On behalf of our school and our parents, I want to thank you for the seminar you presented on the 29th of September 2018.
Your friendly, interactive, approachable and humorous manner created a warm atmosphere. Your passion for teenagers is tangible. Thank you for sharing your skills and knowledge to equip the parents and learners to understand and support each other better. Whether it is time management skills, how to build their self-esteem or to really get to know them better by effective communication, you gave valuable tips and strategies for all to take with them after the seminar.
We enjoyed having you here and hope to invite you again next year.
The challenges in higher education are constantly increasing where students with special learning needs enter the higher education band. Annually, there is an increase in the number of students that need additional assistance such as students who suffer from ADHD, ADD, OCD, Dyslexia, Dyscalculia, etc. There is also a definite increase in students diagnosed with bipolar, depression, anxiety, etc.
Nowadays it is found that more and more young adults are abusing substances such as marawana, tik, etc. Not only are they abusing these drugs, but also misusing it, such as deciding on specific dosages that they take that is not according to what a medical physician has prescribed, deciding when they will use this medication, e.g. only during examination periods or even using a friend’s prescription medication to help them cope with challenges in their lives.
Not all staff in higher education institutions are well educated in these topics mentioned above. A need was identified to have a workshop to empower the lecturers at Prestige Academy to identify and deal with students with special learning needs in their classrooms.
Marinda Casalvalone from MYAC was contracted to present a two-day workshop on the mentioned topics. This training took place in January 2019 and was rather of a participating context than that of the audience being passive. The academic staff actively took part in the discussions and the information that was shared with them. I am of the opinion that Marinda was challenged by the lecturers and she did this job masterly. More than enough time was allocated for questions and answers and group work where specific case studies and topics had to be addressed in the group. Feedback was given after each session where the lecturers where actively involved.
In feedback received from the staff, it was evident that they enjoyed the workshop and gained knowledge on how to handle students in their classes with specific special needs or a student who is under the influence of a specific substance. The lecturers are well aware of the fact that they are not psychiatrists and cannot diagnose a student and give advice on how to deal with their situations. However, the lecturer can now be on the lookout for the signs of special learning needs and report it to management of the Academy.
Management agreed on allowing Marinda to have therapy sessions on the Academy’s premises, with students who need assistance. Marinda has since the workshop, been consulting with a few students at the Academy with positive feedback. These sessions ranges from students in need of life coaching, study methods, etc. She goes out of her way to assist the young adults and are willing to travel to a mutual location, such as the Academy’s premises, where the need arises.
We are fortunate to have Marinda’s services available to our students. Keep up the good work.