Referring to the Act of National Public Education (2011. CXC. 18. § (1)) the educational work of the parent and the teacher, as well as the duties of the educational institutions shall be assisted by pedagogical assistance services.
Special educational consulting, early development and care (early intervention and prevention, early childhood education and care)
Special educational consulting, early development and care (hereinafter: early development) may be recommended by a health visitor or paediatrician or initiated by the parents themselves if they feel that their child is developing atypically. Eligibility for this care is recommended by the expert committee. The purpose of early development is to promote the development of children aged 0 to 6 years, to strengthen the families’ competencies and to support the social inclusion of the child and the family. The activities of early development include complex special educational development, counselling, the development of social, communicational and language skills, the development of movement and psychological support. Once a child has reached the age of three, they may participate in early childhood development but only if they are unable to participate in pre-school education because of a disability. The professionals involved in early intervention are: special needs teacher, psychologist, physiotherapist and specialist doctor.
Expert activity (expert committee)
Within the framework of the expert activity, the expert committee of the institution examines the child or pupil from complex psychological, pedagogical/special educational and – if the possibility of special educational needs is present – medical perspectives. The expert opinion from these assessments:
▪ determines eligibility for early intervention,
▪ identifies or excludes the presence of integration, learning and behavioural difficulties
▪ or identifies or excludes the presence of special educational needs.
Our diagnostic activity of the district expert committees is mainly aimed at children and pupils over three years of age. Their main duty is to identify and exclude the presence of integration, learning and behavioural difficulties. If the examination reveals the possibility of special educational needs, the committee forwards the examination file of the child or pupil to the county expert committee. The county expert committee executes further examinations to confirm or exclude the presence of special educational needs and make recommendations regarding the type, form and place of care. The guardians of children under the age of three may apply directly to the county expert committee in the event of suspected atypical development. In the case of pupils with special educational needs, an expert opinion may also be provided with the purpose of exemption from the obligation to perform community service, which is a condition of receiving the school leaving certificate. Expert opinions may also apply with the purpose of extending compulsory schooling.
Based on the findings of the examinations, the expert committee suggests the type, form and place of care needed to treat children and pupils with special educational needs or with integration, learning and behavioural difficulties. Specialists involved in the work of the expert committee are: special needs teacher, psychologist, conductor, specialist doctor according to the type of special educational needs and/or child and adolescent psychiatrist, paediatrician and paediatric neurologist.
If teachers or parents consider that they are not able to manage the problems and difficulties of the child, they can ask psychologists, special needs teachers or development teachers for help. Educational counselling provides assistance in the family and kindergarten education of the child; school education of the student, in case of children/students have difficulties in physical and mental health, emotional life, performance, capacity, interest or behaviour.
Within the framework of educational counselling, the pedagogical assistance service provides pedagogical and psychological support, development supervision and therapeutic care for children and pupils. The counselling supports parenting, the pedagogical work of the teacher and, if necessary, helps the educational institutions and the family to maintain contact. The care is preceded by psychological and pedagogical, special educational examinations with the purpose of progress diagnosis. Educational counselling includes preventive activities: cooperation with the network of health visitors and paediatricians and provision of comprehensive intervention for mental health in the family during the child’s early development. Specialists involved in educational counselling are: development teacher, special needs teacher, psychologist.
The duty of speech therapy is the prevention, status assessment and therapy related to developmental and acquired disorders of phonation, speech, verbal and written language abilities and to specific learning disorders. The task can be:
- counselling and consulting,
- screening and examination,
- individual and group therapy.
Speech therapy services are designed to encourage and correct speech, treat language developmental delays, speech defects and language communication disorders, and to prevent the development of dyslexia, dysorthography, dysgraphia and dyscalculia through speech and language therapy sessions. Speech and language therapy is organised on the basis of a detailed speech and language diagnostic examinations and a speech and language assessment. The specialist involved in the provision of this service is a speech therapist.
