Course Features
Language: English
7 hours on-demand video
11 Lessons
Study Level: Intermediate
Certificate of Completion

Programme summary

Special needs is an umbrella term for a staggering array of diagnoses: physical (e.g. muscular dystrophy, chronic asthma, epilepsy), developmental (e.g. dyslexia, processing disorder, autism), behavioural/emotional (e.g. ADHD, oppositional defiance disorder, panic attacks), and sensory impaired (e.g. blind, visually impaired, limited hearing). Understanding the characteristics of special needs and their implications for behaviour, learning and the ability to process information is critical for anyone working or interacting with special needs students. This course will give participants a fundamental understanding of different special needs diagnosis, planning inclusive lessons, creating inclusive school environment, teacher’s emotions and attitudes working with special needs students and working with parents.


The main objective of the course is to prepare participants to work effectively with different special needs:

  • While teaching other subjects
  • For working with parents
  • For creating inclusive school environment for all learners

By the end of the course participants will have a substantial understanding of different special needs characteristics and consequences for learning. They will also practice to use evidence-based practices to provide effective interventions and explore typical strengths and weaknesses of individuals with special needs. The course will address the specifics of working with parents of students with special needs and creating inclusive school environment.


The course is designed as an interactive process with emphasis on establishing a mentor relationship between participants and trainer. The format of the course is didactic, experiential, and interactive along with discussions, individual and team exercises. The focus is on experiential learning and workshop approach. The participants will also see examples of inclusive education for special needs students in Slovenian education system.

Target groups

The course is aimed for school leaders, teachers, school counsellors and other professionals working with students with special needs that are interested in inclusive education.

Programme day-by-day


Introductory meeting, explanation of practical arrangements, presentation of timetable, information about course venue.


Special needs of the physically and sensory impaired students and their learning process. The emphasis will be on introducing the consequences for teaching and learning and making effective contact with them. Design and development of learning material: we use the term “universal design” to emphasize the inclusive design of instruction to make it meaningful and useful for all students. We will also look at best practices for documents such as using clear fonts, organizing text with headings, and describing images with alternative text.


Best practices in inclusive education: study visit.
Half day excursion.


The next three days will be dedicated to mental health in educational settings. Not only its lack, but also its presence. We will start by an overview of different lenses through which problems (developmental, emotional, behavioural, mental) are understood and classified. We will explore the participants’ views, experiences, and needs with regard to teaching students displaying these problems. Throughout these 3 days, we will consider strengths and weaknesses of special needs students and teachers themselves in their interactions with them. We will consider and explore differences among some of the ways of understanding these problems which define not only how the observations and interpreted, but also what one sees or neglects to see: the psychodynamic, the psychiatric, the prevailing teachers’ and parents’ stands, and those of the school counselling services, along with the predominant CBT and related approaches.


The phenomena we will briefly look into are: hyper- and hypo- reactivity, autistic spectrum, body awareness, ability to focus, aggression, depression, defiance, psychosomatics, as well as traumatic experiences, early relational trauma, and transgenerational family role and pattern transmission. We will consider how they affect the learning process and the relationships with peers and teachers. Once the students’ underlying and invisible experiencing is better understood, their possible strong emotional and behavioural reactions to situations can also be seen and experienced by the teachers and caregivers in a different way, thus making the adults and even schoolmates more successful in their prevention and coping strategies.


To be able to help the special need students and their schoolmates in creating an inclusive school environment, tolerating and appreciating differences, each other’s personal space, and promoting positive behaviour, teachers (and parents) need sufficient self-care, supervision, and supportive peer and home environment. Teachers’ professional and personal growth, the availability of support for it, and the motivation for it, might be the most important factor in dealing with these challenges in classrooms. In working with parents, their perceived competence, their attitudes to school, family relationships, and past experiences regarding difficulties and getting help, are all important to consider, as well as how the responsibilities and guilt are being distributed.
We will try to benefit from peer exchange of experiences and effective strategies for working with special needs students and their parents.


Key learning points.
Planning follow up activities, dissemination and implementation of learning outcomes.
Discussing possibilities for future cooperation among participants.

Download Europass template for this course


  • 18. 10. – 24. 10.
    (open for pre-registration; Ljubljana, Slovenia)

  • 07. 03. – 13. 03.
    (open for pre-registration; Ljubljana, Slovenia)
  • 03. 10. – 09. 10.
    (open for pre-registration; Ljubljana, Slovenia)

Pre-registration form for Special Needs

I would like to be informed about the dates of courses.

Useful information about Communication skills course

Which competencies will you acquire in the “Yes, I can: Special Needs Students and Inclusive education” course?

Special needs are commonly defined by what a child can’t do—milestones unmet, foods banned, activities avoided, or experiences denied. These hindrances can hit families hard and may make special needs seem like a tragic designation. This course will help you to develop the necessary self-confidence for working with special needs and facilitate competencies for accommodating your teaching strategies to students with special needs. By the end of the course you will be able to:

  • Know when and how to differentiate appropriately, using approaches which enable students to be taught effectively
  • Have a secure understanding of how a range of factors can inhibit students’ ability to learn, and how best to overcome these
  • Examine the developmental and sensory-motor differences that may impact school, play, social and self-help skills
  • Learn to use evidence-based practices to provide effective interventions and explore typical strengths and weaknesses of individuals with special needs
  • Accommodate teaching materials and teaching strategies to students with special needs
  • Develop behavioural intervention suitable for students with special needs
  • Facilitate individual strengths, with high and appropriate expectations for each student
  • Apply effective relationships with parents of students with special needs
  • Encourage broader school environment for inclusive education

In what ways can you integrate competencies into work?

Inclusive education is about how we develop and design our schools, classrooms, programmes and activities so that all students learn and participate together. You can easily transfer the knowledge from this course to your work environment by:

  • Using suggested teaching tools and strategies in planning your own lessons
  • Developing learning material with “universal design”
  • Implementing suggested behavioural strategies to your interactions with students
  • Facilitating growth mindset to address the limiting beliefs of your students
  • Organizing effective sessions with parents
  • Promoting inclusive education ideas in your school

Meet the trainers

Irena Brenčič

Irena Brencic

Irena Brenčič, M Sc., is a special education teacher. At the beginning of her career she focused on working with children with severe and moderate mental disabilities. Now she works in a primary school with children with special educational needs; mostly children with specific learning disabilities such as dyslexia, processing disorder, dyscalculia, and also children with attention deficit. In her master’s degree she focused on behavioural characteristics of children with special needs in the classroom. Working either individually or in group, she tries to provide appropriate integration for these children in terms of social, educational, emotional and physical development. Important part of her school work are also workshops “How to Learn”, designed for all 5th grade children, and participation in the project Child Abuse Prevention – for all children. Furthermore, she offers educational, language and integration support for immigrant children at school. 


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