I found out that I was dyslexic very early on, at a time when people were only just learning about it. There are so many different types of learning difficulties and now that my children are at school it’s something I’m very interested in. We asked Hillcrest Care Ltd to explain in a bit more detail about the different types of special education needs, whether it be genetic disorders, sensory difficulties, behavioural disorders or something entirely different. I found this a really interesting read.
Discovering that your child had a special educational need (SEN) is an emotional time for any parent, suddenly finding the perfect school to help your child achieve their best has become a lot more complicated. This can seem daunting and the severity of your child’s needs changes the type of things you need to consider, from simple in-school additional aid or a school specifically qualified to teach children with stronger educational needs.
Targeting Your Search to Your Child’s Specific Needs
Special Educational Needs covers an extremely large array of disorders. These can be categorised into the following:
- Genetic Disorders – These include Down’s Syndrome for example.
- Global Learning Difficulties – Non-specific difficulties are grouped here, children with mild learning disabilities for example.
- Medical Problems – These range from Tourette Syndrome to Cerebral Palsy.
- Sensory Difficulties – Speech and language difficulties and Visual Impairments, for example, would be categorised here.
- Specific Learning Difficulties – This refers to children who struggle with reading and writing.
- Behavioural Disorders – These include social and emotional difficulties as well as more well known disorders such as ADHD.
Once you know exactly what it is your child is struggling with, it is important to do your research; this will help you know who the best person to talk to is about getting the best education for your child. This website is good to research how your child’s disability may affect them.
What to Do Once Your Child Has Been Diagnosed
If your child is already enrolled in school, then the certified SENCO will be able to discuss your child’s needs with you and discuss further options if additional assistance is required. However, if your child is not yet enrolled in a school then your best option is to contact your local council for advice or to request an EHC assessment. If you would like an EHC assessment, then this needs to be requested by a doctor, health visitor or anyone at your child’s school (if they are at that stage).
The gov.uk website has additional information about the process. You can also obtain advice from your local IAS service. You can find your local service through the www.gov.uk website.
Choosing the Right School for Your Child
While it is still possible and more than likely that your child will be enrolled in a public school while being offered additional support, there is sometimes the option of enrolling your child in a school that specifically works with children with special educational needs. Specialist schools, such as Hillcrest Children’s Services, will test your child’s overall ability and build a tailored programme that will enable your child to get the most out of their education, while learning how best to manage their specific needs.
Discovering that your child requires special educational needs no longer prevents them from having a fulfilled and enjoyable education. Finding the right help to suit your child is the key to a positive education.
Some useful websites: