I’m in Kenya and I’ve been working in schools offering and receiving information about autism. This is a glimpse of my experience here:
Rosterman is a mixed public school in Kakamega with 844 students. Each ‘mainstream’ class has one teacher and 60-70 students.There is also one special needs class with 15 students.
Here, we’ve been practising using drawings on the blackboard and symbols to help students communicate their needs. These are some very passionate teachers who wanted to share some of their experiences with teachers in England:
“I decided to work with kids with special needs because I wanted to help my son.
I love my job but it has a lot of challenges. The families don’t have transport to bring the children to school, they can’t pay for their snacks and uniform. Families usually have a lot of children and if one of them has special needs they often decide not to send him to school because they can’t afford it.
I try to share as much as I can with these learners. I don’t have enough materials but I have some flashcards to teach communication and some counters made of plastic cups or sticks to teach number work. I also teach life skills that might help these children live more independently in the future.”
Joy Udoto: Special Needs Teacher
“We sometimes visit children with special needs at home, but it’s not always easy.
There are still people who believe that autism is the result of a curse or a witch craft. There are families that hide the children at home.
We are trying our best to raise awareness and talk to the parents about disabilities and autism. Some of them eventually accept the support and send the kids to school, which is extremely rewarding.”
Wyeliffe Mahimbe: Special Needs Teacher
“We have no resources. How can you teach art without paint? How can you teach P.E. without a ball? How can you teach writing without pencils? How can you teach hungry children?”
Anonymous Special Needs Teacher – Musa Primary School
If you want to participate in my attempt to collect resources, information and educational aids for these teachers and students please contact me: firstname.lastname@example.org