Special Needs Dedicated School
The Rashid Paediatric Therapy Centre was inaugurated in 1994 and today provides a holistic multi-disciplinary approach to special education.
According to the Centre’s website, its aim is to provide high quality, integrated education services and therapies for children with special needs, with a purpose to develop children’s abilities to function and learn within their environments, that is, at home, school and the community. The aim is for the children to develop as much independence as possible. At the moment, the Centre has 150 students attending in the morning and 100 students attending in the afternoon for therapy. The Center’s staff of 85 helps provide special education, speech therapy, occupational therapy and pre-vocational training.
The Centre is located in Al Barsha, behind the Mall of the Emirates
Who runs the school?
The Centre is managed by its Director, Mrs Mariam Othman who overlooks a team consisting of the Head Teacher, physiotherapy, occupational therapy and speech language therapy teachers as well as a clinic and other departments. Also providing support and guidance is a Board consisting of dignitaries such as H.H Sheikh Ahmed Bin Saeed Al Maktoum, H.H Sheikh Juma Bin Maktoum Al Maktoum and other prominent members and dignitaries.
What is the school’s philosophy?
According to its website, the Centre not only focuses on setting high standards and expectations for children with special needs, it also has a mandate to raise awareness of and understanding about disability in the Gulf community.
What facilities does the school offer?
Among others, the Centre offers Early Intervention with a comprehensive service for babies and toddlers from zero to four years. This follows the theory that intervention at the earliest age enhances an infant’s potential for normal development. The Centre works in partnership with parents to provide a programme suited to each child’s individual abilities, seeking to promote all areas of their development.
This consists of three classes for children whose disability is predominantly physical and offers a holistic, integrated programme to children aged three to eleven years. The programmes are based on the principles of Conductive Education – an educational approach for children with motor disorders, which teaches them how to overcome their problems of movement.
Learning Difficulties Classes
There are eleven classes within this section offered to children ranging in age from three to 15 years of age. Classes are divided according to the language of instruction with half the classes taught in Arabic and other half in English. Children who have moderate to severe learning difficulties are welcomed in this section and can join in depending on their ages and on the type of programme they require.
This consists of three classes for senior girls and a class of senior boys ranging in age from 12 to 17. The senior curriculum prepares young adults for life with activities for daily living taking a high priority. For some of the class, an academic focus is maintained and extended, for others, the focus is on the development of functional academic skills to enable participation in families and communities. Students are taught hygiene, cooking, housekeeping, laundry, ironing as well as sewing, sports and arts and crafts.
Hearing Impaired Classes
This consists of classes for young children with a severe hearing impairment. The language of instruction is English for this class, with an Auditory-Verbal approach employed to teach children to maximize their hearing ability through active listening. The class follows the framework of the British Curriculum, with students participating in individual sessions that focus on listening, speech production and auditory perception.
The Centre offers Speech Therapy in both English and Arabic, Occupational Therapy to help students with essential life skills such as self-care, leisure and productivity and Physiotherapy for children with difficulties in muscle strength, range and quality of movement.
Since 2006, the Centre has had a workshop to help it to train young people from the ages of 18 to 20. Some are trained in wood crafts such as carpentry and woodwork, others in jewellery making, glass painting or ceramics, screen printing and basket making. The articles made are sold to the community at local bazaars to help finance the work that these students do, ensure business continuity and to help the students gain in confidence.
You can register your child online or by downloading the application form. Go to this link: http://www.rashidc.ae/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=154&Itemid=173&lang=en