Pre-school education of children with special educational needs

Talented children and children with disabilities both belong to the group of children with special educational needs. For each of these categories, implementation of special programmes is ensured as early as the pre-school age

Education of talented pre-school children

The early discovery and determining of talents is carried out by a psychologist in cooperation with other expert associates in a kindergarten. 
The special pre-school education programme for talented children is designed by a psychologist in cooperation with other expert associates and experts in the area of natural sciences and humanities, with the previous approval by the ministry in charge of education.

Programmes for talented children

Programmes for talented children are carried out by educators and expert associates in cooperation with other education staff in the kindergarten, and appropriate professional and scientific institutions, if necessary. 

Programmes for talented children are realised:
  • in all types of programmes and in all education groups of kindergartens;
  • in shorter, specially adapted programmes appropriate for the competences, needs and interests of a child in cooperation with the child's parents.
Programmes for talented children are based on:
  • individual competences, preferences and interests;
  • additional programme content;
  • continuous cooperation with parents;
  • monitoring of child’s progress;
  • continuous cooperation with experts and scientific institutions.

Implementation of programmes for talented children

Special pre-school education programmes for talented children are realised as:
a) extended regular programmes that are partially adjusted to the child’s pronounced interests, preferences and competences and implemented during regular pre-school education programmes;
b) work programmes in smaller groups of children of the same or similar competences, preferences and interests by organising special activities (projects, more demanding logic-didactic games, working on a multimedia computer and the like);
c) specially adjusted programmes complemented by content that encourages the development of special talent areas, all while respecting the developmental specificities of a talented child, in the form of:
  • playrooms for talented children of similar intellectual competences and interests (up to 15 children);
  • programmes with special content for children of similar competences, interests and talents (music, visual arts, sports, languages, creative workshops);
  • individualised mentored work.

Education of pre-school children with developmental disabilities

Children with disabilities are enrolled in the regular or a public needs pre-school education programme. 

Implementation of programmes for pre-school children with developmental disabilities

The education programmes for children with disabilities are implemented for children from six months until they start school by including them in:
  • education groups with regular programme;
  • education groups with special programme;
  • special institutions.

The following groups of children are included in education groups with regular programme, based on the opinion of the expert council (established according to the social welfare regulations), opinion of expert associates (pedagogues, psychologists, education-rehabilitation experts), of the senior nurse and kindergarten director, as well as based on the appropriate medical and other findings, opinions and decisions made by the competent authorities, institutions and experts: 
  • children with less severe disabilities who, taking into account the type and severity of a disability, provided that the necessary specific conditions are ensured, can master the basics of the programme with other children in the group, and who do not have any additional disabilities, besides less severe voice-speech communication disorders;
  • children with more severe disabilities, provided that the necessary specific conditions are ensured, if there are not enough children to establish a special programme education group.

Children with disabilities and types of disabilities

Children with disabilities are, according to the national pedagogical standard of pre-school education, as follows:
  • children with visual impairment;
  • children with hearing impairment;
  • children suffering from speech-voice communication disorders;
  • children suffering from personality changes due to organic factors or psychosis;
  • children suffering from behavioural disorders;
  • children with motor impairments;
  • children with reduced intellectual abilities;
  • children suffering from autism;
  • children suffering from multiple disabilities;
  • children suffering from health problems and neurological impairments (diabetes, asthma, heart disease, allergies, epilepsy, etc.).

Less severe disabilities are the following:
  • amblyopia;
  • hearing loss;
  • difficult voice-speech communication;
  • changes in the child's personality caused by organic factors or psychosis;
  • behavioural disorders and neurotic disorders (aggressiveness, hypermotorisation, eating disorders, enuresis, encopresis, affective respiratory crises), motor impairments (partial mobility without the help of another person);
  • children with reduced intellectual abilities (mild intellectual disability).

More severe disabilities are the following:
  • blindness;
  • deafness;
  • complete absence of speech communication;
  • motor impairment (possibility to move with the obligatory help of another person or electric motor aid);
  • children with significantly reduced intellectual abilities;
  • autism;
  • multiple difficulties (any combination of the above-stated severe difficulties, combinations of mild difficulties, or any mild difficulty in combination with mild intellectual disability).