Montessori education offers children, teachers, and their parents the opportunity to enjoy a unique environment of child-led learning. Within this setting, students not only absorb information and skills, but they also internalize their own importance and efficacy. For that reason, Montessori education has held a hallowed role at the forefront of educational paradigms ever since its inception in 1907.
Many parents are dubious, however, that this type of education can work for their special needs child. The good news is, if you’re that parent, you needn’t worry. It’s true that students who have special needs require an extra level of care and consideration in the classroom, but that doesn’t mean a loving Montessori environment can’t accommodate them. In fact, here at Mansio Montessori, we work hard to do just that.
If you’re considering Montessori special education, you’ve come to the right place!
Montessori and Special Needs Children
The founder of this educational model, Maria Montessori, believed that the ages between birth and 6 years are fundamental to the individual’s success in later life. By overlooking those years, she felt, we did not only children but society a great disservice. Today, the world must agree, for you can find Montessori schools on almost every continent.
One of the driving motivators behind the Montessori method is to enable children of all learning styles and abilities to succeed. That includes those with special needs. It’s true that they might not thrive in a rigid or unwelcoming traditional environment, but that doesn’t mean these children must miss out on the joys and empowerment of school. We tell parents that just because they haven’t yet found a good school for their children doesn’t mean they won’t.
Under the umbrella of Montessori special education is perfectly at home. We always follow the child, after all, and let them tell us what they need to be successful. If your child needs extra accommodation to further their learning and development, let us know. We embrace special needs in infants, toddlers, and young children, and believe it has many benefits.
Benefits of Montessori Education for Special Needs Children
We believe children are natural learners. Their brains are wired to absorb information and abilities at lightning speeds, and special needs children are no exception. The vast majority of children who have a learning or physical disability will still acquire a great deal of knowledge between birth and adulthood, after all. It is our belief that we have the responsibility to help them do so in a safe, loving environment.
Often, the trouble for individuals with special needs is not that they cannot learn, but that the average classroom isn’t designed to help them do so. Our “follow the child” approach means that ours are. Whatever they need to enhance their learning, decision-making, and self-efficacy, we can provide – whether that’s manipulative materials or adult guidance.
No matter what the disability, this kind of environment can provide amazing benefits for your child. Spiritually and emotionally, the child feels accepted in a Montessori special education environment. Socially and intellectually, they can interact with peers on a learning basis, preparing them for whatever role they’ll play in society later. And with so many learning options at their fingertips, your child will learn to think and act independently to the best of their abilities.
Challenges the Children May Face
Even in cases where there exists no disability, children face challenges. The idea behind Montessori is to help them navigate those without compromising the social, emotional, physical, or intellectual needs of surrounding children, and we’re proud to say that we do it well.
In many ways, these challenges will prove larger for those with special needs, of course. Perhaps they have a physical disability that makes interfacing with the physical world more difficult. In some cases, a learning disability may make the intellectual side of learning the most challenging. Either way, our wish is to help them overcome limiting beliefs and frustrations in daily life.
At Mansio Montessori of Geneva, we:
- Tailor the physical environment to accommodate the needs of a physical disability
- Provide child-led learning materials to address a learning disability
- Accommodate special needs with individual care and instruction
- Take a compassionate approach to all additional needs in the classroom
- Help other children in the classroom respond kindly and appropriately to their special needs schoolmate
- Ensure your child is always safe, no matter their situation
In the end, we believe we can overcome any challenge as long as we have love and the right tools. Because you know your child best, our biggest tool is working with you to learn more about what your child needs and provide it for them.
Collaborating with Parents
We know that you, like us, believe in the importance of fostering the “whole child” throughout their development, and that starts young. Working together, we will compose a Montessori special education plan that accounts for your child’s specific needs. We will address their physical needs, learning needs, and any other additional accommodations required. (For instance, feeding, breaks, rest, etc.)
We will also discuss learning goals. All stages of development between 15 months and 5 years are extremely important to the child’s development, and we will work together to ensure that time is well spent. Our goal is to ensure that your child has fun and feels held by their environment each and every day. Plus, we want to make sure that each student receives the preparation they need to move on to public or private school when their time at Mansio ends.
Here at Mansio Montessori of Geneva, we are committed to providing your child with the highest quality education. It makes no difference to us whether that child is neurotypical or has additional needs because our flexible curriculum with its motto of “follow the child” was designed exactly for children who don’t fit the traditional learning mold. Our raison d’être is to provide an environment where children just like yours can thrive, no matter what their challenges. Get in touch to learn more today!