About special education teachers
Special education teachers are usually teachers who have done extra training to support students with disability or learning, social or behaviour difficulties. They create learning environments and programs to help students get the most out of education.
Special education teachers work directly with students. They also provide professional advice, support and mentoring to classroom teachers and other school support staff on:
- catering for the range of different learning needs in classrooms
- working with families to create the best possible learning opportunities for students at school and at home
- using the right equipment and resources to support learning needs
- meeting the Disability Standards for Education
- developing a school culture that makes all students feel included
- developing positive partnerships with other disability services.
Specialist education teachers work in special schools, special education units in mainstream schools, mainstream classrooms and other settings. They can be support teachers, classroom teachers, teachers who work across several different schools or teachers who work with community groups or in community programs.
Why your child might see a special education teacher
Your child might work with a special education teacher if she needs a specially designed learning program or extra support for her learning.
For example, your child might need additional support because of:
- vision impairment or deafness or hearing impairment
- a physical disability
- an intellectual disability
- a learning disability including dyslexia
- a communication disorder
- social and emotional difficulties or trauma
- attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) or another behaviour disorder
- developmental delay
- autism spectrum disorder (ASD).
Special education teachers also support students with additional needs when they change schools or move between grades.
Getting a special education teacher
Your child’s teacher might talk with you if they think your child might benefit from additional learning support.
But you don’t have to wait for your child’s teacher. If you feel your child is struggling with his learning, talk with your child’s teacher and school principal as soon as possible.
The school covers the cost of specialist education teachers and services. If you choose to use services outside the school, you’ll probably need to cover these costs yourself.