PLD Department Highlights (APR/MAY 24)

Greetings from the PLD Department!

The PLD began the semester with the celebration of Dyslexia/ADHD Awareness in October. After that we had the assembly for the International Day for People living with Physical Disabilities in December. In April we shall have the PLD Secondary Inclusion Week from April 22nd to 26th 2024.

Last year’s Inclusion Week focused on defining various learning differences and then we had a poster competition to show student’s understanding of what they learned during the PLD week.

This year, our Inclusion Week will be used to build on the knowledge from last year to provide practical steps that our ARIS community can use to show empathy and support for our students, educate the wider community about inclusion and learn from the success stories of adults who overcame their learning differences.

This year we shall invite parents to participate more in the Inclusion week by giving them a chance to have a parent session with the speakers that will be invited for the Inclusion Week.

The final program of events and speakers lined up will be shared as soon as we resume from the Mid Semester break. It promises to be an insightful event.

ARIS was represented by Mme Unoma at the Global Inclusive Schools’ Forum hosted by the International Forum of Inclusion Practitioners (IFIP) and United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO). It was a gathering of inclusion practitioners from all over the world, coming together to improve inclusive education practice in schools. It was a forum for all parties involved in inclusion like government institutions, teachers, school owners and parents of students with learning differences.

Inclusion should start from the heart of practitioners so that when we say all children are being included we actually mean ‘all’. The way to get to ‘all’ children is through ‘each’ individual they have to interact with.

Some tips for better inclusive practice that were suggested are:

• Preconceptions may be wrong. Some parents and schools may have preconceptions about their student’s/child’s challenges and strengths once they receive a diagnosis or notice the student/child struggling with learning. They may expect too much or too little from the student/child and may take actions based on such preconceptions but it is better to observe, consult professionals and see what actually gives the student/child better results than to follow a trend based on a preconception which may or may not be correct.

• Keep an open mind, educate yourself from reliable sources about your student/ child’s learning differences and take your student/child as they are at each stage of their development. The individual human being is the most important person in the practice of inclusion so adults involved in inclusion should keep this in mind whenever frustration sets in and focus is shifted to strategies that did not work or unmet expectations.

• Be careful about the language used to communicate with your student/child. Words have power and hearing words being repeated to them will have an effect on your student/child. Positive words will yield more of positive results and vice versa.

• For parents: Join (or create) support groups for parents who have children with similar learning differences. These groups can be used as tools for you to vent your frustrations, share your stories of triumph and ultimately lead to change in the way society views children with learning differences.