‘Shadow teachers’ for children with special needs in Beylikdüzü

With the start of a new project in Istanbul's Beylikdüzü province, some 44 "shadow teachers" started assisting students with down syndrome and autism in classrooms.

"Shadow teachers" are expected to share the same row with the inclusive students throughout the day and act as a mediator in the triangle of family-school-child in the educational aspect.

Among the duties of "shadow teachers" are accompanying students in lessons, breaks, games and activities at school, accelerating the development of their skills and helping the child integrate into the educational environment.

Şerife Bilge Aldık, a "shadow teacher" of Ali Kerem İspir, a student with mild down syndrome, said, "I have been together with Ali Kerem since last year. We were following closer in the first stage and were experiencing some difficulties in the crowd. We overcame them. I give him the responsibility to act on his own. I watch him from afar while he plays in the garden."

Ayşegül Hamza, who works as a shadow teacher at the same school, has been closely taking care of Selen Karakayış, an 8-year-old with down syndrome, since last year.

"There is a noticeable improvement compared to the previous year. She started playing with the other kids during breaks," she said.

Inspired by the practice he encountered in kindergartens during his doctoral studies at England's Portsmouth University, Mustafa Altınpınar, the district governor, led the implementation of the project in Beylikdüzü.


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