Episode 19

March 31, 2023


Owlcast 53 - with Sarah Kaldelli

Owlcast 53 - with Sarah Kaldelli
ACS Athens Owlcast
Owlcast 53 - with Sarah Kaldelli

Mar 31 2023 | 00:32:43


Show Notes

The topic of inclusivity is essential for all to understand, as it creates a fair, just, and equitable society that values diversity and promotes the full participation and inclusion of all individuals.

At ACS Athens, one of the ways we promote inclusivity is through the Optimal Learning Program. The philosophy of a learning support program is not unique among American schools but the OLP has evolved into a hotbed of innovation in learning methodologies, collaborations, and research, that ultimately prepare students to become independent of the services and maximize learning outcomes by capitalizing on their individual needs, interests, and abilities.

Today's guest has been an ACS Athens educator and special education expert for 18 years and heads the program that offers the teaching and learning tools and methodologies that enable all students to learn.
Sarah Kaldelli is the Optimal Learning Program Coordinator, an advocate of inclusivity and child safety, continuing a long tradition of supporting students at their own pace and in their own way.

With Sarah Kaldelli, today we discuss:

  1. Educational Tourism and empathy for international students;
  2. Early Childhood and Elementary Education: blurring the borders;
  3. What is Optimal Learning;
  4. The use of AI tech tools in special ed;
  5. Psychoeducational testing, IEP's, and other customizations in student learning;
  6. The inclusion model in Education - expanding the frontiers and the intentional deviation from the norms,
  7. From under-diagnosing to compensating for learning differences.
View Full Transcript

