Special Educational Needs
Support for children who have difficulty learning because of their Special Educational Needs
Some children have disabilities that affect their ability to learn. These can be:
- Social, emotional and mental health difficulties (e.g. difficulty making friends)
- Reading and writing (e.g. dyslexia)
- Understanding things
- Concentrating (e.g. Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder)
- Physical needs or impairments
- Communication difficulties
What support is available
If you think your child may have special educational needs, you should get in touch with the ‘SEN coordinator’ (SENCO) at your child’s pre-school, nursery, school or college.
There are different stages of support available to help children with special educational needs. The stages of support are:
- Early Years or school SEN support - support provided from within the educational setting
- Assessment - the local authority asks for professional advice regarding your child's difficulties
- Education, Health and Care Plan (EHCP) - a document arising from the assessment which outlines your child's needs and provides additional support
If your child is getting the help they need and they’re learning well, there’s no need for them to go on to the next stage. Some children have complex, high needs – they can get an assessment straight away and won’t need to go through the earlier stages of support.
The SEN coordinator at your child's educational setting will be able to advice you about your child's needs, the support they are receiving and whether there is a need for any further action.
We have produced a glossary of terms to help you understand the various words you may come across if your child has special needs.