Special Educational Needs and Disabilities is the term used in the UK for children with difficulties or disabilities that make it harder for them to learn than most children their age. This might be because of a physical or mental health problem. Their parents may be worried about their progress at school or their behaviour. They could ask for advice from their school, a teacher or from a voluntary organisation.
The term Special Education (or SEN, ED, SpEd) refers to the different teaching methods and equipment that are designed for disabled students. They are generally tailored to a child’s individual strengths, weaknesses and learning styles. This can include the use of a computer, specialised equipment or modified curriculum. Accommodations or modifications also involve physical adjustments to the environment and can include specialized physical equipment such as wheelchairs.
A student is considered to have a special educational need if their ability to learn is significantly affected by one of the following:
Supporting Emotional Well-being: Addressing Mental Health in SEND Students
The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act requires public schools to provide special needs students with services and accommodations that allow them to fully participate in the educational program. However, not every child who struggles in school qualifies.
In some cases, it is very hard to determine whether a child has a special educational need. For example, they may have a high IQ score, but struggle to adapt to the classroom or behave appropriately in social situations. In these cases, it is important to follow the appropriate testing procedures and take into consideration a range of factors when making decisions.