Education chiefs want special needs training
Experts on children with special needs have expressed concern over the level of training and awareness in the UAE. And they warned children with learning difficulties can only be successfully integrated into schools once these aspects are improved.
Jill Mengel, a behavioural analyst and educational director at the Child Learning and Enrichment Medical Centre in Jumeirah, Dubai, said a lack of qualified staff is a major problem. "Integration is more uncommon here, because a lot of schools don't have special education teachers.
Many schools don't have enough staff and training," she said yesterday at the 'Teachers 2011 Education Day', organised by the centre and held at Wellington International School.
Specialists also discussed the need to educate both parents and teachers about the importance of early detection of learning difficulties and also to change attitudes so children do not feel ashamed.
However, one of the most significant problems is the lack of funding available.
One-on-one treatment and therapy for special needs children is costly and is not covered by health insurance, experts said.