/loss of a significant person. Play Therapy is a process whereby the professional therapist assesses and understands the child’s play and uses it in assisting the child in coping with difficult emotions and in finding solutions to their problems. If you require further information please feel free to contact the school at 010 109 0790 or 072 613 3669 or principal@unity-college.org.za for further advice.
  • What help will my child need?

    A variety of factors need to be taken into consideration, with what help will your child need. Recommendations would depend on the age and degree of difficulty your child experiences.