In Thuringia, there are regional support centers with the special needs areas of learning, language, and emotional and social development that work as network support centers within the framework of inclusive education. In doing so, they perform essential tasks in the support and further development of common education in general and vocational schools, in particular professional and personnel security and the coordination of special educational support in common education, instruction and special educational support of students with complex special educational needs in temporary learning groups, advice for teachers related to instruction and support as well as advice for parents and students regarding school and professional perspectives, special educational diagnostics. Regional support centers with the special education focus on mental development and the regional support center with the special education focus on physical and motor development support the network support centers as well as the students with these support needs in common instruction.
Thuringia has two supra-regional support centers for the special needs areas of vision and hearing, which are responsible for educating students with special educational needs in these special needs areas, as well as supporting these students in the common lessons and for ensuring special educational expertise in the special educational needs areas of hearing and vision in Thuringia.
Each regional special education center cooperates with the general and vocational schools in the region, coordinates all measures for special educational support in this network and supports the general schools in terms of personnel and expertise. The special education teachers advise and support students with special educational needs in the network schools. They are specialists in designing special educational support measures in the individual special educational needs areas and in learning together for all.
A special education center is organized according to one or more special educational needs. It has a multiprofessional team that advises and supports students with and without special educational needs in the general and vocational schools in its area of responsibility, as well as parents and teachers, jointly organizes joint instruction, carries out special educational diagnostics and support, participates in support planning, provides further training for teachers based on the individual case, and offers courses in the form of intensive or interval support for children and adolescents. Preventive support is also included in the program.
Here, students can earn a diploma in the educational program for individual life management, in the educational program for learning support, as well as the Hauptschule or Realschule diploma. At remedial
, young people with special educational needs can acquire vocational qualifications. An overview of the special education centers in Thuringia can be found at each state education office.
Special educational needs
Special educational needs are assumed for children and adolescents who, due to a disability or a serious impairment, are so impaired in their educational, developmental and learning opportunities that they cannot be adequately supported in the lessons of the elementary school, the secondary general education schools without (special educational) support beyond the pedagogical support.
In the special educational assessment procedure, the extent to which special educational needs exist or not is examined. If the pupil is already attending school, the staff member in the Mobile Special Education Service describes "the current developmental and leadership status of the children and adolescents as well as the factors that promote or hinder learning and development" (child-environment analysis).
If necessary, staff members of the school psychological service are to be included in the diagnostic process in the special educational assessment procedure for the special focus of mental development as well as in the case of serious behavioral difficulties or disorders.
The process of determining special educational needs always includes the obligation to inform the parents. This must be ensured from the beginning of the process until the conclusion of the special educational needs assessment. For the determination of special educational needs, a child-environment analysis and a special educational diagnosis are important prerequisites.
According to § 16 paragraph 2 of the Thuringian regulation for special educational support (Thür-SoFöV) the tasks of the mobile special educational services include the following areas of responsibility:
- Determination of special educational needs
- Special educational support in common lessons
- Counseling of parents and educators.