Within the special education programme at ENA, the specialist therapists (special education teachers, child psychologists, psychologists) evaluate the particular difficulties and needs of each child and then design the appropriate program of educational intervention according to their particular needs.

The special education intervention is achieved through a choice of teaching methodologies and educational resources that are adapted to each specific child’s needs.

Who is it addressed to?

The special education program is addressed to toddlers, children and teenagers with:

  • Specific learning difficulties (dyslexia, dispelling, dysgraphia, dyscalculia)
  • General learning difficulties
  • Deficient schooling readiness
  • Marginal or low intellectual potential
  • Psychokinetic delay
  • Attention Deficit Syndrome and/or Hyperactivity
  • Attention Deficit Disorder
  • Specific linguistic disabilities (e.g. dyspraxia)
  • Pervasive developmental disorders
  • Sensory disabilities (vision, hearing)
  • Brain damage and neurological conditions
  • Developmental delay
  • Psychological and emotional immaturity
  • Socio-cultural delay

What is included in the special educational needs programme at ENA:

PERSONAL AND FAMILY HISTORY RECORD

When a child visits us for the first time, we make a record of her personal and family history. In particular, we note down information concerning the birth, development and day-to-day activities of the child at home and in school. By recording the history of each child, we ensure her comprehensive evaluation and are better equipped to holistically comprehend her difficulties.

LEARNING DISABILITIES EVALUATION

The evaluation of learning disabilities aims at the establishment of a comprehensive program of intervention in accordance with the needs of each child and is carried out:
a. through examining the developmental and family history of the child
b. though an interview with the child, where we can observe and informally test for learning capacity (such as reading, writing, spelling, ability for phonetic processing, auditory and visual perception)
c. through the administration of assessment tests in order to determine the degree of learning disability (ATHINA TEST)
d. through taking into account the child’s mental abilities

Rehabilitation of learning disabilities

The term ‘learning disabilities’ refers to a heterogenous group of children. In other words, any one child may have a learning disability due to a variety of different reasons.

Which are the reasons a child has difficulties in learning?

The reasons a child has difficulties in learning may be due to:

a. Intrinsic factors. Intrinsic factors are those factors that are associated with the child per se. These may be related to genetic factors, such as, for instance, low intellectual potential, brain damage, neurological disorders, or to emotional and psychological factors.
b. Extrinsic factors. Extrinsic factors are those factors that are associated with the environment. These may be related to a weakness and possible rigidity within the school framework, to inadequate educational stimuli, to socio-cultural differences, to the inability of the family to support the child in the learning process for a number of different reasons.
c. A combination of intrinsic and extrinsic factors.

Which types of children encounter learning difficulties?

We can encounter learning difficulties in children that present:

SPECIFIC LEARNING DIFFICULTIES

We encounter specific learning difficulties in children with normal IQ, who do not present any motor or sensory disabilities, emotional disorders or syndromes, but who nevertheless find it difficult to develop the necessary skills for learning and who fall short in terms of other children of the same chronological and mental age. Specific learning difficulties include:

  • Dyslexia
  • Dysgraphia
  • Dispelling
  • Dyscalculia.

GENERAL LEARNING DIFFICULTIES

General Learning Difficulties are encountered in children who present an immaturity in terms of the skills expected for their age group. General learning difficulties may be encountered in children who present:

  • Marginal or low intellectual potential
  • Psychokinetic delay
  • Attention Deficit and/or Hyperactivity
  • Specific Linguistic Disabilities (e.g. Dyspraxia)
  • Pervasive Developmental Disorders
  • Sensory Disabilities (vision/hearing)
  • Brain damage and neurological conditions
  • Psychological and emotional immaturity
  • Socio-cultural deprivation

How is the rehabilitation of learning difficulties achieved?

The rehabilitation of learning difficulties is carried out through the development of an individualized intervention program for each child.

The development of the therapeutic program ensues from the evaluation process and addresses the specific needs of each child. The therapist in charge sets the long-term and short-term goals, which are reassessed according to the child’s performance.

The goals set concern the learning process, as well as the psychological support of the child that is learning. The psychological support of the child, through a psychological educational intervention is considered essential, as in many cases we encounter in children with learning difficulties accompanying difficulties of an emotional or social nature, since the disappointment and frustration that they experience may bring about fear, anxiety, anger, low self-esteem or anti-social behaviour.

At the same time, with the aim of a holistic therapeutic approach, the cooperation with the family and the school framework is encouraged.

INTERVENTION AT THE PRE-SCHOOL AND PRIMARY SCHOOL AGE FOR THE DEVELOPMENT OF SCHOOLING READINESS SKILLS

Pre-school age is a pivotal point in child development, as it is the age at which the child conquers the necessary skills in order to attend school, in other words the child conquers what we call schooling readiness.

At the same time, we often encounter children of primary school age who lag behind in their development and have not achieved schooling readiness.

These children may find it difficult to acquire new skills due to family conditions, inadequacy of the school framework, emotional immaturity, attention deficit or again due to difficulties in connection with diagnosed developmental delays (such as psychokinetic delay, pervasive developmental delay).

The intervention for the development of schooling readiness is addressed at precisely those children that have not acquired the necessary skills in order to be effortlessly integrated within the school framework.

Within the context of said intervention, the therapist in charge designs the appropriate therapeutic program for each child in order to gradually achieve schooling readiness. Within the context of the intervention the child learns and develops:

  • spatiotemporal concepts, pre-mathematical concepts, quantitative concepts, concepts of size, concepts of sequencing and logical chain of events
  • grouping and sorting skills
  • pre-writing exercises
  • symbol recognition and reproduction
  • visual and auditory memory
  • visual and auditory differentiation
  • logical thinking
  • pre-reading skills
  • phonological awareness
  • story comprehension and story telling
  • symbolic and communicative play
  • boundary observance and behaviour organization
  • first reading and writing, if the above-mentioned are achieved