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This cross-national comparative case study research aimed at examining two private special education centers in Dubai and in Lebanon, which provides special education services for families and children with additional needs. The research investigates the center’s structure, staffing and support services, especially for students with ADD/ADHD. Using a qualitative research methodology, the research questions focused on the services provided at these centers to support students (grades 1-6) and the manner in which the teachers and professional staff support the additional needs of the chosen participants. Data collection tools included the following: semi-structured interviews, participatory and non-participatory observations, and document analysis. The study concluded that the professional development and the centers’ structure as well as the systematic strategic implementation of the needed services in both centers were important factors of centers’ success. Results emphasized that achieving the students’ holistic wellbeing and the ‘hot zone’ is crucial for 21st century skills. Recommendations and future studies were discussed.
Keywords: special education services; holistic wellbeing; ADD/ADHD; hot zone; and professional development
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