The mission of the PTA is to make every child’s potential a reality by engaging and empowering families and communities to advocate for all children. As such, the Diamond ES PTA endeavors to make all of its events and activities as inclusive as possible and accessible for all students, including students with special needs. 

When planning and implementing PTA events and activities, committee chairs and volunteers should be aware of some common challenges that students with special needs may face during such events and take steps to design events in a way that is responsive to these concerns and creates a welcoming, enabling environment for all students.

  • Children with needs sometimes have difficulty with transitions.  
    • Accomodation ideas:
      • Give children advance warning before a change.  For example, if children are transitioning from one activity to another, you can let them know 10 minutes, five minutes, and one minute in advance that an activity will be ending.  
      • A visual schedule is helpful, and this is something you can review with children at the beginning of the event so they are aware of the plan.
      • Let children know ahead of time what is expected behavior during an activity.  It is helpful to use language that communicates what you want children to do, and NOT what you do not want them to do (e.g., “Walk in the hallway” versus “Do not run in the hallway.”
  • Children with needs sometimes have difficulty with loud noises.  
    • Accommodation ideas:
      • If you know in advance that there will be a loud noise, it is helpful to make children aware ahead of time.
  • Children with needs sometimes have difficulty sitting for long periods of time.  
    • Accommodation ideas:
      • It is helpful to get children up and moving around every 20 minutes or so.
  • Children with needs sometimes need a break from areas with a lot of noise and people.
    • Accommodation ideas:
      • When working in groups, when possible, keep groups to three or four children.
      • If possible, have activities in different rooms to minimize the number of children in each room.  
      • If possible, have a quiet space where children can choose to go for a short break during activities.  
  • Children with needs sometimes have challenges with attention.
    • Accommodation ideas:
      • Break down activities into smaller parts.
      • Provide a visual with directions so students can refer to it as needed.     

For more information, please contact Diamond PTA Special Needs Representative Naomi Rubinstein at nrubinstein78@gmail.com or PTA President Alyson Kozma at alysonkozma@gmail.com