Supporting learners with special needs

SelfDesign® Learning Community supported over 900 learners with special needs in the 2018 -19 learning year.
Our inclusive kindergarten to Grade 12 program provides equal access to opportunities for all learners, including specific services to support learners of all ages with special needs.
We also provide services for all learners needing additional supports to maximize their learning opportunities.

Your child is unique so we adapt our programming to them

Every learner has a unique voice and our inclusive K-12 program is committed to listening to each and every child, however they are able to communicate.

You know your child better than anyone and while opinions of professional experts are highly regarded, your insights are equally valued.

Who are support services for?

We offer support services to learners who have been, in accordance with B.C. Ministry of Education guidelines, professionally diagnosed with low incidence needs or who may or may not have been diagnosed with high incidence needs. The following designations are taken from and defined by B.C.’s Ministry of Education:

Low incidence

  • Dependent handicapped
  • Deaf/blind (multi-sensory deprived)
  • Blind or visually impaired
  • Deaf or hard of hearing
  • Medically fragile (including chronic health conditions)
  • Intellectual disabilities (moderate to profound)
  • Physical disabilities (moderate to profound)
  • Autism spectrum disorder
  • Severe mental illness/severe behaviour issues

High incidence

  • Learning disabilities
  • Mild mental health issues/ behavioural concerns (attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), anxiety, etc.)
  • Mild intellectual disabilities
  • Speech and language impairment

How Support Services works

How we support your child’s learning journey

Support services will create an Individual Education Plan for your child, which goes above and beyond a regular learning plan. This learner-centred plan is created through collaboration with you and your child along with a B.C. certified educator (specialized learning consultant) to identify and support their individual needs.

Your child will have access to specialists who can provide a wide array of services including speech pathology, psychology, etc.

Your child can follow a modified, adapted or combined learning program and can choose between two different paths of completion:

  • School Completion (Evergreen) Certificate : Learners on a modified program may work toward this certificate. This option offers maximum flexibility and continues to follow the format of the K-9 program.
  • High School Diploma: Learners on an adapted program may work toward a B.C. Certificate of Graduation (Dogwood Diploma or Adult Dogwood). This option requires adapted participation in grades 10 to 12.

Both options expand opportunities for your child to create a meaningful livelihood based on their strengths and goals, and may equip them for post-secondary education (if desired).

Your child can also continue to enrol with SelfDesign Learning Community after the age of 19 and continue to receive support services while they are completing their high school certification.

Our support services team is here to support your child’s development

We have a special education team that includes over 65 B.C. certified educators with training that ranges from masters degrees in special education to certifications in specific learning techniques.

You will be matched with a learning consultant who will advise, support and monitor your child’s Individual Education Plan and work with you and your family to identify your child’s individual needs and support their growth and development.

The learning consultant you are matched with will meet with you in-person at least once per year (depending on geography), and then use written communications as well as phone or video conferencing to interact with you on a weekly basis.

SelfDesign Learning Community will work with you to hire, coordinate and contract outside specialists to support your child with special needs.

(Note: All service providers are required to have a criminal record check done prior to working with any learners.)

Supporting learners with special needs

It’s really important that parents have hope…When the diagnosis gets given, it looks bleak. The hopes and dreams you might have had for your children are changed utterly. The autism diagnosis is a challenge we never expected. However, what SelfDesign did for our family is allow us to bring the best out of our kids. I’d like to pass that hope along to other families. The sky’s the limit.”

– Megumi Terashita-Clark, SelfDesign Parent

Discover more about our K-12 Support Services:

  • Who our Support Services are for
  • How we support your child’s learning journey
  • Pathways to completion
  • How we assess learning