Special educational needs Essay Sample
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Special educational needs Essay Sample
The term Special Educational Needs, is used to describe children who have learning difficulties or disabilities that make it harder for them to learn or access education , than most children of the same age. Children with special educational needs may need extra or different help, from that given to other children of the same age. Special educational needs can be due to learning, physical or social disabilities. The children may need help/support with a specific learning difficulty in school such as, reading, writing, number work or understanding information. They may also have communication problems, such as expressing themselves or understanding what others are saying. They may experience emotional and/or behavioural difficulties, like trouble making friends, relating to others or behaving properly in school. They could have medical or health conditions which may slow down their progress, and/or involves treatment that affects their education. Sensory or physical needs such as hearing or visual impairment could also affect their learning in school and extra support will be needed. A child with special educational needs may have learning difficulties which make it harder for them to acquire basic skills in school.
There are signs which may indicate a child has special educational needs, although some may not be as obvious and transparent as the signs relating to physical disabilities. The child:
Might be easily distracted, or they may generate distraction or be considered as ‘the class clown’. Could be reluctant to do homework, especially unaided. May be disorganised (late settling into work, last to finish packing up,last to leave the classroom). They may ‘forget’ to do homework or revise for tests. Might forget tasks they have been given, they might also have trouble remembering more than two or three instructions at once. Might have spider handwriting and/or messy presentation of work. May have an awkward pencil grip, difficulty remembering where to start writing and/or struggle copying accurately from the board. Can read, but reads slowly. Has good eyesight but is monosyllabic when reading aloud (may refuse to read out loud) struggle to scan text. Might declare they hate maths, when in reality ‘they don’t get it’.
May not enjoy school, might become stressed when starting tasks or when asked to work on their own. Might make little or no progress at school (may even regress). Could have difficulty with change- even pleasant surprises can be upsetting. Hears but frequently mishears what is said. They may be able to repeat sentences, but not comprehend the meaning of them. May bump into things, might be clumsy or have poor spacial awareness. They may have difficulty hopping, jumping or catching a ball and will literally over their own feet. Might find it hard to make friends, sustaining friendships, or may even avoid social contact altogether. May be shy,withdrawn and/or avoid eye contact.
Special educational needs leaders suggest that children be referred to a SEN provider or supporter, if they show more than two of the above signs. They are all characteristics of normal childhood too, which is why special educational needs are difficult to spot. Unless a school tests every child, some children will be missed. Not all children with special educational needs are readily identified. Some develop coping mechanisms to hide it. These can include: Withdrawal from social or classroom activities that bring them to the attention of others. Developing behaviour that disrupts the class.
Participating in activities or actions that make them appear restless and anxious.
Issues of embarrassment and shame, may prevent a child with special educational needs from reaching out for support or help from their parents, teachers or other school representatives and administrators.
The National Register, was an organisation for gifted and talented children. It said that gifted and talented children need to be supported through personal achievements and addressing dual or multiple exceptionalities (DME). These children received support for their special educational needs, but were also given challenging, enriching, enjoyable work at school to suit their intellectual abilities. Children with DME fall into both categories of special educational needs. They child may have a learning or physical disability, but may be gifted or talented in another area of learning e.g. a child may have a sensory disability like blindness, but have an exceptional level of performance in mathematics. The National Register recommended that those involved in special educational needs, focus on supporting a child’s learning, talent and strengths, rather than on the disability . This included: Finding a way to celebrate the child’s achievements.
Challenging them in areas of strength.
Creating an individual education plan, which supports the child’s needs and stretches their abilities. Providing information and/or training to all relevant class and subject teachers and encourage a flexible approach to learning e.g. if the child struggles with handwriting, look for other ways they can record what they have learnt. Supporting to develop resiliency and self-control.
The National Register was abolished in 2010 however, many schools still adopt the principles put in place by it.
In my opinion, the most important skills required to become a Special Educational Needs Teaching Assistant are: Patience
Good literacy and numeracy skills
An SEN teaching assistant should be able to offer social and emotional support. A good SEN teaching assistant will have the patience, ability and tools to help a child achieve their own individual potential. As they are support staff, they should be able to support teachers and help to deliver classroom objectives. It is very important to be patient, but firm when needed, and to always remember what works for one child, may not work for the other. Energy and enthusiasm is very important as this keeps the children focused helping them to participate and keep energised. As a SEN teaching assistant, you must also be prepared to help children with any personal needs they may have, such as going to the toilet etc. A nurturing environment is what helps a child with special educational needs learn best, being able to empathise with the child and having an understanding of how they may be feeling will enable you to give them the right support that they need. Organisational skills are very important as if the teacher isn’t organised, it could cause the child to feel overwhelmed. I also feel SEN teaching assistants must be encouraging, creative and flexible, with the ability to motivate students and inspire them with the confidence they may need to attempt new tasks.