The term special educational needs is described in law in the Children and Families Act 2014 as:
Many children and young people who have SEN may also have a disability. A disability is described in law (the Equality Act 2010) as:
‘a physical or mental impairment which has a long-term (a year or more) and substantial adverse effect on their ability to carry out normal day-to-day activities.‛
This includes, for example, sensory impairments such as those that affect sight and hearing, and long-term health conditions such as asthma, diabetes or epilepsy.
The Department for Education has identified four broad areas which cover a range of needs. Some children and young people may have needs that are defined by more than one of these areas.
The Department for Education has identified four broad areas which cover a range of needs. These are defined in the Special Educational Needs and Disability Code of Practice – 0-25 years, January 2015.
Where children and young people have speech, language and communication difficulties which make it difficult for them to make sense of language or to understand how to communicate effectively and appropriately with others.
Children and young people with an Autistic Spectrum Disorder, including Asperger’s Syndrome, are likely to have particular difficulties with social interaction.
Where children and young people learn at a slower pace than others their age, they may:
The term ‘learning difficulties’ covers a wide range of needs, including moderate learning difficulties (MLD), severe learning difficulties (SLD) and profound and multiple difficulties (PMLD). Specific learning difficulties (SpLD) such as dyslexia, dyspraxia and dyscalculia come under this term.
Children and young people may experience a wide range of social and emotional difficulties which present themselves in many ways. They may:
This broad area includes attention deficit disorder (ADD), attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) or attachment disorder. It also includes behaviours that may reflect underlying mental health difficulties such as anxiety, depression, self-harming and eating disorders.
Where children and young people have visual and/or hearing impairments, or a physical need that means they must have additional on-going support and equipment.