Episode Transcript

Speaker 1 00:00:10 This is the Owlcast, the official podcast of ACS Athens. Listen to the exciting story of the American Community Schools of Athens. Check out what drives all the members of our international community of learners as we create the education of the future. Here's John. Speaker 0 00:00:41 Welcome to this week's Owlcast. The importance of inclusive education is more prominent now as the international education community becomes more agile, especially international schools with their transient nature are at the forefront of offering unique opportunities to students for learning and succeeding regardless of their background abilities, or differences. As the global conversation about inclusive education continues, we will definitely see methodologies and philosophies that promote equal access and participation in learning for all students regardless of their gender, race, ethnicity, religion, socioeconomic status, language, learning style or disability. This topic of inclusivity is essential for all to understand as it creates a fair, just, and equitable society that values diversity and promotes the full participation and inclusion of all individuals. At a c s Athens, one of the ways we promote inclusivity is through the optimal learning program. The philosophy of a learning support program is not unique among American schools, but the O L P has evolved into a hotbed of innovation in learning methodologies, collaborations, and research that ultimately prepare students to become independent of the services and maximize learning outcomes by capitalizing on their individual needs, interests, and abilities. Speaker 2 00:02:08 Today's guest has been an ac SNS educator and special education specialist for 18 years now, and heads the program that offers the teaching and learning tools and methodologies that enable all students to learn. Sara Cal Deli is the optimal learning program coordinator and advocate of inclusivity and child safety, continuing a long tradition of supporting students at their own pace and in their own way with Serco Deli. Today we discuss educational tourism and empathy for international students, early childhood and elementary education, blurring the borders, what is optimal learning, and the use of AI tech tools in special ed. As always, with our guests who are ACS Athens colleagues. By way of introduction, before we start our discussion about optimal learning and inclusion and all the other exciting things, I would like to ask, what brought you to a CS Athens? Uh, you've been at our school for almost 18 years now, so take us, if you will, briefly through the path that led you to the blue gates of a c s Athens. Speaker 3 00:03:23 Wow. Great question. Um, I was at another international school before I came here, and then after that I was in a Greek private school and working in programs that weren't necessarily as I had hoped them to be when we came. When I came here, it was evident that it was, uh, it was being built in a way that we could, uh, design, restructure, adjust depending on the needs of the students. And so that, that, not necessarily freedom, but that open-ended design that we just adapted to what the students needed was, was what really brought me here. Speaker 2 00:04:02 So you were in Greece when you Speaker 3 00:04:04 Started? Was in Greece? I was in Speaker 2 00:04:05 Greece, yes. But originally you're from the States? Speaker 3 00:04:08 I'm not actually, oh, Speaker 2 00:04:10 No. Okay, let's, uh, let's hear the news. Okay. <laugh> for me at least. Speaker 3 00:04:13 Okay. So, um, I grew up in Greece. I went to, uh, several different schools. I went to two Greek private schools first, and then I went to a Greek public school. But that only lasted three months. Um, my classroom was burnt down during those, uh, riots back in, I won't say when. And then in the middle of the year of my 10th grade, I was moved to an international school and I completed my education there. That's Speaker 2 00:04:42 An adventure. Speaker 3 00:04:43 It was, I call it, um, <laugh>, the educational tourism for a while cuz I was moving around, Speaker 2 00:04:49 Which is not something unusual for our Speaker 3 00:04:51 School. For our school. No. So I really can, I can relate to lots of our students when they say, you know, I've moved so many times and I did too. I think I moved five schools. My brother stayed in this same school for 13 years. Speaker 2 00:05:03 So five times in for high school? Speaker 3 00:05:05 No, no, no. Five times throughout my whole, throughout education, my experience through, yes. And I think that gives that, that also gives insight to how the school systems work. If you've been to Greek private, you've been to Greek public, you've been to, I've been to two international schools now, this being my second. Um, and I think it gives you a great overall understanding of, of how things are and how they should be. Speaker 2 00:05:28 That is something that I didn't know. <laugh>. <laugh>, yes. Okay. So, and then you went to, uh, to college. Right. Speaker 3 00:05:36 Then I went to the States for my, my bachelor's. I went to Goucher College and then I went directly for my master's to George Washington University in DC and I did the two degrees back to back. And then I took the next flight out to come home. Speaker 2 00:05:50 It didn't occur to you to stay there for professional reasons? No, Speaker 3 00:05:54 No, no. I wanted to come home. Speaker 2 00:05:57 Interesting. As you