If you are considering working with children who have Special Educational Needs, it is important that you understand as much as possible about those needs so you can make a real difference in their lives while also having a rewarding career. In this module, you will learn about what Special Educational Needs (SEN) are, some of the different forms of SEN, how SEN affects the way that children learn and grow, and some general support systems for children with SEN. By the end of this module you should have a greater understanding about what makes kids with SEN both different and special.
Identification and Intervention
For students with SEN, early diagnosis can be crucial. It can be the difference between tailored learning and achievement, and a life spent wondering why they are different. Parents can be too close to the child or occasionally will be in denial when it comes to the signs and symptoms of SEN. That is why it is important that teachers are trained to recognize these signs, and help children get the support they need whenever possible.
Language and Literacy
This module explores language and literacy as it relates to children and young people with SEN
Early Childhood Special Educational Needs
The early learning years of a child are fundamental to their learning in later years. Early childhood education refers to the years between birth and eight years old. It is during this time when a child’s mind absorbs information, and becomes the foundation of their learning.
Middle Child and Adolescent Special Educational Needs
For students who were identified early in life, their Education Health and Care Plan (EHC) continues to be modified with new, challenging goals, and their progress being observed by educators and educational teams. Continued support in school and at home is promoted with the help of supplemental materials, diversified activities, and a large range of learning outcomes.
Students with Mild and Moderate Disabilities
This module will begin by exploring common, mild to moderate disabilities, and their characteristics. You will learn about how SEN needs are identified through EHC Plan Needs Assessments, and In-School SENCO Assessments. The module will illustrate planning and instruction strategies recommended for teachers who work with SEN, before highlighting some examples in different subject areas. You will finish the module by learning more about how teaching is assessed, and relevant Ofsted assessment criteria.
Students with Severe Disabilities
Current discrimination laws promote inclusion for students with special educational needs and disabilities. This means that schools have to do everything possible to include these students in the general classroom environment when appropriate. Students with mild disabilities may spend their entire school day in general classrooms, while others may be removed briefly to work on study skills or to get extra help in a specific subject. Sometimes, students may have severe disabilities that make inclusion, in the general classroom, inappropriate and potentially harmful. These students need smaller environments, adjusted academic instruction, and/or increased behavioral instruction to progress and prepare for adulthood. In this module, we will discuss some of the more severe disabilities that students may be suffering from, as well as how to design and implement instruction for students who are struggling with severe disabilities.
In this module, you will learn about family involvement with reference to SEN education. You will begin the module by learning about the importance of family involvement in educational provisions, and outcomes. The next section will introduce strategies and programs implemented to facilitate family involvement, including Every Child Matters, and a Review of Best Practice by the Department of Education. You will then learn about SEN education at home, in terms of the parents’ rights, and the legal obligations of the local authority. The module will finish with suggestions for improving family involvement in SEN education.
SEN and the Law
Over the last 75 years, governments and schools have made tremendous strides in equal rights for students identified as needing special educational services. As a result of these strides, individuals with special needs are legally protected. Companies, schools, and individuals who infringe on their rights risk legal action. As you are trying to assist students with special educational needs, it is important that you understand how the law protects these students, and what services and/or considerations you are legally required to provide. Throughout this module, we will discuss the laws that protect individuals with disabilities, how these laws apply to the school system, and how you can use your knowledge of the laws to better serve students with special educational needs.
Now, it is time to take everything that you have learned about special educational needs, and put it into practice. We have discussed the process by which teachers, schools, parents, and other professionals get individuals, with special educational needs and disabilities, the assistance they require. It always starts with observation. In this module, we will discuss a few case studies, and go over how to proceed in specific situations. Although we will take you through the process step-by-step, we encourage you to actively participate in these case studies. Try coming up with your own recommendations before reading on to see what our recommendations would be. After reading each of the case studies, we will discuss observations that a professional should make from the information provided about each student. We will then discuss the conclusions we can draw from these observations, and then discuss potential interventions that may help each student.