Children With SEND: Everything You Need to Know

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Learning difficulties are not a rare situation but a common experience for children and young people. Children often face educational difficulties if they experience challenges or disabilities that make them learn less than their classmates of their age group. In these cases, the obstacles might be seen in problems with school tasks, communication, or behaviour. Luckily, with both parents’ and teachers’ support and encouragement, the majority of them can cope with the temporary difficulties. If you want to understand more about special educational needs, then this post is for you.

Understanding Special Educational Needs (SEN)

Special educational needs (SEN) is a term with a legal meaning; it stands for children who are experiencing learning difficulties or disabilities that are more impeding to their learning process compared to children in the same age group. Children with SEN usually need extra help that is usually different from what other normal pupils get. Such assistance is called special educational provision. It meets the students’ specific needs.

However, it is crucial to remember that the child is not necessarily referred to as a child with SEN simply because he/she does not have English as their first language. But some children whose mother tongue isn’t English may also face learning challenges.

4 Most Common Types of Difficulties Covered By the Term SEN?

SEN term which is quite wide, covers a range of difficulties that children may experience. Here are some examples:

1. Thinking, Understanding, and Learning: Kids that are having some problems in this area might find school subjects like reading, spelling and learning in general difficult.

2. Emotional and Behavioural Difficulties: Emotional and behavioural difficulties, which can be exhibited in children as low self-esteem, lack of confidence and the difficulties to take rules or stay in school, may affect children’s social-emotional development and academic performance. They can easily make the learning environment unconducive for others.

3. Speech, Language, and Communication: When a child has any problems in speech, language, and communication, she/he finds it difficult to make her/himself understood or to understand what others are trying to tell her/him. This can therefore hurt their social skills, communication skills, as well as the way to understand the world.

4. Physical or Sensory Difficulties: A child with physical or sensory impairments may have a disability or a medical issue that may affect learning. This could be a range of sensory impairments that do not let them have full educational materials like visual or hearing impairment.

What Happens If a Child Has SEN?

If your child has a special need(SEN), then you need to know that the child has a right to a full education. This involves skimming either the Early Years Foundation Stage Curriculum (for 3 to 5 years old) or the National Curriculum (for 5 to 16 years old).

In some, but not every case, ordinary schools or nurseries are advanced enough to cater for children with SEN. However, for those with more complicated needs, special schools that provide specialized support may be helpful.

As a parent, you should know if the school thinks that your child is or might be experiencing SEN. You must be involved in the discussions about the support your child will receive from the school. You and your child’s thoughts are important in these choices and your opinion matters. The school should ensure that you are part of the decision-making process because your support is essential in your child’s education.

How Schools Can Help Children With Special Educational Needs

Schools generally provide support for children with special needs and may call experts in when it is needed. Undefined

  • Schoolwork
  • Reading, writing, arithmetic, or comprehending facts.
  • Communicating among each other or comprehending spoken language.
  • Learning how to make friends, being social or having conversations with adults.
  • Showing the right behaviours in the school setting.
  • Organizational skills

They may also have sensory or physical challenges that interfere with their learning in the classroom.

Your Child’s Progress

The process of a child’s learning and development can be very different for different children and they can acquire knowledge through different methods. This is a part of planning their class that teachers take into account by organizing the manner of teaching, class arrangement and the teaching materials.

Teacher chooses strategies that are helpful to your child and encourage their learning. When the child has more or less progress than others or is facing some difficulties in a particular area, the child might receive special attention or different instruction.

It is significant to point out that when the child fails to follow the tutor’s pace or receive different support or activities from their classmates, it doesn’t mean that they have special educational needs.

Getting Help For Your Child

The first few years of a child are the years when they exhibit their physical, emotional, intellectual, and social growth. During check-ups for vaccination or for other purposes, the health visitors or doctors might point out some problems that need to be addressed. In case you have some worries you should better talk about it with someone as soon as possible.

You can have one-on-one conversations with different people, the top of the list being the child’s class teacher, the school staff member responsible for children who have special educational needs and the headteacher among others. You might inquire about:

  • If the school made any comment about a problem(s) your child might be experiencing.
  • Either it is your child’s level of performance with their peers or you are worried about your child’s ability to interact with their peers.
  • Whether your child has some extra help or he does not get special support.
  • What you can do to encourage your child at home.

If the school considers that my child has particular needs in some places, they will follow a methodical approach to process these needs.

Talking to Your Child’s School

In your child’s education, certain fundamental principles guide everyone involved:

  • If your child has special needs, then these needs must be considered, and the child should be given an education that is consistent and relevant to his abilities.
  • Your point of view should be taken into account permanently, and your child’s wishes should be heard and respected.
  • As a rule, the mainstream school will address your child’s needs, either with or without the external support of specialists.
  • It is your duty to be fully engaged and contribute to all decisions that will affect your child, thus having your voice heard and taken into consideration.
  • You must be an active partner in your child’s education, stressing on the significance of your active involvement and support.

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