LACK of parental support, specialised skills for teachers and limited resources are among the biggest challenges facing the Lautoka School for Special Education.
This was shared by head teacher Elenoa Vunitabua during a celebration to mark World Autism Day and World Down Syndrome Day yesterday.
“What we have found is that parents are not very supportive when it comes to developing individualised education programs or goals for their child,” she said.
“These are everyday skills like toilet training, feeding and for their child to have a set routine.
“We ask for parents to cooperate with us in this area because it is a key component of their child’s development. In terms of teachers, I take my hat off to my staff because despite the fact they have not received specialised training, they try their best each day. We have a serious issue with lack of specialised training in dealing with severely autistic children.
“With Down syndrome children, their biggest impediment is communication and we need speech therapists to address this issue.”
Ms Vunitabua said lack of resources was also a major issue because of the large number of students and the complexity of issues staff faced each day.
“We have 117 students and they have a range of disabilities and we need resources to help us provide the best possible care for our children.”