A Special Needs Assistant (SNA) supports the child with special needs to attend a mainstream class while giving extra attention. As the students are special needs an assistant should be allowed to shadow the student on school premises to assist him/her to socialize and learn until he/she gets independent. These assistants have knowledge of developmental disorders, learning disabilities, and how to handle them accordingly.
The decision to provide an SNA for a student is made by a multidisciplinary team that includes Lead psychologists, Assistant therapists of the child, Principal of school, director of ARCL, and the parents.
ARCL provides free training services (specific for the disorder) and behavior management courses to the SNA arranged by parents.
If it is not possible for the parents to arrange an SNA, ARCL provides an experienced therapist to work as an SNA with the child.
SNA put efforts to help the child adjust in the school environment by providing;
- Information to the class teachers about the child’s problems and the use of reinforcement.
- Help the class teacher to understand the child’s needs.
- Support the child to follow the commands of the class teacher.
- Help the child to understand the classwork.
- Support the child to participate in classroom activities.
- Support the child in learning school work independently.
- Manage the child’s behavior to maintain discipline.
- Most importantly, to gradually fade herself to make the child independent.