February 22

School Education Of Special Needs Children: Benefiting or Stereotyping?

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A Closer Look At Special Needs Education

What are the human rights of our special needs children, youth and adults?

Surely they should have the same human right to optimize their life potentials and live their lives with dignity and be accepted and embraced by their families and communities.

Parents try their best to ensure this by engaging in the first step as their child reaches age four to five, but are their life investments well vested? Or is someone else benefiting from the challenges faced by the special needs child? 

Let's get started in the discussion...

Special Needs children

For most parents and families of special needs children, the only way forward is to enroll their child into an educational system that inevitably lead to special needs schools.

Most specialized schools charges at least USD 1000 and ZAR R10,000 a year for basic educational training, and even more if it is to include transport and or meals.

The already concerned and challenged parents usually without question, place their complete trust in the school and teachers to bring out their child's potential for a bright future.

For ten years parents invest into the educational system and the integrity of the teachers.

Is it all worthwhile? Or Is Someone Else Benefiting during the ten years?

Not every special needs child is able to complete the academic program and reach matric.

Special Needs Child Who Is Not In The Academic Program?

For him/her the pre-vocational program is scheduled, after which a report is received indicating the child's potential in a variety of dimensions including social skills.

It is this group of special needs children who are most at risk for being under-educated if their teacher is unskilled or not motivated to guide the child to a better future. In some instances the child may finish school without being able to read, write or talk in sentences.

They most at risk for being treated as invisible during classes, scolded, rebuked, shunned, isolated, and talked down to by a teacher who does not have the calling to teach. 

The only Queen in this class is me!"

Such a remark from a teacher after a child from her class featured in a press report due to her amazing progress in entrepreneurial work, sparked questions about the caliber of special needs teachers.


Many such instances are coming to the fore where we need to question special needs teacher's motivation, intention and expertise as trusting families are investing ten years of their childrens' lives and tens of thousands of hard earned monies to discover that at the end of schooling youngsters are dismissed from school, and remain at home or worse still engaged in menial jobs that serve the teacher.


Teachers Using Learners To Work For Their Friends During School Hours

One such investigation uncovered that a teacher at an elite school had for years used children in her special needs pre-vocational class to work during school hours at businesses owned by her friends.  Furthermore, she had convinced trusting parents that since their "children would not have much of a future after school" they should sign permission forms to allow the children to travel unsupervised on a school bus during school hours to supposedly "train" at businesses.

It was noted that none of these children were actually offered jobs at the businesses after they left school. The teacher, now on the verge of retirement will be joining one such business venture! 

What are parents to do?


What are the options for Challenged Families?

I've come across several parents who have taken over the education of their child and have reaped enormous benefits. Please watch live streams of USA parents of autistic children who have successful careers as adults.

A Viable Option?

Yes it is possible to home school, but it takes fortitude and courage to question the non-academic educational system for special needs children and take a closer look at the know-how and level of commitment of the teacher who is shaping the life of your child.

Is the teacher teaching merely for the salary and life long benefits? Or is she/he truly vested in your child's future?

Revelations from Special Needs Educators Behind Closed Doors

I was once again surprised to learn during several meetings with special needs educators and support staff members in an elite school, that they feel the child will never ever be able to optimize their life potential and that they as teachers and support systems know this from their years with the child.

Despite my citation of many children who have proved their misconception wrong, the groups in the meetings fervently clung to their views......

Sadly, it's not the first such revelations from teachers I've been privy to......

For this reason, I implore parents and families to become aware of the situation you have entrusted your child into....especially if it is in a non-academic program.

​Ruining someone's life is unjust and inhumane

....just as apartheid was in South Africa.

Parents of Special Needs Children Be Aware

Your special needs youngster has the human right to optimize his/her life potential, and perhaps the special needs school's non-academic system that has uninterested teachers is not the way to go for that.

Are There Schools Where Teachers Love Teaching Your Special Needs Child and Want Your Child to Excel After He/She leaves School?

Recently I had the honour of spending many hours at a special needs school away from the city down a red sand gravel road, where teachers are driven by an inner spark....lighting up the corridors and igniting the classrooms with enthusiasm and hope...where the Principal himself is filled with positivism and shines like a bright star....across the universe...and wherever we walked, learners ran up to him, with their hands coming together in the greeting of Namaste.

Bravo to this one special school among the ten I've been privy to....Bravo to the teachers, staff and amazing Principal...who are focused on their calling....to bring out the best in your child not only during school but after he/she finishes school....and steps into the adult world.

Yes, there are gems to be found...where you know your child will flourish. But they are too few...far and in between....too few...but enough to make a difference in a few lives....

Let's help it spread....to more schools....to help more youngsters....to have better futures....


Contact Dr. Vie for more information. Or donate  or volunteer for the Mother and Daughter's self funded SCH Vocational Centre projects in Africa.


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