SEND stands for special educational needs and disability and covers a wide range of needs in children and young people. The SEND code of practice states that a child or young person has special educational needs if they have a learning difficulty or disability that requires special educational provision to be made.
Children and young people with SEND find it more difficult to learn than their peers without SEND. It is important to understand the specific difficulties each child and young person experiences in order to best support them.
There are four main areas of SEND:
Children and young people may learn at a slower pace than others and find it difficult to follow the curriculum. Organisation and memory may be particularly challenging areas for these children. Children with difficulties in cognition and learning might have a diagnosis of Mild, Moderate, Severe or Profound and Multiple Learning Disability, or a specific learning difficulty such as Dyslexia.
Children and young people may struggle to talk or say what they want and/or find it hard to understand what people are saying. Conversations might be confusing and play could be a challenge. Children with difficulties in communication and interaction might have a diagnosis of Speech, Language and Communication Needs or Autism. Alternatively, they might have a special educational need or disability in another area that has resulted in communication difficulties, such as a hearing impairment.
Children and young people may find it difficult to develop and maintain healthy relationships, which can result in becoming withdrawn or isolated from others. These difficulties may also be displayed through challenging or disruptive behaviour. Children with difficulties in social, emotional and mental health might have a variety of diagnoses, some examples being depression, anxiety, conduct disorder or ADHD.
Children and young people may have physical and/or sensory needs that require additional on-going support or equipment to ensure they have access to the curriculum and the same opportunities as their peers. There may be a Physical Disability, Visual or Hearing Impairment, or a combination of both described as Multi-Sensory Impairment.
It is important to remember that a childcan have special educational needs across multiple areas. For example, a child with autismis likely to experiencedifficulties with communication and interaction and may also have differences in their sensory processing as well as being at higher risk of anxiety.