SEND Coordinator : Luthfa Begum
Email Address : Luthfa.firstname.lastname@example.org
Definition of Special Educational Needs (SEN) as taken from section 20 of the Children and Families Act 2014.
a) have a significantly greater difficulty in learning than the majority of others of the same age, or (b) have a disability which prevents or hinders them from making use of facilities of a kind generally provided for others of the same age in mainstream schools or mainstream post-16 institutions.
A child under compulsory school age has special educational needs if they fall within the definition at (a) or (b) above or would do so if no special educational provision were made.
Children must not be regarded as having a learning difficulty solely because the language or form of language of their home is different from the language in which they will be taught.
Autism is a lifelong developmental disability that affects how people perceive the world and interact with others.
Autistic people see, hear and feel the world differently to other people. If you are autistic, you are autistic for life; autism is not an illness or disease and cannot be ‘cured’. Often people feel being autistic is a fundamental aspect of their identity.
Autism is a spectrum condition. All autistic people share certain difficulties, but being autistic will affect them in different ways. Some autistic people also have learning disabilities, mental health issues or other conditions, meaning people need different levels of support. All people on the autism spectrum learn and develop. With the right sort of support, all can be helped to live a more fulfilling life of their own choosing.
Autistic people have difficulties with interpreting both verbal and non-verbal language like gestures or tone of voice. Many have a very literal understanding of language, and think people always mean exactly what they say. They may find it difficult to use or understand:
- facial expressions
- tone of voice
- jokes and sarcasm.
Some may not speak, or have fairly limited speech. They will often understand more of what other people say to them than they are able to express, yet may struggle with vagueness or abstract concepts. Some autistic people benefit from using, or prefer to use, alternative means of communication, such as sign language or visual symbols. Some are able to communicate very effectively without speech.
Others have good language skills, but they may still find it hard to understand the expectations of others within conversations, perhaps repeating what the other person has just said (this is called echolalia) or talking at length about their own interests.
It often helps to speak in a clear, consistent way and to give autistic people time to process what has been said to them.
Autistic people often have difficulty ‘reading’ other people – recognising or understanding others’ feelings and intentions – and expressing their own emotions. This can make it very hard for them to navigate the social world. They may:
- appear to be insensitive
- seek out time alone when overloaded by other people
- not seek comfort from other people
- appear to behave ‘strangely’ or in a way thought to be socially inappropriate.
Autistic people may find it hard to form friendships. Some may want to interact with other people and make friends, but may be unsure how to go about it.
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Dyslexia is a common learning difficulty that can cause problems with reading, writing and spelling.
Dyslexia can be defined in the following way:
Dyslexia is a learning difficulty that primarily affects the skills involved in accurate and fluent word reading and spelling. Characteristic features of dyslexia are difficulties in phonological awareness, verbal memory and verbal processing speed. Dyslexia occurs across the range of intellectual abilities. It is best thought of as a continuum, not a distinct category, and there are no clear cut-off points. Co-occurring difficulties may be seen in aspects of language, motor co-ordination, mental calculation, concentration and personal organisation, but these are not, by themselves, markers of dyslexia. A good indication of the severity and persistence of dyslexic difficulties can be gained by examining how the individual responds or has responded to well-founded intervention
(Sir Jim Rose Identifying and teaching children with dyslexia and literacy difficulties 2009)
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What are Speech, Language and Communication Needs?
The term speech, language and communication needs (SLCN) describes difficulties across one or many aspects of communication including:
- problems with producing speech sounds accurately
- voice problems, such as hoarseness and loss of voice
- problems understanding language (making sense of what people say)
- problems using language (words and sentences)
- problems interacting with others.
For example, difficulties understanding the non-verbal rules of good communication or using language in different ways to question, clarify or describe things Some SLCN are short term and can be addressed through effective early intervention. Others are more permanent and will remain with a person throughout their childhood and adult life.
Speech, language and communication needs can occur in childhood as primary difficulties with speech, language and communication or secondary to other developmental conditions such as autism. They can also be acquired in adulthood.
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Sensory needs, which can be hearing loss and/or visual impairment or sensory processing difficulties and physical difficulties, can occur for a variety of reasons, e.g. congenital conditions (some progressive), injury or disease. The important consideration in this area is the degree to which the difficulties impact on a child’s or young person’s ability to access educational opportunities.
- Hearing loss can be sensorineural, conductive or mixed
- The levels of hearing loss are mild, moderate, severe or profound
- Visual impairment is an eye condition that cannot be fully corrected by glasses or contact lenses. The levels of vision are mild, moderate, severe or profound.
- Multisensory impairment occurs when there is a hearing loss and visual impairment, which are both educationally significant although they may be at different levels.
Sensory Processing Difficulty
Our bodies and the environment send our brain information through our senses. We process and organise this information so that we feel comfortable and secure. When a child has difficulty coping with these demands, they may have sensory processing difficulties.
A child may be under-sensitive or over-sensitive in the 5 areas:
- Oral Sensory
Physical/medical injures can be for a variety of reasons, e.g. congenital conditions (some progressive), injury or disease.
A child with a physical difficulty may have a diagnosed medical condition which affects them physically. There may be an undiagnosed condition where the child presents with delayed development or impairment with their physical ability and/or presentation.
hat are social, emotional and mental health needs (SEMH)?
Social, emotional and mental health (SEMH) needs are a type of special educational needs in which children/young people have severe difficulties in managing their emotions and behaviour. They often show inappropriate responses and feelings to situations.
This means that they have trouble in building and maintaining relationships with peers and adults; they can also struggle to engage with learning and to cope in classroom without additional strategies and interventions. Children with SEMH will often feel anxious, scared and misunderstood.
Typical characteristics of children with SEMH can include:-
· Disruptive, antisocial and uncooperative behaviour
· Temper tantrums
· Frustration, anger and verbal and physical threats / aggression
· Withdrawn and depressed attitudes
· Anxiety and self-harm
SEMH does not have to be a lifelong condition. With appropriate support children and young people can move forward and live successful lives.