Integrated education entails the attendance of children with special education needs to state or private schools alongside their typically developing peers. A child with special education needs can receive integrated education at pre-school, primary and middle school levels. Special education students in integrated education and their teachers need to be supported by the State.
Support services are those through which special education students are given support to adapt to the integrated environment or by which the curriculum is adapted to suit special needs children.
Your child may spend all of their time with their peers in the classroom (full integration) or may attend part-time in a special education classroom (partial integration). The relevant Boards and the family will decide together which program is more appropriate to your child’s performance and needs.
The program that your child is currently in is taken as a basis, together with their education performance and needs, in order to prepare an Individual Education Program. This program is prepared by the unit within the school or institution comprising a group of the following people, led by the head of the school/institution or his assistant who is tasked with developing this program:
- A visiting special needs teacher (if available),
- A school counsellor,
- A teacher who is tasked with preparing education programs,
- The child’s class tutor,
- Teachers in the child’s related subjects,
- The child’s parent or guardian,
- Child (if able to attend).
The Individual Education Program development unit may be joined, if advice needs to be taken, by a member of the Counselling and Research Centers. The working principles of the Individual Education Program development unit are determined by the relevant school or institution.
Those schools or institutions where education is given according to the integrated process will adapt the environment to the child’s special physical, social and psychological needs. In order for the education to be given effectively, special equipment, education materials, teaching methods and the child’s success assessment methods are used in these schools and institutions and furthermore, supporting education rooms are also established.
Teachers, pupils and other staff who work at schools and institutions which offer integration teaching are given information on the special needs of the individuals by Counselling and Research Centers and by members of the Individual Education Program development unit. Special needs children who will undergo the integration method are distributed equally to classes with a single class having no more than two such pupils.
The necessary arrangements and supporting educational services for children who continue to be educated according to the integration principle will be made by the school. Supporting educational services may be given both within the class or in the supporting education rooms.
Special Education Class
Special Education Classes are those which are established for special needs children within state or private schools. The Ministry for Education determines which disabled groups should be served by such classes in particular schools. For children who have ASD, Special Education Classes must have no more than four children. Children who complete these Special Education Classes are not given diplomas but instead receive a reading and writing certificate.
Special Education Administration Centers
State or privately funded Special Education Administration Centers (“SEACs”) are established for children with ASD who are of school going age but are unable to attend normal primary school programs. SEAC’s offer daytime education. Such institutions must ensure the following in providing education-learning services;
- SEAC’s must provide the special education program prepared by the Ministry for Education on basic self-care and daily life skills as well as gaining functional academic knowledge in order to adapt to society. This program is used as the basis for designing an individualised education program. The Individual Education Plan is used as a benchmark against which each individual’s success in aims and behavior is evaluated.
- SEAC’s also provide one-on-one training for individuals who have been unable to master toilet training and who have very serious behavioral problems which prohibit them from joining group classes in order to prepare them for the latter The one on one education members do not participate in group classes. The amount of class hours and length is determined by the Special Education Services Board.
- Those SEAC students who have been unable to complete year 8 by the end of their compulsory education are allowed to attend SEAC’s for a maximum of two more years.
- An Individual Progress Report is prepared twice a year for each student attending a SEAC. These reports are attached to the school report sent at mid-year and year-end to parents or guardians. The report aims to provide continuity in education by allowing parents to monitor the student’s progress against the skills and knowledge goals set forth in the individualised education program in a detailed manner. School reports and the Individual Progress Report are prepared but the class teacher. Students who attend SEAC’s cannot be evaluated as unsuccessful.
In line with integration activities, students at SEACs may join some of the classes and social events with their peers at those schools and institutions. You may apply to Counselling and Research Centers to this end. There are 52 SEACs in Turkey.
Special Education Work Administration Center
Young people with ASD under the age of 23 who have completed their primary I and II level education and who are unable to proceed to the general and apprenticeship programs may attend Specialized Education Vocational Centers. These Centers offer work skills as well as academic knowledge and skills. There are 16 such Centers in Turkey.