Further study and career counselling
The duty of further study and career counselling is to provide information to students within the context of the further study and career choice and facilitates, while considering individual characteristics and employment opportunities. Counsellors can manage to define the type of assistance on the basis of the application form, which should be filled in by the students in advance. Generally counselling consists of one or two sessions. The target of counselling:
- making a proposal of a school,
- planning further education after the secondary school leaving exams (higher education or vocational education),
- preparing changing a school,
- providing assistance in the context of career orientation (e.g. faculty choice),
- supporting students having not been admitted to high school.
Further study and career counselling services provide pedagogical, psychological and health related information and publications to support career guidance activities in schools. Specialists involved are: psychologist and counselling teacher.
Conductive educational service
Conductive educational service is a special integrated system, dealing with education, development and care of movement of disabled children. In general, the cause of their disabilities is some kind of central nervous system disorder:
- Long-life cerebralis paresis
- Parkinson disease
- Sclerosis multiplex
Conductive educational service is a complex process: the repetition of individual developmental activities should become automatic movements. The conductor implies the child to do exercises on his/her own. Besides development of movement they are able to improve the child’s intellect, speech and self-sufficiency as well. It can be provided individually or in group sessions. Parents may also be involved in the developmental tasks. The professional involved in the provision of the activities is a conductor.
Adapted physical education
The task of adapted physical education is to provide physical education with special health purposes to the child/student who is not able to participate in school classes of Physical Education. This service is usually organised on the site of the educational institutions, kindergartens and schools. In classes of adapted physical education differentiated development of abilities and capabilities takes place, considering the different disorders. The target is to reduce pain, restore health, develop physical abilities, and satisfy the need of sport. The special staff deals with children who are referred by the practitioner.
The duty of adapted physical education is to provide the child or pupil with adapted physical education for special health purposes if the school doctor or specialist doctor’s examination has recommended it. Where the necessary conditions are met, swimming shall be organised for pupils within the context of one classroom activity per week. Adapted physical education may be organised, on the basis of medical recommendations, in groups of 1 to 3, 4 to 8 or 9 to 16. Specialist involved in the provision of the activity is the adapted physical education teacher.
School and pre-school psychology service
School psychology and pre-school psychology, which became a new service in 2013, focuses mostly on the professionals and the psychologists. This form of care in the pedagogical assistance services is mainly coordination. The role of the coordinator in the service is to coordinate and support the work of the psychologists working in the educational establishments. As part of the service, the coordinator arranges screenings in nursery schools and schools, cooperates in psychological assessments and in communicating the results. They provide further individual counselling and advice to psychologists, teachers and parents.
One of the most important targets of school and pre-school psychology service is prevention and assistance. Duties of the school and pre-school psychology coordinators are to support the tasks of psychologists working in schools and kindergartens, moreover they organize workshops and give professional assistance. In the institutions operating without psychologists the coordinator in district provides direct help to children, parents and teachers. Specialist involved in this task is the psychologist.
Promotion of particularly talented children/pupils
Promotion of particularly talented children/pupils was another new service introduced in 2013. The service provides early talent recognition, talent identification and recommendations for inclusion in talent programmes. Similarly to the school and pre-school psychology service, the task of assisting particularly talented children and pupils is primarily a coordination activity in the pedagogical assistance services.
The talent coordinator liaises with the heads of talent workshops, teachers and institutions involved in talent management, organises self-awareness groups and forums and provides advice and support to parents when needed. The pedagogical assistance service pays particular attention to children with a ‘double speciality’, who have been identified as having special talents in addition to difficulties in integration, learning, behaviour or special educational needs.
The duty of promotion of particularly talented children/pupils is to support the personal development of these children, and the orientation towards further assistance, which could enable the development of their creative potential and boost their capacity. Talent coordinator maintains relations with the parents, the teachers, the school and kindergarten psychologists and the experts of the educational institutions. Specialists involved in the provision of this service are: psychologist, teacher, specialised in talent development.
According to the Act above the district member institutions of Pedagogical Assistance Services of Fejér County must do all the duties, except the tasks of county expert committee and further study and career counselling.