Do you think your child has a Special Educational Need or Disability?
What is SEN-D?
The SEN-D Code of Practice defines Special Educational Need and Disability (SEN-D) as
“ A child or young person has a SEN if they have a learning difficulty or disability which calls for special educational provision to be made for them. A child of compulsory school age or a young person has a learning difficulty or disability if they:
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 educational facilities of a kind generally provided for others of the same age in mainstream schools or mainstream post – 16 institutions.” The SEN-D Code of Practice 2014, page 94.
“A person is disabled if they have a physical or mental impairment which has a long term and substantial adverse effect on their ability to carry out normal day-to-day activities” The Equalities Act 2010, page 5
Areas of Special Educational Need
The SEN-D Code of Practice 2014, pages 97-98, identifies four broad areas of need. It states
“These four broad areas give an overview of the range of needs that should be planned for. The purpose of identification is to work out what action the school needs to take, not to fit a pupil into a category. In practice, individual children or young people often have needs that cut across all these areas and their needs may change over time.”
What to do if you are concerned that your child has a Special Educational Need
The first thing you should do is speak with your child’s class teacher about your concerns. Class teachers are responsible for all the children in their class’ wellbeing and progress and will be able to provide support for your child. At different points in time many children will need additional support in their learning and this does not mean that they have a ‘Special Educational Need’. It may be that the child has a gap in their learning or a barrier which can be overcome through short term intervention or support.
Where interventions and additional support do not facilitate the expected progress, the Teacher, in consultation with the SENCo, will create a plan for the child using resources and assessments available within the school or the Cluster. This will be discussed with the pupil and the parent before it is started. The interventions will be monitored using the ‘Graduated Approach’ of Assess, Plan, Do, Review.
If the support put in place still does not enable the learner to meet their potential, with parental agreement, outside agency support will be requested by the SENCo. This may be from, but not limited to, a GP, Educational Psychologist, Speech and Language Therapist, Behaviour Support Team, Child and adolescent Mental Health Support (CAMHS), Sensory Support, School to School Support or Specialist Resource Base (SRB) to name a few. If the support which a child needs exceeds the amount which the school has within their budget then the school will apply to the Cluster for additional support. (Attach Cluster SEND Handbook here)
Where a child has complex and significant needs which meet the Local Authority’s criteria, the school will consider applying for an Education, Health and Care Plan. The SENCo will discuss this in detail with the parents and pupil.
Additional information about Special Educational Needs can also be found in our school’s SEN Policy/ Information Report.
Information about specific needs and links to support groups
It should be remembered that this is not an exhaustive list of all types of SEND but a small overview of some of the conditions which schools such as ours deal with on a daily basis.
Attachment Disorder or Reactive Attachment Disorder (RAD)
Reactive Attachment Disorder can occur when children have been unable to consistently connect with a parent or primary caregiver. This can happen for a wide variety of reasons including some circumstances which were unavoidable while the child was very young.
Attention Deficit Disorder- ADD
ADD is sometimes used interchangeably with ADHD, however ADD is seen as an outdated term. Since the publication in 2013 of the 5th version of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual (the manual used by doctors to identify, describe, and code various conditions) ADHD has been broken down into three subcategories, Predominantly Inattentive Presentation, Predominantly Hyperactive/Impulsive Presentation, and Combined Presentation. It is the ‘Predominantly Inattentive Presentation’ category of ADHD which would once have been called ADD.
Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder – ADHD
ADHD is a condition characterised by persistent inattentiveness, hyperactivity and impulsivity which is more frequent and severe than is typically observed in individuals at a comparable level of development.
Auditory Processing Disorder – APD
People with APD have difficulties processing auditory (verbal) information. APD is not a hearing problem, but an inability to process what is heard.
Autistic Spectrum Disorder – ASD
This is a lifelong developmental disability that affects the way a person communicates and relates to other people and how they experience the world around them. People with autism have difficulties with everyday social interaction and may also have learning disabilities and other conditions, including sensitivity to light, smells, tastes and other sensory experiences. Autism is a 'spectrum disorder' because, while all autistic people share certain difficulties, the condition affects people in many different ways and to varying degrees.
This is a form of autism. People with Asperger syndrome may have difficulties in social relationships and communication, as well as limitations in social imagination and creative play. Asperger syndrome has many similarities with high-functioning autism.
Dyslexia affects the way information is processed, stored and retrieved, with problems of memory, speed of processing, time perception, organisation and sequencing. Some dyslexics may also have difficulty navigating a route, left and right and compass directions. It is often most noticeable in a child’s reading, spelling and writing which is why it is usually associated with literacy difficulties.
Dyscalculia is a difficulty understanding maths concepts and symbols. It is characterised by an inability to understand simple number concepts and to master basic numeracy skills including learning number facts and procedures, telling the time, time keeping, understanding quantity, prices and money. Difficulties with numeracy and maths are also common with dyslexia.
