SKILD Center does a lot more than just the National Day. Along with carrying out individual assessments and therapy sessions at the Center and at partner schools, the team of specialists in special education, speech therapy, psychomotor therapy, and counselling, has been raising its profile throughout the year through its work with teachers, parents, specialists and students.
Earlier in 2015, SKILD held a number of workshops for four schools in Lebanon with which it has developed partnerships. There were workshops for teachers that taught them about identifying the symptoms of learning difficulties, making an early intervention, and suggesting ways they can seek help and set strategies to help children in their class who need it. Specialists had sessions on the dangers of wrong diagnosis and the latest developments in the field. Students were taught stress management, study skills and comprehending difficulties, whilst parents learned what their role is when their children have learning difficulties and how they should expect their child’s school to respond.
Around 250 teachers and 300 students took part in the workshops. Although pleased with how the workshops were changing attitudes, Hiba Al Jamal, Director of the SKILD Center, says that more needs to be done to support parents of children with learning difficulties.
“Students were happy to have someone teaching them things they need, especially those that are scared of official exams at the end of the year,” Hiba says.
“For teachers it was very impressive to see that slowly we are getting them on board. Many of them have started to investigate how they can be more effective with students who need help.
“As for parents, we still see that with no laws from government to protect their kids’ rights and without financial support, it is going to be very stressful to help them accept their kids who are different. Parents are frustrated and not satisfied most of the time.”