Montessori methods and materials have many benefits for Special Needs students. Whether the child has ADHD, autism, a learning disorder, a cognitive delay, or many other special needs, the Montessori Method lends itself to benefit those children in many ways.
The materials used in Montessori classrooms are designed to grow with the student as they develop skills along the way. There is also a wide enough range in materials and activities that children are able to use what works best for their specific situation and needs. Along with this comes the potential engagement for all five senses in everyday activities and material use.
Montessori classrooms also encourage children to work to their strengths and at their own pace, both developmentally and socially. This means that children are not feeling pressure from peers or tests to achieve higher or score higher. Their motivation is intrinsic as opposed to extrinsic. For children with some special needs, this can provide a level of comfort that they require to develop and learn new concepts.
Another component of a Montessori classroom that may benefit special needs students, is the multi-age classroom. Because of the range of ages and ability levels, students are working on concepts that are at the right level for them, not what the expected concept is for a grade level. Though, in Montessori classrooms, students are expected to be at or above expected grade level standards, it is not a negative situation if a child slightly falls behind. Most other children in the class are not aware of this, and continue with their work as usual.
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