Smart Kids with Individual Learning Differences
Supporting Children with Special Needs and their Families
SKILD supports children and youth with learning differences through specialized intervention, awareness raising, and through providing capacity building and resources to educators, parents, and the general community.
Neglected and Forgotten
Many children and youth suffer from unidentified learning differences that cause them to fall behind in their classes and few schools in Lebanon have a mechanism for recognizing these differences. The parents of these struggling students feel overwhelmed and discouraged about not knowing how to help their children succeed and wonder why they can’t just perform like normal children. Schools are unable to properly assess and assist these students because they lack trained staff or comprehensive programs that are equipped to deal with unique individual learning differences. The community at large remains ignorant of and lacks understanding for the challenges that these students face. And the government pushes the needs of these students off from one ministry onto another, stating that it is not within their domain, hence leaving schools without the funding they need to finance individualized learning programs. Finally, the students are left marginalized and vulnerable as they are misunderstood and rejected by their surrounding communities. Untold potential is being lost as these children are allowed to slip through the cracks and are left unrecognized for the talents and strengths they have.
In response to all of these issues, LSESD decided to inaugurate the SKILD center in 2011 in order to meet the needs of those children who have been left behind and to fill the gaps left by the educational system. By providing subsidized global assessments, SKILD is able to identify the academic, emotional and social challenges that children face and recognize their individual needs. Once a student has been assessed, SKILD creates an individual action plan for helping the students to advance not only in school but also in their personal life outside of the school walls. Multi-sensory programs such as the Life and Social Skills Sessions help children to learn how to navigate daily life in a fun, failure-free zone. Parents can also find support and a compassionate ear through the Parent2Parent gatherings. What’s more, SKILD helps private and public schools to set up and develop their special education departments by sending a trained team to establish programs or provide additional professional assistance. Finally, SKILD engages heavily in raising community awareness about the realities of learning difficulties and advocates for the rights of children with individual learning styles before the Ministry of Education.
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SKILD News Articles
Inside the hall of Saydet El Inaya church in Maghdouche, many families of children and adults with special needs and learning difficulties began to gather. Yet there was one family who caught my attention.
“I am very excited to be at NDU. I will definitely do well on my first semester… Whatever [tests] Mrs. Lama gives me, I will do my best to get a perfect score…
I will do public speaking just like the TED Talks, so I am super excited to be at this university.”
On an early Monday morning in Anjar’s MERATH-supported church-based learning center, young Mazen came in with his classmates for a SKILD-facilitated session on psychosocial support. As part of a series on social emotional learning, that day’s lesson was on positively handling negative emotions.
Tel: +961 (4) 533791
Mob: +961 (71) 767605
Blata Str. Mansourieh
El Maten Lebanon