said, you have a master's degree in mm-hmm. <affirmative> Early Childhood Special Education. Correct. Interest from George Washington University. What is so special in early childhood education and why is it important in your view, compared with the more traditional elementary education? As far as I know, the early childhood program is not something that you have to do as a child. It's a part of an extra step before you go to the elementary school, correct? Speaker 3 00:06:28 Well, not necessarily. And that's what was, it was really fascinating at GW because early childhood starts from zero. And so when I first sat in that classroom, uh, for my graduate studies, and they said, okay, uh, it starts even before birth. It starts, uh, they know and if they've done all of the tests, they know what the, on most part, they know what the, what the infant will might need. And then they can start telling even from breastfeeding whether speech therapy is gonna be needed. So, uh, looking at a baby crawling or looking at a baby, how they use their, their, um, if they're, if they're self feeding infants and then you can tell whether they need occupational therapy. And that was just mind-blowingly interesting. We had to get on the floor and uh, write out the steps of when you need to crawl, what do you have to do? And there's so many steps involved. And that could mean physical therapy. So early childhood of special education starts very young, and as early as you can get to children, the better it is. It's not a prestep of elementary school, you've gotta get to them early. Speaker 2 00:07:34 Uh, so I soon have been surprised when I saw pregnant parents coming mm-hmm. <affirmative> asking to see the school and, you know, trying to see what they're gonna do with their unborn child. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>. And this is, this is normal. Yes. Speaker 3 00:07:47 Completely, completely normal. If there is a normal, we're not quite using that word. Yeah, Speaker 2 00:07:52 Yeah, yeah. Of course, of course. What, what's the word we're using? Speaker 3 00:07:54 Um, well, there isn't a normal cuz Absolutely everybody is different. So we just call it by the name of the person cuz they're each different. Speaker 2 00:08:03 So you are the coordinator of the Optimal Learning program of a c s Athens for five years now. Yes, admittedly, both our colleagues, but also the parents of the students currently supported by the program believe in the importance of the services we provide. What do we mean by optimal learning in your opinion? What is optimal learning? Speaker 3 00:08:25 Optimal learning is, um, looking at the student completely and holistically and seeing what that particular, um, learner needs and then matching it up. That's why originally it was called the Optimal Match Program, uh, and then taking what the student needs, taking their, their abilities, not their disabilities and their strengths and, and pairing them up with what we can offer them in the school setting. Speaker 2 00:08:52 So the program tries to, of course, mainstream the students. Speaker 3 00:08:56 Yes, we are in a mainstream. Speaker 2 00:08:58 Uh, but there are other models out there that they offer a much more differentiated approach to education, correct? Yes. Yes. In the age of ed tech and ai mm-hmm. <affirmative> what is, or what could be optimal learning. I was listening to an interview of an ed tech scholar who said, the big challenge nowadays is handling the frustration of learning with all the different tools, methodologies, changing paradigms and disruptions. How can we alleviate from our position as a school, as a school with the optimal learning program, how can we alleviate the frustration of a NEURODIVERSE student and get them excited about learning? What, what are your thoughts on this? Speaker 3 00:09:41 Okay. Well, we have so many students who benefit from, from tech tools. Uh, for example, we have, uh, students who really struggle with the physical aspect of writing. And so we have, uh, you know, voice detect tools and that takes away a lot of the pressure of, of, you know, holding that pencil and writing for longer periods of time and they can get their ideas out on paper, which is our ultimate Speaker 2 00:10:04 Goal. That's one application of technology that has ever That's right, of course. Developed Speaker 3 00:10:08 Lately. Yes. Yes. And then even we have students who, um, require oral testing in order to show what they know for their assessment. Uh, and we have recorders. And so now the AI is coming in where they can actually transcribe the responses and the student doesn't have to sit and, and write because they're never gonna get all of their knowledge out on paper. And instead they can speak into a, a tech tool, and then that transcribes and that's sent to the teacher. And the teacher can determine how much the student has understood of the content. So we are using quite a bit of this technology. We want our students to use it correctly. Um, we don't want them to over-rely on the, on the tools and to be able to use them ethically in a way. