Special Education & Inclusion
Nature, Special Education & Inclusion
New this year at CLN is an added focus area on Special Education & Inclusive Learning in Nature. The truth is that all children are differently abled and as teachers and parents we must rise to meet each child’s individual needs and challenges. Nature can be an amazing partner in that journey.
Children who have special needs and abilities need and benefit from nature even more than most children. There is a beauty and complexity in nature that doesn’t exist in our classrooms. The vibrancy of colors, the variety of textures and shapes. It inspires a child’s imagination. Somehow it is also very calming for many children on the autism scale.
Many Special Education Teachers are fearful of using the outdoors and nature worried that children may get hurt more easily or run off. The research though shows the opposite though. Our workshop leaders will share their experiences working with hundreds of schools and thousands of children. What works? What doesn’t? How do you start? How do bring you children with physical challenges into nature?
We have four fabulous workshop leaders for this part of our program:
Roberta Goldberg, PhD, and Linda Barker, MA are both with the Frostig Center in Pasadena and have each been training teachers for decades in how to identify and then successfully work with children of all abilities. They are the authors of “The Director’s Toolbox for Including Children with Special Needs.” Together they have significant expertise in working with infants, toddlers and preschool age children.
Ann Sivanathan, MS from Malaysia is the Founder of the inspiring Outdoor Inclusive Classroom in Kuala Lumpur.
Jena Jachius is a Landscape Architect from Spokane with a special expertise in designing outdoor spaces for children with special needs, and in particular, autism.