SOD services are being offered for students with special learning needs. These services depend on a set of criteria or standards to ensure an effective outcome, and these are:
- The presence of a private resource room where the SOD team can work with the student on one-to-one basis.
- A set of resources and material are available; such as a computer, a white board, visual aids, a specialized reading program( both English and Arabic). In addition to that flash cards, worksheets, and multisensory manipulatives that are prepared by the SOD team are available to cater to the students diverse learning needs.
- Classroom support is provided for students, if need be; especially in written tasks and quizzes.
- Each student should have a private educational portfolio that includes:
- Referral Checklist or Report filled out by the teacher
- Parent’s consent
- SOD and GAT checklist
- Informal, cirriculum-based assessment report.
- Formal Assessment
- An IEP ( Individuaized Educational Plan/ Program).
- On-going evaluations such as checklist, progress report, SST report, Parent Meeting Form,Parent Consent form,etc..
- A rotational pull-out schedule for each student.
- ALP (GAT)
A specific number of cases should be acknowledged at the beginning of the academic year( maximum till end of Term 1).
- Every case should be observed, assessed, and an action plan should be set for each student.
- SOD team should cater to the students’ social and emotional needs by the aid of the social worker; thus, creating a supportive atmosphere inside and outside the class with the help of the classroom teacher.
- Positive reinforcers and direct corrective feedback should always be present in class and in one-to-one pull-out sessions.
- Intervention methods are and should always be flexible to cater for the special needs of these students.
If GAT students are allocated and identified, the SOD team develops an ALP to cater to the students’ additional needs with the support and cooperation of the classroom teacher.
Special Education Categories
The UAE Ministry of Education has categorized the students’ disabilities to be able to provide the required support and programs as well as other related services.
Specific Learning Disabilities:
It refers to learning disorder related to basic psychological processes such as understanding, spoken or written language that affects the student’s ability to perform the required academic tasks or skills.
It refers to the student’s physical problems that lead to poor or limited functionality and adversely affects his or her academic performance. This might include asthma, hyperactivity, heart disease, epilepsy, and head injuries etc.
It is related to impairment vision that affects a student’s performance negatively. This term includes partially and blindness. Hearing impairment involves permanent or fluctuating issues such as deafness.
Speech and Language Disorders:
It means that students might have communication disorder including stuttering, impaired articulation, or language impairment that affects the students’ performance.
Autism Spectrum Disorders:
It is known as Pervasive Developmental Disorders (PDDs) and it is usually accompanied with impairment in thinking and feeling.
Emotional and Behavioral Disorders:
It is a condition in which a student might not be able to learn in a case that can’t be identified by intellectual or health factors. Also, it includes poor interpersonal relationships with peers and teachers and inappropriate behavior under normal circumstances, a general unhappiness or depression, and fear.
It refers to having poor or limited intellectual skills as well as a difficulty to adapt behaviors during the developmental period.
Gifted and Talented:
It refers to the students’ unique abilities in one or more areas of intelligence. This includes creativity, outstanding academic achievements, or any other unique skills that could be supported.
The term disability doesn’t apply to children with learning difficulties that are a result of one of the following:
- Environmental factors
- Cultural factors such as not being a native speaker of Arabic language.
- Students who have experienced academic failure.
Revised AC 2020-2021