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>. Speaker 2 00:10:54 So we see all this discussion about AI lately mm-hmm. <affirmative>, and we see that, you know, the first response or the first instinct of everybody is like, you know, how do I prevent cheating? Mm-hmm. <affirmative>, or how do I prevent ready made questions, uh, being a ready made answer situation. Mm-hmm. <affirmative> where, you know, you don't know how to evaluate a student if they use this kind of techniques. In the case of special learning or optimal learning. Um, do you think that this is a concern? Do you think that there are other things that we're looking forward to see through ai? Speaker 3 00:11:29 Well, we are very fortunate. We have a an O O P testing center, and so there is somebody, uh, working with the students at all times when they have, when they have an assessment, if the student chooses to come to us for, for the assessment. And so it's a almost a personal experience with, um, our op test supervisor because he asks the question he's watching, he's, he's making sure that there isn't the cheating that we might expect. And so there is that connection with somebody during an assessment. Mm-hmm. Speaker 2 00:11:59 <affirmative>. And since you mentioned the diagnostic center that we have, what is the role of the work done in this center in the development of the, uh, as we call them, individualized educational plans, IEPs, um, uh, that are tailored to meet the unique child, uh, the unique needs of the child? Where does the role of the parent fit in this process? What kind of partnerships do we have to, to engage in? Speaker 3 00:12:22 All right, let me, let me go back just real quickly. Before when I mentioned the assessment center, that's the o p testing center. It's not the diagnostic center. And so we have somebody who's supervising assessments on a daily basis from period to period. I was referring to that. Now the diagnostic center plays an invaluable role in our work because that's where those conversations begin. Uh, when the parents are, are vital components of the student's success. If they, if they understand the learning needs of their child, if they're in agreement, and if they're, and if they're in partnership with us, because we need to have that golden triangle that we keep talking about without the parents, we're working just internally with the school. And then there's no carryover, there's no consistency for the student. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>. And so those conversations start with the diagnostic center. And then we have, we continue them, we continue them through the I L P when we design those. And the I L P mirrors the psychoeducation assessment, which the parents have gone through with, uh, our diagnosticians. And then they, they review it with us. So when we're looking at the I L P, it's a summary and a review of what they've experienced already in their understanding of their, of their child's needs. And I think all of these partnerships with the counselors, with the diagnostic center, the o p specialists, parents, everybody who's involved is going on the same track, on the same path. And the whole focus is to support the learner. Speaker 2 00:13:47 Have you seen cases where you see a diagnosis from either outside or inside diagnostic tests mm-hmm. <affirmative> that, you know, in the way when the student comes in the school and you have already put the i e P together mm-hmm. <affirmative> and you say something is off or something was not a hundred percent what is presented to me through the I E P. Have you seen false positives? I mean, I don't know if this is a term. Speaker 3 00:14:13 No, I don't think we have false positives. We do have growth, and I must say our diagnostic assessments are just exceptional. Absolutely. So there's 200% trust in what comes out from there. We do get reports from other centers Speaker 2 00:14:27 Or false Speaker 3 00:14:28 Negatives. Okay. <laugh>, the scores, I think the scores have to match up. The trickiest part is what are the recommendations and do they match up with the, Speaker 2 00:14:37 With the Speaker 3 00:14:38 Results, with the accommodations and, and the results. Because accommodations pretty much lead up to the IB policy for inclusion mm-hmm. <affirmative>. And so we have to, our students have to get reassessed every three years. So maybe as they grow, as they develop their skills, maybe some of those concerns or areas of difficulty that they experience in their previous assessment won't be there. Mm-hmm. <affirmative> as heavily anymore mm-hmm. <affirmative>. And that's why we want current information so that we know what we're working on specifically. So it's not necessarily a false negative or a false positive. It's more of how is the student developing while their brain is also developing, how are they growing? And how can we adjust, uh, that recipe of support that we have. Speaker 0 00:15:24 You Speaker 1 00:15:25 Are listening to the Owlcast, the official podcast of a c s Athens. Speaker 2 00:15:48 Today with us is Sarah Kelli of Optimal Learning Program Coordinator at acs. Athens. Stay with us as we continue our discussion about psychoeducational testing, IEPs and other customizations in student learning. The inclusion model in education, expanding the frontiers and the intentional deviation from the norms and from Underdiagnosing to compensating for learning differences. Speaker 2 00:16:20 Chris Barak is the coordinator of the program for many, many years since it was called Optimal Match. