Why is this training series important for me?
Special education is a challenging field, made all the more demanding in Pakistan by the lack of training options for people who wish to learn more. While patience and understanding are important virtues for special educators, so is a set of appropriate teaching strategies and skills. In your role as teacher or parent, it is of vital importance that you understand the different kinds of needs children have and why these should be addressed as part of their education. Such knowledge will enable you to guide other teachers, children and families to actively make a difference in how special education is provided
in Pakistan.

What are the course objectives?

Discovering Special Education will equip you to make more informed choices about how to assess and instruct individuals with special needs. It will facilitate an appreciation of all the different areas of learning which should be addressed in an effective special education program in order to make it useful for children. It will help you evaluate the environment you set up to ensure it is appropriate for the skills you are teaching. You will gain a better understanding of how to support children in the larger context of society. In short, Discovering Special Education will engage you in understanding both yourself and children, so you can provide them with high quality, meaningful instruction to make them competent, dynamic individuals.

An overview of the course modules and components:

Introduction to Special Education
– how special education has changed over the years
– special education in Pakistan
– goals of special education
– important teaching behaviours
– things to remember when designing instruction in special education

Managing Behaviour
– how do we define challenging behaviour
– how to prevent challenging behaviour
– the role of observation in understanding and managing challenging behaviour
positive behaviour support

Working with Families
– understanding the family as a system
– family adaptation to disability
– what is the effect of poverty on family and disabilities
– family-professional partnerships
– how to identify and respond to what is important for families
– the Individualized Education Plan (IEP) process

– why should we assess children
– strategies for measuring children’s contexts
– different types of tests and why they are used
– what makes a good screening program?
– sharing assessment findings
– use of observation in assessment

Designing and Implementing Instructional Programs
– the process of designing and implementing instructional programs
– what is a task analysis and how can we use it to establish goals & objectives
– what are the foundations of learning
– recommended teaching methods for individuals with disabilities

Language and Communication
– importance of communication
– principles of communication intervention
– principles of language development
– child and adult strategies in language development
– recommended teaching strategies for language development

Motor Skills
– why should motor skills be assessed?
– principles of motor development
– guidelines for how to promote motor development

Self-Care Skills
– why we should assess & teach self care skills
– informal assessment of self care skills
– things to remember when assessing and instructing in the following areas:
eating/feeding, dressing/undressing, grooming/hygiene, and toilet training

Setting up the Environment
– assessing the environment
– characteristics of “good environments”
– guidelines for setting up and operating an environment
– basic adaptations and modifications
– managing transitions within the environment

How is the course structured?

This will be a participative, hands-on workshop with brainstorming, interactive lectures, role play, pair and group activities. The series will be held thrice a week, in the mornings. For your assignments, you will be expected to apply what you learn and to share those experiences during the workshop.

Who will facilitate the workshop?

Nida Alavi has an M.Ed in Special Education from Peabody College, Vanderbilt University and a B.A from Ohio Wesleyan University, USA where she majored in Early Childhood Education and Psychology. Nida has worked extensively with young children in the US and Pakistan. In 2006, she freelanced with TRC in conducting workshops and course development. She is now a full-time member of the TRC team and ECE faculty.


November: 07, 08, 14, 15, 21, 22, 28, 29
December: 05, 06
All classes are on Fridays and Saturdays from 9:00 am – 2:00 pm

Where: TRC- Institute of ECE
Fee: Rs. 9,000 (for TRC members)/Rs. 10,800 (for non-members)

Registrations will be done on a first come, first served basis. The registration form and fee should reach TRC latest by Wednesday, October 15, 2008. We will register only 20 participants and may have to close registrations well before this date.