Rachael Cann is Special Education Teacher and Autism Specialist who is a strong advocate of the least restrictive environment and functional education. She is a trained early childhood educator having graduated from Shortwood Teachers College, and a special education teacher having received her Bachelor of Education Honours Degree in Assessment, Evaluation and Instructional Planning from Mico University College. She completed her Masters of Science degree at Missouri Western State University in Autism Studies where she was a member of the honor society. For her Masters fulfillment Capstone Project, Rachael designed 20 structured work systems and implemented them in Special Education Institutions across Kingston, Jamaica.
Rachael has assessed students of varying abilities, identifying their individual strengths and weaknesses and providing individualised education plans at the University Hospital Child Guidance Clinic. She has taught diverse groups of students, including those with reading difficulties and dyslexia, dysgraphia, ADHD, ASD, Down Syndrome and students functioning above their grade level as as students with Intellectual Disabilities. She has been a swimming instructor, an early childhood teacher, a paraprofessional, a private tutor and homework supervisor for several special needs children, an Enrichment Room coordinator and Author’s club director and more recently, the founder of her own therapeutic learning centre iCann H.E.L.P. At iCann H.E.L.P she provides children with educational therapy, which is the utilising of multiple evidence-based practices in a flexible and positive behaviour reinforcing environment. In working as a consultant for the Digicel Foundation she also had the honor and the pleasure of sharing her knowledge and skills with teachers, administrators and parents of students and children with special needs through conferences and lectures. Rachael also works within schools completing live and hands on demonstrations and helping with programme development and individual educational planning.
As a special Educator and Autism specialist Rachael prides herself on being aware and becoming trained and knowledgeable on many evidence based practices and techniques she believes beneficial for individuals with special needs. To this end she has received training and certification in Handwriting without Tears, the ADOS-2, LIPS, Talkies and
Visualizing and Verbalizing by Lindamood-Bell. Rachael also gained valuable exposure to a more holistic approach regarding the growth and development of children with special needs; having worked with a physiotherapist, in the areas of aquatic therapy and hippotherapy and completing level 1 in Sensory Integration and JSL (Jamaica Sign Language).
Rachael is passionate about preparing the special needs child/individual for a life that is fulfilled, happy and self-sufficient as possible. To this end, she believes that one never stops learning. Life is a great learning adventure and all can, with the proper preparation, live it and learn it wonderfully !
Rachael continues her professional journey having completed her Sexual Education Certification at the University of Michigan in 2017. She hopes to begin her PhD in Occupational Therapy in 2020/2021. She also hopes to gain certification in Animal Therapy, which she believes has positively influenced many of her students behavioural and communicative challenges.