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>, as you said before, uh, has frequently quoted Ignasio Estrada, who has said that if it's out, can't learn the way we teach, maybe we should teach the way they learn. In my mind, I'm reminded of a comic that shows someone telling a bunch of different animals. Yes. A monkey, a penguin, an elephant, a fish in a ball, a seal, and a dog that for a first election, everybody has to take the same exam. Yes. Please climb the three. Yes. So there is also a famous quote from George Evans who said, every child can learn just not on the same day or in the same way. It's not that students don't want to learn, they're just not being taught in a way that they can learn. So the question is, what is fair? How can education be differentiated to reach all students in your mind? Speaker 3 00:17:14 Well, I'd like to also bring, due to the recent conference that we have, and, uh, I attended Dr. Sugarman's, uh, talk, and she even said that we're continuing in a model of education that was created at a time that doesn't necessarily match up with our time now. And we're confined by this model. The structure is there and we're trying to find pathways out of it. But what we try and do in, in O o P Optimal Learning program is to try and identify those slight ways that we can deviate from just what is taught to the classroom. And our teachers are great at doing this, but some students just indeed, they need options. They need choices. They need to know that I don't, I don't have to do this now, but I might have to do it later. And when I do it later, I'm gonna have these tools that will help me. And the other thing is, it, it does take a tremendous amount of patience. And sometimes we see growth in those moments, uh, that aren't evident to the, to every eye. But then when you work with the students over years and you see just how exceptionally hard they've worked to get where they are, and when they have those aha moments, you know, that all these little, all these little bits are helping and they're getting the support that they need. Speaker 2 00:18:29 Mm-hmm. <affirmative>, you mentioned the conference for inclusion. Mm-hmm. <affirmative> that we hosted on, uh, March 17 and 18. That was a conference for inclusion of the educational collaborative for international schools, C C I S. Our community participated and attended workshops there, discussion forums, presentations from experts like Dr. Sugerman on inclusive education, inclusion, diversity, equity are some of the terms that will be spoken of in the years to come. What are your key takeaways from this conference? Speaker 3 00:19:00 I think it was a wonderful conference. Uh, so many interesting people attended and so many interesting, uh, workshops. While my takeaway were so many, actually from admissions to how we speak to, to students, how we make sure that we're using inclusive language and pretty much what we all want everybody. And at that conference is to support students to make them feel like they belong. And that's, that's our key thing. Make them feel that they can be confident, that they can learn to be confident that they have abilities. There's so many takeaways. I don't know if I can, Speaker 2 00:19:37 Something that, uh, you heard and you say, oh, I'm gonna put this into action. Or next time I have a session, or I have a discussion with a colleague. Speaker 3 00:19:45 I think we'll all remember Sheffield and the Hills and buying that bicycle that Dr. Sobel talked about. You know, instead of adding more, more content during lunchtime, uh, what that student needed was a bike to get to school quicker. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>. Right. And so maybe we should all be thinking of what bicycle does this student need? Not necessarily a metaphorical bicycle, but it doesn't always have to be the clear cut solution. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>. And we need to think of, uh, imaginative, creative, new ways to support them instead of, of just saying, okay, let's add on more sessions of a content area. Speaker 2 00:20:22 I think the age of Clear cut solutions is over. Yeah. Yeah. And it's up to us to figure out one of the solutions, how it can be employed in our case. Mm-hmm. <affirmative> in each each individual case. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>, well, we offer AC s Athens offers learning support to neurodiverse students for many years. Now, as far as I know, from the seventies, there has been a resource room. Mm-hmm. Or as I've heard it, called the room Room under the stairs. Yes. Now, the Optimal Learning Program offers more kinds of support in different modalities, frequencies, variety of tools. What is the main question or concern you have when you review a student file? Whether this is of a new applicant or a newly referred case from our teachers urging the program for assistance? Speaker 3 00:21:08 I think the main concern is how, uh, knowledgeable, aware, and open the parents are to their child's needs. Cuz many times we have, um, parents who say, oh no, they, they don't have anything. The difficulty isn't there, but we have it documented. And then you understand that the collaboration and that partnership isn't going to be full. Because if there's a, if there's a wall there, then we can't openly talk about what a child needs. And then there's just a constant block that you have to work against for the duration of the child's enrollment in the school. So if you don't have parents as your partner, it becomes difficult to support the child. Speaker 2 00:21:49 Mm-hmm. <affirmative>. So what are some of the different accommodations and supports that we are offering to the Neurodiverse students and how can a student access them? Speaker 3 00:21:59 So in order to get all of these accommodations that I've