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Mind breaks might benefit special education students

One thing that parents who have children in mainstream classrooms don't understand is the need for special needs students to have regular breaks. Even adults can benefit from taking frequent breaks. Research notes that they are most productive when they take 17-minute breaks in between 52-minute work periods. Some people might think that it is better to keep special needs students busy all the time, but this is counterproductive.

Students who are following any curriculum in school will likely need to take breaks. It is a good idea for teachers to give the kids a 5- to 10-minute break before they start each lesson. This gives the brain a chance to reset and prepare to absorb the new lessons that are coming.

Teachers in the special needs' classroom might have students who need breaks at different times. You can work with the teacher to ensure that your child is getting what they need when they are in the classroom. In some cases, these small breaks might help the child to thrive in class.

Sometimes, it can benefit teachers to use special breaks as an incentive for doing their best. Some people might remind others that the students already get off for lunch, but this is one break during which the student has a purpose. Before and after lunch, there are large chunks of learning that might need to be broken up.

Finding ways that the students can spend their free time is another challenge. Each child's abilities and interests should be taken into account. There might be general free time, stretching, time to talk to other students or even talking a walk outside.

When you are reviewing the school's plans for the children, you might consider finding out if there are mind breaks during the academic day. While these aren't associated with benchmarks the children must meet, they are very important.

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