Supporting Special Educational Needs

The Special educational needs and disability code of practice: 0 to 25 years (2014) indicates there are four broad ‘Areas of Need’.  In practice, individual children or young people often have needs that cut across all these areas and their needs may change over time.

These four broad areas of need have been grouped in to sub-areas as below:

Communication and interaction:

  • speech, language and communication needs (SLCN)
  • ASD, including Asperger’s Syndrome and Autism

Cognition and learning includes:

  • moderate learning difficulties (MLD),
  • severe learning difficulties (SLD), where children are likely to need support in all areas of the curriculum and associated difficulties with mobility and communication, through to-
  • profound and multiple learning difficulties (PMLD), where children are likely to have severe and complex learning difficulties as well as a physical disability or sensory impairment.
  • Specific learning difficulties (SpLD), affect one or more specific aspects of learning. This encompasses a range of conditions such as dyslexia, dyscalculia and dyspraxia

Social, emotional and mental health difficulties

  • These may include becoming withdrawn or isolated, as well as displaying challenging, disruptive or disturbing behaviour. These behaviours may reflect underlying mental health difficulties such as anxiety or depression, self-harming, substance misuse, eating disorders or physical symptoms that are medically unexplained.
  • Other children and young people may have disorders such as attention deficit disorder, attention deficit hyperactive disorder or attachment disorder.

Sensory and/or physical needs require specialist support and/or equipment to access their learning, or habilitation support

  • Many children and young people with vision impairment (VI),
  • hearing impairment (HI) or a
  • multi-sensory impairment (MSI)

Essential General Weblinks

The Council for Disabled Children website hosts an extremely comprehensive and useful set of  booklets referring in detail to all areas of need.  These Resources are referred to as Early Support Information Resources.  (Click on the coloured lettering to go to the webpage). Suitable for schools and for schools to share with parents with children experiencing a special need or disability.