just mentioned, uh, students have to be enrolled in the optimal learning program. And what does that mean? We have various different levels that we offer of support. The full class of o O P means that a student in middle school and academy will, will not necessarily have an elective and will go to the O O P classroom for a block for that period. So three times a week, um, close to the hour. An elementary school, it works a little bit different because we take the students from the area that they're developing. So if their class is doing writing, then the student will go to the O O P classroom and do writing, whether that's with, um, in a small group, there might be a different grade level in the room at the same time. Cause we have two professionals working there. And then everybody is working exactly at the level that they're doing. Um, full class sometimes can also be a push in where the o p specialist or the O O P A goes into the classroom and supports students not only in O O P, but also, um, in the regular classroom in, uh, Speaker 2 00:23:01 In collaboration with the Speaker 3 00:23:01 Teacher, collaboration with the teacher. So that's full class. And then we have o O P consultation. Oop p consultation takes place, uh, once a week for approximately 20 minutes. It's always more than that, John. And then, um, what we do is, Speaker 2 00:23:15 Is it more than one time a week? Speaker 3 00:23:16 Maybe? It could be sometimes. And then we monitor the student's progress. Uh, there, we work with organization, we, what I like to call it is the safety net. All p consultation is a safety net for the students. There's a lot of communication with teachers. We make sure that accommodations are in place. Speaker 2 00:23:33 And I assume this is a kind of of accommodation for older students mostly correct or Speaker 3 00:23:38 No? Yes. There's way more in middle school and academy. Fewer in, uh, in elementary Speaker 2 00:23:43 Because they have gone through the regular, um, yes. You know, spectrum of support. Speaker 3 00:23:47 Correct. Yes. Yeah. And then we have the, um, I S P, which is the individual support plan. And this level of support doesn't offer any contact with an O O P specialist. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>, uh, if there's a concern, parents, teachers or, uh, the student themselves can approach O O P and say, Hey, I have this concern, or This isn't working, or Can you help me with, then we also have O O P inclusion, and that is the pairing of a special ed teacher, the, the inclusion specialist with a content area teacher. And they co-teach. They co-plan and they make sure, and not just for students in O O P, but for all, um, that those differentiation techniques are happening in the classroom. The O O P inclusion specialist also works closely with our child's study team or C S T. And when teachers raise concerns for students, maybe they're not accessing the curriculum, maybe they need additional support in something, then you'll p inclusion specialist will go work with that teacher specifically and again, offer those differentiation techniques for all the students. Speaker 3 00:24:54 Cuz if it will work for ours, it will work for, for all. So those are the two different models of, uh, that we have for inclusion. And then we also have the Shadow Teacher program. And those are for students who have just slightly more needs and need, uh, that assistance in the classroom whether to just stay focused, whether to complete work, maybe it's to access the curriculum. Those are all the levels of support. All students in O O P must have current psychoeducational assessment. And by current, we say every three years a student has to be reassessed. Um, accommodations can range from extended time on a test that we provide to having a reader for a test, having a scribe going back and doing, um, just a lot of review and repetition. Small changes in the classroom setting where a teacher can give signals, where they can, uh, create, uh, uh, maybe a word bank would just be helpful. And so even through the inclusion model that we have with our inclusion specialist, those are, uh, team collaborations with teachers. And the inclusion specialist goes in and, and makes observations. And then they see what, what would benefit all students, not, not just the ones that are in O O P, but what helps our students in O O P could help all of them. And so there's all the accommodations are, again, you've gotta find the bicycle for each of them. Speaker 2 00:26:17 I like that metaphor. <laugh>. Yeah. I'm gonna be using it <laugh>. Um, in, in the years I have seen and reviewed applications for admissions, I have seen a clear shift from trying to hide children's neurodiversity from the parents themselves. Uh, as though it's a stigma that someone learns differently to what now is a proactive approach to maybe over-diagnose or overtreat special skills. Have you seen cases from your experience of students who are diagnosed with neurodiverse abilities but are able to mainstream without any intervention? Speaker 3 00:26:52 Well, yes. I mean, I, I could say that we've seen all cases the question, have you seen a case, um, where I would most likely say yes, we have seen, um, it's, it's rare these days that we can say, no. Whoa, we haven't seen that before. So we do have students, and it's called like compensation. They, they can compensate for the area of difficulty, and they learn to do that from a very young age. Uh, we have students in our school who only recently, they might be in 10th grade, 11th grade, and only recently have been assessed. And it's been found that they have reading difficulties. And apparently they were, they were not able to mask it, but their brain compensated for the difficulty. And it didn't necessarily show in the school setting until they were tested with very specific standardized assessments. So yes, we see, we see all, all ranges. We also see students who we have significant concerns about. But then due to that collaboration with the, with the parents or the lack of collaboration with the parents, the students don't get accommodations. They don't get the support, and then they struggle significantly throughout. Speaker 2 00:27:57 Mm-hmm. <affirmative>. