In last month’s issue we asked teachers:

Have you got children with special needs in class? Have you got any ideas, websites or activities you’d like to share? Here are some of the answers we received alongside some additional ideas. Do you want to participate and share your ideas? Check out this month’s questions in the Your Turn! section – Your Top Tips.

–       I have a boy with ADD in class. I always give him lots of extra ‘jobs’ to do in class to keep him busy   

–       When I’m doing a cut-out or craft in class I help the students with difficulties by cutting out the forms beforehand. 

–       If necessary, I assign a ‘special helper’ to assist students who need additional attention

–       I make sure that the child who needs assistance feels safe in class and that everyone treat him/her with respect.


Some basics:

Teachers need meet the needs of all learners in their increasingly diverse classrooms based on the principles of:

  • Setting suitable learning challenges
  • Responding to diverse learning needs
  • Overcoming potential learning barriers


Some general tips:

–       Make sure lessons have a strong visual component (in cases where there is not visual impairment)

–       Include collaborative activities in your lessons (this way pupils can learn from their peers)

–        Have several different ‘partners’ for pupils in the class who require extra assistance.

–       Spend time over the course of the year training students to work together through group building and self esteem building tasks.

–       Set a good example, if we model positive interpersonal interactions this will in turn help pupils.

–       Use a multi-sensory approach to appeal to as many different types of learners as possible.

–       Make sure assessment is success oriented and builds on pupils’ strengths.

–       At school, be aware of possible social or physical barriers children with special needs might face.

The Salamanca Statement of the UNESCO World Conference On Special Needs Education: Access and Quality (June 1994) states that:

  • Every child has a fundamental right to education and must be given the opportunity to achieve and maintain acceptable levels of learning;
  • Every child has unique characteristics, interests, abilities and learning needs;
  • Education systems should be designed and educational programmes implemented to take into account the wide diversity of these characteristics and needs;
  • Those with special educational needs must have access to mainstream schools which should accommodate them within a child-centred pedagogy capable of meeting these needs;
  • Mainstream schools with this inclusive orientation are the most effective means of combating discriminatory attitudes, creating welcoming communities, building an inclusive society and achieving education for all. Moreover, they provide an effective education for the majority of children (without special needs) and improve the efficiency and ultimately the cost-effectiveness of the entire education system.


Food for thought… “The education of children with special educational needs is a key challenge for the nation. It is vital to the creation of a fully inclusive society in which all members see themselves as valued for the contribution they make. We owe all children – whatever their particular needs and circumstances – the opportunity to develop their full potential to contribute economically, and to play a full part as active citizens.” David Blunkett MP Forward to SEN Action Programme November 1998


How do you integrate children with special needs or disabilities in class? Leave a comment or send your ideas to


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