Also called Developmental Coordination Disorder, or DCD. Children with dyspraxia have difficulties with fine and/or motor coordination (tasks such as walking, jumping, self-care and writing) when compared to children of the same age and may be thought to be 'clumsy'. People with dyspraxia may also experience problems with delayed speech or other speech problems.
Global developmental delay
If a child has delayed achievement of one or more developmental milestones (eg motor skills, speech and language skills, social skills) this is called developmental delay. Global developmental delay is the term used when a child has delays in all areas of development. There may be an underlying cause that is already known or can be diagnosed (such as a chromosomal or genetic disorder) or the underlying cause may be unknown.
Hearing Impairment – HI
Hearing impairment varies in severity from the very mild to the very profound and can affect one or both ears. There are a range of technologies and strategies available to assist a hearing impaired student with both the academic and social sides of school life.
This is a type of visual stress which causes difficulties when reading and looking at text. Sufferers describe the words as moving on or falling into the page, for example. The effects of Meares-Irlen Syndrome can be reduced by changing the background colour by printing on another colour paper or, when this is not possible, by using either a coloured plastic overlay or tinted glasses.
Moderate Learning difficulties – MLD
Pupils with MLD will have attainments well below expected levels in all or most areas of the curriculum, despite appropriate interventions. They will have much greater difficulty than their peers in acquiring basic literacy and numeracy skills and in understanding concepts. They may also have associated speech and language delay, low self-esteem, low levels of concentration and underdeveloped social skills.
Obsessive Compulsive Disorder – OCD
OCD presents itself in many guises, and certainly goes far beyond the common perception that OCD is merely hand washing or checking light switches. In general, OCD sufferers experience obsessions which take the form of persistent and uncontrollable thoughts, images, impulses, worries, fears or doubts. They are often intrusive, unwanted, disturbing, significantly interfere with the ability to function on a day-to-day basis as they are incredibly difficult to ignore. People with OCD often realise that their obsessional thoughts are irrational, but they believe the only way to relieve the anxiety caused by them is to perform compulsive behaviours.
Oppositional Defiance Disorder – ODD
ODD is a condition in which a child displays an ongoing pattern of uncooperative, defiant, hostile, and annoying behavior toward people in authority lasting longer than six months and is excessive compared to what is usual for the child's age. The child's behaviour often disrupts the child's normal daily activities, including activities within the family and at school.
Physical Impairment – PI
Orthopaedic, neuromuscular, cardiovascular and pulmonary disorders and can be the result of congenital factors, injury, or multiple illnesses. In school life, access can be made for students needing wheelchairs, crutches and artificial limbs.
Severe Learning Difficulties - SLD
A severe learning disability is typically diagnosed at birth or in early childhood. Signs of developmental delay may be noticed by a range of people such as health visitors, paediatricians, GPs or family members, prompting a formal assessment leading to a diagnosis. Someone who has a severe learning disability will have little or no speech, find it very difficult to learn new skills, need support with daily activities such as dressing, washing, eating and keeping safe, have difficulties with social skills and need life-long support
Speech and Language Communication Needs - SLCN
The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, or IDEA, defines the term “speech or language impairment” as follows “Speech or language impairment means a communication disorder, such as stuttering, impaired articulation, a language impairment, or a voice impairment, that adversely affects a child’s educational performance.” A child with Speech and Language impairment may also face difficulties with understanding, or making others understand spoken language and may be behind their classmates at the rate they learn these skills. They can also have difficulties with word context or meaning and may use words incorrectly.
Specific Learning Difficulties – SpLD
This is an umbrella term which can mean Dyslexia, Dyspraxia, Dyscalculia or ADD/ADHD.
Tourette Syndrome (TS) is a neurological condition which is most usually known for causing ‘tics’. Tics are involuntary and uncontrollable sounds and movements.
Visual impairment – VI
Visual impairment in a person could be so mild as to be easily corrected with glasses or so severe that the person is totally blind. Visual Impairment could affect one or both eyes. Not all children with a visual impairment have a special educational need; for this, the child’s need would need to be significant enough to meet the criteria of SEND (this definition can be found at the top of this page).
General support websites
Norfolk Local offer https://www.norfolk.gov.uk/children-and-families/send-local-offer
Norfolk SEND Partnership - http://www.norfolksendpartnershipiass.org.uk/
NASEN - www.nasen.org.uk
British Institute of Learning Difficulties – http://www.bild.org.uk/
Foundation for People with Learning Difficulties - http://www.learningdisabilities.org.uk/
Mencap - https://www.mencap.org.uk/
Special Needs support website https://www.specialeducationalneeds.co.uk/