Special Needs Assisting Level 5 (Minor Award)
The Aim of the Special Needs Assisting Level 5 Minor Award is to provide the learner with the knowledge, skills and aptitudes for the role and responsibilities of a Special Needs Assistant when working with children in the special needs setting. It will also provide the skills that enable the learner to work effectively under direction in a special needs assisting capacity.
Learners will gain practical experience in the working environment and demonstrate competence under supervision of experienced and highly qualified professionals.
Unit 1: Good Practice
Follow appropriate health and safety procedures in the workplace.
Summarise key elements of child protection policy.
Work within principles of good practice in e.g. Confidentiality, inclusion, independence, boundaries, etc.
Understand the role of the special needs assistant in relation to professionals in promoting the health and safety of children in their care.
Reflect on one’s own values and attitudes in working with children with special needs.
Explain the rights of children with special needs in relation to personal autonomy, participation and choice in decision making.
Understand the importance of on-going training, reflection, supervision and support.
Demonstrate an ability to work effectively with others in promoting and maintaining good practice including confidentiality, appreciating boundaries etc.
Unit 2: Relating to Children with Special Needs
Outline the impact of a range of special needs on communication styles and needs.
Examine the importance of non-verbal communication.
Explore practical ways of relating to children with special needs including the use of communication aids where appropriate.
Identify the personal challenges and opportunities associated with creating and maintaining relationships with children with special needs.
Unit 3: Relating to other Stakeholders
Outline the role and responsibilities of the special needs assistant and how it differs from that of the teacher.
Describe the roles of the multidisciplinary team in the child’s life.
Recognise the role of parents/guardians as the child’s primary care givers.
Relate appropriately to parents, teachers and other carers.
Contribute insights and experiences to team discussions and meetings as appropriate.
Unit 4: Special Needs Assisting Skills
Assist children with special needs with a range of activities in their daily routine under direction including:
Boarding and alighting from school buses
Assisting with communication including assistive technology and writing
Clothing, feeding toileting and general hygiene
Out of school visits walks etc
Assembly recreational and dispersal periods
Accompanying individuals or small groups and other activities as appropriate
Support the teacher in preparing for activities, resources and tidying up the classroom
Work effectively under direction as a special needs assistant.
A minimum of 20 hours work experience in a special needs context to be completed during the module. This will fulfill part of the QQI Level 5 Work Experience module.
The purpose of this award is to equip the learner with the knowledge, skill and competence in the practices and principles underpinning the role of a Special Needs Assistant and to enable the learner to work effectively under direction in a special needs assisting capacity.
Successful graduates of the Special Needs Assisting course will have acquired the foundation knowledge, skills and aptitudes required to work safely and effectively, as special needs assistants under direction.
QQI: Special Needs Assisting Component Certificate Level 5 (5N1786)
Awarded by: (QQI) Quality and Qualifications Ireland
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