Adapted services

Many school boards and school service centres offer specialized services in the different regions in Quebec. It’s preferable to verify with the schools in your region to be assured of what services you can benefit from.

Once a student who is disabled or has a learning or adaptation disability demonstrates difficulties at school, it’s important to know that there are classes in specialized schools that can help them better succeed at school and in their personal goals.

According to the Quebec Education Act, school boards and school service centres must offer adaptive services to make education possible for all, and this, despite the differences among individuals.

In a specialized school, the school team primarily helps the student to

  • be better equipped to confront their difficulties.
  • be supported in their learning and personal progress.
  • experience successes.
  • better pursue and succeed in their school path in view of accomplishing their career plan.
  • become autonomous and a good citizen.
  • achieve their personal and academic goals.

By learning how to live with challenges, young people can better develop their autonomy and succeed in their academic goals.

Several professionals are present for these students

  • Guidance counsellor
  • Recreation technician
  • Special educators – (approx. 1 per 22 students)
  • Nurse
  • Special education teacher
  • Speech language pathologist
  • Student attendant (préposé)
  • Psycho-educator
  • Psychologist
  • Street worker
  • Social worker
  • Teachers usually have smaller groups, which encourages learning and creates a privileged connection between the student and teacher.
  • Time spent in a specialized school is generally not short-term for the student to ensure a sustainable progression and the most benefits possible.
  • Integration into the regular sector can be achieved after a certain period according to the progression of their learning and social integration.
  • Some students can eventually re-integrate, whether into a high school with fewer students, in their neighborhood school, register for adult education or even in a vocational training centre, while respecting prerequisites for the targeted training program.

These services are offered to youth who have learning disabilities or social maladjustments who have attention, behavioural or mental health problems, or who suffer from an intellectual disability, a pervasive developmental disorder, a physical or sensory disability.

In terms of in terms of guidance counselling it is possible to note few defined interests because of the student’s young age, challenges and little much life experience.

Before even talking about trades and programs of study, it’s important to define that self-knowledge is one of the key elements for all guidance paths.

As such, the guidance counsellor can help your child in their school to better understand themselves and incidentally, guide them to gradually improve their self-esteem so that they can view themselves positively.

By helping a young person discover who they are, what they love, what they are good at and what is important to them, the guidance counsellor equips the student and makes them more able to reflect on a future project.

What’s more, the professional has an important role to play in motivation and school perseverance. If the student is not motivated and does not want to attend stages according to the program, or to school, the guidance counsellor can intervene on their behalf and find a resource, project or activity that will motivate the student to pursue their studies. This can be a small project within the class framework or even part of a larger project such as one that defines their life and career plan.

If the recommendation of your school team is to refer your child to another resource, to a specialized school, it is important to meet with the school team to analyze your child’s needs and consider their issues. This way you can accept or refuse the proposed offer of service. A referral to a specialized school is always justified and based on a detailed evaluation of the child’s needs by a team of professionals.

Being in constant connection with the teachers and school administration will permit you to better understand the reasons for such a recommendation and see what can be done before you must proceed with changes in your child’s life.

Moreover, just meeting the new school team allows parents and students to be more reassured, more confident and more enlightened during the transition to this new school. The collaboration of parents is essential throughout these various interventions for your child.

Parents have an important role to play, notably by listening to their children, encouraging them and reminding them of their strengths, of who they are, what they like about them and being role models for them.