2.1. Explain the relationship between disability and special educational needs. 2.2. Explain the nature of the particular disabilities and/or special educational needs of children and young people with whom they work. 2.3. Explain the special provision required by children and young people with whom they work. 2.4. Explain the expected pattern of development for disabled children and young people and those with special educational needs with whom they work.
Pupils with special educational needs are defined on page 6 of the 2001 Code of Practice as having a learning difficulty if they have ‘a significantly greater difficulty in learning than the majority of children of the same age’ or ‘a disability which prevents or hinders them from making use of educational facilities of a kind generally provided for children of the same age’. If a pupil is hindered in participating in day to day activities enjoyed by others then there disability is considered a special educational need. Some people who have a disability may need additional support, however this is not the same for all, some who have a disability may not have a statement of special educational needs, many are independent and able to participate without support.
Working in a class that has a pupil with additional needs, I am aware of some of the help and support that is available to them. An occupational therapist will attend for one on one sessions with the child, this has made a huge impact on the development of the child. Although the session is just with the occupational therapist, making sure the child is going into the session happy and motivated is very important, this is something we can all help with as part of our class. Giving the space and time they need to carry out their session is just as important, making sure there are no distractions as this can set the pupil back in their progress. Myself and other members of staff that work with the child on a day to day basis are able to provide the occupational therapist with tools and equipment that we feel that particular child will respond well to, we are able to gage their mood for that day and allow that feedback to be given so as to be sensitive to the child’s feelings and possibly a better outcome from the session because of it.
The child that we have in our class with additional needs develops on a different pattern to those of their peers. We learn what we can expect of the child and then try to develop this further. Although they may never reach the expected development for their age, making sure we have done the best and provided the child with every opportunity we can to develop further is key for the child as they move through the school years. What myself and other staff are very proud of is that in some areas of development the child has exceeded our expectations, this is a great example of what correct support and encouragement can do in a child’s life. This child, at reception age, will now go through school life with this full support and can hopefully carry on exceeding expectation.