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>, can you share examples of success stories of Neurodiverse students that have gone through the program? And why would you consider them a success? Speaker 3 00:28:08 I consider all of our students to be successes personally. So I, well, if I've been doing this for so many years, I would have thousands of success stories to share. But they go on to college, they major in things that they're, they're interested, they follow their passions. Uh, success stories are for students who come into the third grade and they might have zero English pro professor, no words. Maybe they know the word balloon for some reason. They all know yellow and red. And then, um, you've gotta work. Maybe dog, cat, they could even have the level of support through a shadow teacher. And then they slowly progress. And by the time they get to maybe ninth grade, 10th grade, they're fluent English speakers. They're accessing most of the curriculum independently. They still need some tools. I mean, that's a huge success. I had a student who came in the third grade that spoke zero English, no words, not even cat or yellow. And then right now they're in, I would say 10th or 11th grade, completely independent. They're on the lowest level of support, which is our I S P individual support plan. Doesn't use accommodations ever and is most likely going on to succeed hugely in life. And so, I, I can't pick who's more successful than the other. They all are. Speaker 2 00:29:29 Does the fact that someone does not speak the language affect the way that their special talent or special ability is expressed? I mean, we have kids that have, uh, dyslexia, for example. Um, in one language coming to a different language, different language curriculum. Does this particular dyslexia, is it affected by that change in the language of the curriculum? Do you think? Speaker 3 00:29:55 Sometimes it is and sometimes it isn't. It really depends on the individual student. We've gotta kind of identify whether we're talking about a specific learning difference in written expression. What about written expression? Is it, uh, reading comprehension? Is it reading fluency? So, um, the term dyslexia now is a little bit, it's broad now. It's not what Speaker 2 00:30:17 What's the term now? Speaker 3 00:30:17 Well, you have to have a specific learning difference in a certain area. Dyslexia was a term used in the dsm, but now, now Speaker 2 00:30:25 It's very, excuse my, uh, use of the word. I know that everything has changed. Speaker 3 00:30:29 Yes, everything has changed. But, but then again, you know, dyslexia didn't encompass all of these different things. Right, right. And so we're not, when we're talking about a specific learning difference in reading comprehension, it could be all sort that, that's really tricky to, to support because they're not making mental pictures of what they're reading. And so if you don't have those images of what you're reading, if you're not making that abstraction from the written code mm-hmm. <affirmative>, that's difficult to, to get to that point. So we just have to just have to be mindful of what everybody needs. Mm-hmm. Speaker 2 00:31:02 <affirmative>, recently you participated in the c I s Child Protection and Safeguarding Conference in the Hague, and you have actively assisted in creating the ACEs Athens handbook on the subject. The importance of safety and protection of children is self-evident and undoubted. Why do you think this ties in so closely in your role in special education? Speaker 3 00:31:24 First of all, that conference just completely changed my life. And they said that the first sentence they said as the conference began is, you will not leave here at the same person and totally delivered on that one. Um, it ties in because if you look at the students that are kind of marginalized, who are in a, not a weaker position, but in a position of being, um, not victimized necessarily. Safeguarding comes into that and students with learning, um, differences and, and disabilities, special needs, uh, fall into some of those categories as do, uh, unfortunately in this world, students who may be part of the L G B community, students who of a lower socioeconomic range. So there are groupings of people who are more easily accessed by people who wish them harm. Speaker 2 00:32:15 Thank you so much for being with us Sarah. Kelli, keep up the good work. Thank Speaker 3 00:32:20 You. Thank you. Speaker 1 00:32:23 You are listening to the acast, the official podcast of AC s Athens. Make sure you subscribe to the acast on Google Podcast, Spotify and Apple Podcasts. This has been a production of the acs, Athens Media Studio.

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