Teachers receive training in special education from CREDI

The institute, which offers a Bachelor of Education with Honours with a specialisation in Special Education course, is currently facilitating an Autism Workshop for students of the programme. The workshop exposed over 60 students to various specialist areas, facilitated by Professor Kari Dunn-Buron, from Hamline University in Minnesota, USA.

Dunn-Buron has developed an Autism Spectrum Disorders Certificate programme for educators at Hamline Universtiy and has done volunteer work specific to autism in TT, Barbados, Tanzania and Ghana.

Dunn-Buron has developed a credit course on Autism for CREDI, which focuses on various issues involving autism and research, including strategies, which according to Dunn-Buron are proven, evidence-based strategies to use in schools with children with autism to help them learn and achieve.

She addressed the difficulties of social thinking, relationship building, and emotional regulation which all impact a person’s ability to function in highly social environments. At the workshop she also presented social thinking research and autism learning theories. Dunn-Buron has been coming to TT for the last 20 years, through the Autistic Society, to work with families with autistic children.

This is the first time an organisation outside of the Autistic Society has requested her expertise. According to Dunn-Buron, “I’ve been able to come to TT for many years to do training for parents and teachers who are interested. This is the very first time an institution has hosted me in TT other than the Autistic society. CREDI was the first to be receptive to the idea of training special educators,” Dunn-Buron said.

The workshops’ participants had an opportunity to interact with two autistic young men, Kendell Boodoo and Marlon Haddaway who shared their personal stories and difficulties they have faced having to battle autism. Dr Vena Jules of CREDI said the Institute has been a live wire of education with special emphasis on special education throughout TT for many years.

She said student teachers should be aware of what they are going to be faced with and the best practises to deal with children with special needs such as autism.

She agreed that there is little emphasis on special education and while most teachers are capable, teachers in the education system have largely acquired class room experience and are not equipped with an academic background on dealing with special needs children.


"Teachers receive training in special education from CREDI"

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