Special needs education in Poland
There are many different kinds of special needs schools and programs. Some of these schools focus only on special needs students, and provide full-time support for them. Others offer a full-time special education class or program for children with some kinds of special needs (a class that takes place alongside other classes). And others offer certain kinds of in-class or out-of-class accommodations for special needs kids.
Each of these schools provides strong support for children with special needs. Only some of them, though, provide support for all types of special needs. Most focus on one or more kinds of special needs. While this isn’t a complete list, there are private and non-public schools providing support for one or more of the following kinds of special needs:
- Learning disabilities and disorders: this includes ADD, ADHD, and dyslexia (or related reading disorders)
- Developmental disabilities: this includes autism spectrum disorder (ASD), Asperger's syndrome, and Down syndrome
- Behavioural and psychological issues
- Gifted or advanced learning abilities
- Physical disabilities
Keep in mind, different types of special needs kids require different support. For instance, a gifted student may require curriculum acceleration or enrichment. A student with ADHD, on the other hand, may need to be placed in a smaller class, whether they can work in a calm and quiet place and get special attention. And a student with dyslexia may need extra time and support for reading and writing assignments.
The importance of school, in dealing with special needs
If you’re child has special needs, it’s important to address them. They can’t just be left to deal with them on their own.
A (non-public) special needs school, whether it offers full-time or part-time support, is a step in the right direction. Your child will likely be assigned a special education teacher. They may also receive individualized teaching, tutoring, and resources. This will help ensure they get the support they need, and don’t fall through the cracks.
A special needs education can also help your child avoid some common problems. Children with special needs or disabilities who get help often fall behind in their school work. This can lead to frustration, boredom, and feeling disconnected. It also can lead to social and behavioural issues.
By going to a school that supports their special education needs, your child can avoid these pitfalls. In fact, this can enable your child to excel: academically, socially, and emotionally.
Benefits of private schools for special needs
A private or non-public special needs school in Poland can be a great option for many children. A special needs education can provide the right kind of support and environment to help your child reach their full potential. In particular, special needs schools have several major benefits.
- Quality teachers: Special needs schools (private and non-public) tend to have dedicated and enthusiastic teachers. They also normally have focused training in special education, and experience teaching students with a wide range of special needs.
- Individualized instruction: Special needs schools have special education teachers that tailor instruction and curricula to meet your child’s unique needs. Whether your child has a learning or a physical disability (or another special need), a special program can be crafted for your child. This program will track your child’s development and progress and may be modified based on this.
- Small class sizes: Smaller classes allow special needs educators to recognize and address children’s strengths and weaknesses. They also make school less formal and intimidating, and more caring and supportive.
- Extra help: Polish private schools for students with special education needs provide plenty of extra help and support. Teachers are often available before and/or after school to help your son or daughter with school work. Some schools also offer peer tutoring programs as well.
- Extracurricular activities: Many private and non-public schools in Poland, including special needs schools, offer many types of extracurricular activities. This can be very helpful for a special needs child. It can help them explore and pursue their interests, gifts, and potential through activities such as sports, music, or arts.
Common questions about special needs education
Q: How will my child be supported?
A:This will depend on many things, including what kind of special education needs your child has. Common ways of supporting special needs students include smaller classes, tailored instruction, tutoring and extra help, and in-class accommodations (such as extra time for tests or assignments).
Q: Will my child fall behind in a special needs school?
A: This is unlikely. Private and non-public special needs schools have smaller class sizes than other types of schools. The class can resemble a supportive learning group. This means your child's teachers can monitor their unique needs. Also, if your child falls behind they’ll have the chance to catch up through extra help sessions — a staple of private schools.
Q: Will my child interact with other kids who don’t have special needs?
A: This depends. If your child is in a school devoted only to special needs, then they won’t interact with other kids who don’t have special needs (though they’ll likely interact with these kids out of school). If your child is in a special needs class (that takes place alongside other classes), then they likely will interact with kids who don’t have special needs.
Q: Will my child have lots of social opportunities?
A:Yes! First and foremost, small class sizes foster interactive classrooms. Second, and most importantly, private schools for special needs students offer lots of extracurricular programs or activities. This will enable your child to interact and socialize with kids with common interests such as chess or dancing.
Choosing a special needs private school in Poland
The best way to identify whether a private school is a fit for your child is to ask a lot of questions; speak with students, parents, administrators, and teachers. Try to envision whether your child will thrive in that school. Moreover, make sure that you are honest during in-person interviews and written applications.
For example, parents may coach their child too much in what to say or how to succeed in the application and interview process. The problem with this strategy is it may not let the school's administrators identify whether their school could help your child flourish.