Special Education

Philosophy

The Philosophy of the Hamilton-Wentworth Catholic District School Board is to meet the needs of all children and to develop the fullness of humanity in a Catholic Community. All students, regardless of special talents or challenging needs can grow and they can grow best by attending their neighbourhood schools, along with their brothers and sisters.

Every child with challenging needs requires a sense of belonging; every child needs reasonable and realistic success and every child requires concern for his or her dignity as a person. The child is not served by sympathy or sentimentality. Exceptional pupils share with their fellow pupils the responsibility to demonstrate acceptable behaviour and to strive for total growth and development.

It is the responsibility of each individual who instructs children to foster growth. No handicap, however severe, no learning deficit, however persistent, should discourage our efforts. No special gift is to be neglected. All human and material resources must be used to meet the needs of the pupil. Provision of programs and services in our schools is governed by principles of inclusion, normalization and personalization.

Behaviour

Behaviour

A learning disorder characterized by specific behaviour problems over such a period of time, and to such a marked degree, and of such a nature, as to adversely affect educational performance, and that may be accompanied by one or more of the following:

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a) an inability to build or to maintain inter-personal relationships;

b) excessive fears or anxieties;

c) a tendency to compulsive reaction; or

d) an inability to learn that cannot be traced to intellectual, sensory or other health factors, or any combination thereof.


For more information, please visit:
Behaviour Support and Resources
Communication - Autism

Communication - Autism

A severe learning disorder that is characterized by:

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a) disturbances in:
       - rate of educational development;
       - ability to relate to the environment;
       - mobility;
       - perception, speech, and language;

b) lack of the representational-symbolic behaviour that precedes language.


For more information, please visit:
Autism Support and Resources
Communication - Deaf and Hard of Hearing

Communication - Deaf and Hard of Hearing

An impairment characterized by deficits in language and speech development because of a diminished or non-existent auditory response to sound.

For more information, please visit:
Deaf and Hard of Hearing Support and Resources
Communication - Language Impairment

Communication - Language Impairment

A learning disorder characterized by an impairment in comprehension and/or use of verbal communication or the written or other symbol system of communication, which may be associated with neurological, psychological, physical or sensory factors, and which may:

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a) involve one or more of the form, content and function of language in communication;

b) include one or more of the following:
      - language delay;
      - dysfluency;
      - voice and articulation development, which may or may not be organically or functionally based.


For more information, please visit:
Language Impairment Support and Resources
Communication - Speech Impairment

Communication - Speech Impairment

A disorder in language formulation that may be associated with neurological, psychological, physical or sensory factors; that involves perceptual motor aspects of transmitting oral messages; and that may be characterized by impairment in articulation, rhythm and stress.

For more information, please visit:
Speech Impairment Support and Resources
Communication - Learning Disability

Communication - Learning Disability

A learning disorder evident in both academic and social situations that involves one or more of the processes necessary for the proper use of spoken language or the symbols of communication, and that is characterized by a condition that:

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a) is not primarily the result of:

      - impairment of vision;
      - impairment of hearing;
      - physical disability;
      - developmental disability;
      - primary emotional disturbance;
      - cultural difference; and,

b) results in a significant discrepancy between academic achievement and assessed intellectual ability, with deficits in one or more of the following:

      - receptive language (listening, reading);
      - language processing (thinking, conceptual-izing, integrating)
      - expressive language (talking, spelling, writing);
      - mathematical computations; and

c) may be associated with one or more conditions diagnosed as:

      - a perceptual handicap;
      - a brain injury;
      - minimal brain dysfunction;
      - dyslexia;
      - developmental aphasia.


For more information, please visit:
Learning Disability Support and Resources
Intellectual - Giftedness

Intellectual - Giftedness

An unusually advanced degree of general intellectual ability that requires differentiated learning experiences of a depth and breadth beyond those normally provided in the regular school program to satisfy the level of educational potential indicated.

For more information, please visit:
Giftedness Support and Resources
Intellectual - Mild Intellectual Disability

Intellectual - Mild Intellectual Disability

A learning disorder characterized by:

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- an ability to profit educationally within a regular class with the aid of considerable curriculum modification and supportive services;

- an inability to profit educationally within a regular class because of slow intellectual development;

- a potential for academic learning, independent social adjustment, and economic self-support.


For more information, please visit:
Mild Intellectual Disability Support and Resources
Intellectual - Developmental Disability

Intellectual - Developmental Disability

A severe learning disorder characterized by:

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- an inability to profit from a Special Education program for students with mild intellectual disabilities because of slow intellectual development;

- an ability to profit from a Special Education program that is designed to accommodate slow intellectual development;

- a limited potential for academic learning, independent social adjustment and economic self-support.


For more information, please visit:
Developmental Disability Support and Resources
Physical - Physical Disability

Physical - Physical Disability

A condition of such severe physical limitation or deficiency as to require special assistance in learning situations to provide the opportunity for educational achievement equivalent to that of pupils without exceptionalities who are of the same age or developmental level.

For more information, please visit:
Physical Disability Support and Resources
Physical - Blind and Low Vision

Physical - Blind and Low Vision

A condition of partial or total impairment of sight or vision that even with correction affects educational performance adversely.

For more information, please visit:
Blind and Low Vision Support and Resources
Multiple Exceptionalities

Multiple Exceptionalities

A combination of learning or other disorders, impairments or physical disabilities, that is of such nature as to require, for educational achievement, the services of one or more teachers holding qualifications in Special Education and the provision of support services appropriate for such disorders, impairments or disabilities.

For more information, please visit:
Multiple Exceptionalities Support and Resources
Social Work Services

Social Work Services

The primary goal of Social Work Services is to provide direct support to students and to do so in the least intrusive fashion possible, while encouraging and maintaining a healthy learning environment.

These services are available particularly to assist those students whose social/emotional adjustment has been severely hindered by personal, social or family difficulties.

The nature of the services rendered is preventive in nature and occurs at three levels:

- services which promote a sense of spiritual, emotional, social, physical, educational and cultural well-being
- intervention services that provide direct response and assist in determining need rehabilitative services
- service is designed to empower students and assist them in maintaining and/or reclaiming a semblance or control over their particular situation(s).

To apply for Social Work Services, please contact your school and fill out a social work services form.