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Working with Children with Special Educational Needs

  • Joanne Boyden

There are a number of restrictions and requirements in destination to protect children with special educational needs or disabilities. It was originally assumed that children with needs should be delivered to a special university and therefore choice for parents and children was not a lot of. However, with the execution of laws and regulations this has very much altered, with children with needs participating in mainstream schools with their parents' and their choice wherever this can be done. The onus is very much indeed on the environment being adapted for the child rather than the child being struggling to fit in with the mainstream environment.

The laws regarding children focus on the Education Function 1970 which noticed the transfer of the duty to educate children with special needs from medical service to the local authority. Because of this special universities were built. Around this time the medical style of disability was commonly used. This model labelled the kid as somehow possessing a fault. The target was very much on what the kid could not do somewhat than their skills and aptitudes. This model centered on the perceived need for segregation hence the need for individual special facilities. View advises this model sets a great deal of anxiety and stress upon the parents of the kid and limits the choices and opportunities they can provide the child.

The Warnock statement looked into SEN and out of this report a number of recommendations were therefore made. Suggestions looked at how the child could gain access to the curriculum and the way to adapt the surroundings to meet the needs of the kid thus enabling them to get this done.

The Education ACT 1981 required a whole lot of its promises from the Warnock article and gave power to the parents. It also outlined in detail the legal tasks of the LEA.

The Education reform Work 1988 observed the launch of the National Curriculum. This ensured uniformity of educating across classes. However this could still be designed to meet up with the needs of children with SEN and Disabilities.

The Children's Function 1989 states that the needs and wants of the child are paramount and should be looked at when at all possible in every decision making procedures. This again gives more capacity to children with SEN in where and exactly how they are informed.

The Education Act 1993 brought about the need for specific guidance on the id of children with SEN. The SENCo was introduced and again offers more power to the parents and in ways gave them a words through the SENco.

The disability discrimination Function 1995 brought in such regulations as it being against the law to discriminate against impaired people with regards to employment property etc.

It could be argued that the main law of most regarding children with disabilities or specific requirements is the SEN code of practice 2001. This is actually the Act that provides the power to the child and their parents. Most importantly this act offered rise to the law that children with SEN contain the to a mainstream education. There was an immense concentrate on inclusive practise and the adaption of the environment to fit the kid rather than the other way around as prior. This act totally encompasses the communal model of disability. This act gives upmost power to the parent to choose where their child is educated and exactly how.

The Act is embodied by seven key concepts. The first is that the data of parents should be studied into account in all decisions. They actually after all know their own child and their individual needs better than anyone else. The second says that the concentration should be on what the child can do not what they can not. The third concept states that parent's emotions and emotions should be recognized. The fourth and again these are very much linked, says that parents should be fully associated with all decisions. The fifth basic principle says that parents really know what is best for their child. The 6th principle demonstrates parents may also suffer disability which should be supported and known. Finally the seventh concept, states that meetings should be assemble in good time and sometimes well suited for the parents. Parents may have other siblings to look after or they may be juggling work and childcare. They cannot continually be there for a gathering at the same time suitable for the setting. This will be considered when all conferences are being arranged. The act fully highlights the necessity for positive and close romantic relationships with parents aswell as empowerment for the child.

The act states the importance of early identification and close monitoring of most treatment and support through the use of documents such as IEP's. The act also give help with the degrees of support through college action and university action plus and indicates who is responsible with what levels of the support process.

In summary there are a number of rules and laws and regulations that support children and their families with SEN and disability which should be carefully honored whenever using the kids and their family. The results if the laws and regulations are followed effectively should be a happy satisfied child reaching their full potential with happy parents. This would follow the principle of every child matters making certain all children whatever their needs are given support to fulfil their goals.

It is extremely important to work inclusively with children with disabilities or specific requirements. Firstly this would adhere to the SEN code of carry out which explores the need to work inclusively. Inclusions requires "searching for ways of supporting children to join in who tradtionally be excluded from configurations or activities" pg 312 Children's care learning and development. It can also be described as "an activity of determining, understanding and breaking down obstacles to participation and owed" pg 312 as above.

It is important to note that it is the environment that should be adapted rather than trying to match the kid to the surroundings. This may suggest things such as having activities organized on stand tops somewhat than on to the floor, giving more time for dressing for PE etc. The areas that need to be attended to depend very much on the necessity of the kid. No real matter what that need the kid has the same protection under the law to be given the same opportunities as a child without needs. Actually most children have needs in a few areas and working under every child concerns, surroundings and opportunities should be differentiated for any children so that can reach their full potential. One example of inclusion will be a child that has a physical need. Instead of simply saying they cannot take part in PE, they may need more time to dress/undress. It's important to allow the kid to do the maximum amount of for themselves as they possibly can. If they require help they must be asked if they want help first. Also the experience itself should be considered. If it is a pastime can it be adapted to include the child. A kid that's not allowed to take part fully as the others can soon become frustrated and segragated using their fellow pupils. This might be following a medical model somewhat than fully embracing the interpersonal model of impairment. Allowing children with needs to fully get involved also shows the other children a very important lesson of acceptance of difference and tolerance. It assists to promote acceptance in the institution community as a whole. Often when looking at inclusion it can be the views and attitudes of the individuals that can be the actual barrier to inclusion. The child involved may be capable of a lot more than the adult believes if they were given the chance to do so. It is important wherever possible to include the child in no matter what class is involved with somewhat than taking them away for specific individual work. Before long a well meaning adult may take the child from many activities they are simply fully capable of removing their to inclusion in that task.

The relationship between parent or guardian and setting cannot be underestimated. At the end of the day parents will be the ones who know the child best and are therefore in the best position to say what's best for the kid. They are the experts on their own child irrespective of their need or impairment. They can offer insight into the way the child behaves at home and also if there were any changes in the child they could provide answers as to the reasons this can be. The relationship between setting up and parent can often be difficult and views can vary significantly in regards to what is most beneficial for the child. However the relationship should be one of compromise and trust.

Again working meticulously with parents and involving them in every decision making processes is key and in reality necessary to abide by the SEN code of conduct. It is not always a simple relationship to maintain in an optimistic way but it is very important to get this done. Parents may be upset and angry and might not exactly wish their child to be labelled. In some circumstances they could deny that their child has any needs and wish them to be cared for in a similar way as the other children when this might not always be suited or possible. Parents may put up with disabilities themselves and this must be studied into consideration when working strongly with parents.

Not only is the partnership with parents key to providing the best environment for the kid but also good clear romantic relationships with other professionals is key. This might take the form of conversation and language experts, educational psychologists, health individuals, social workers. It really is imperative that romantic relationship is both clear and a two way relationship for the benefit of the child. In lots of instance the environment may not have the know-how as to what is most beneficial for the child and the professionals eg talk and language will offer valuable resource and knowledge.

Practitioners must wherever possible strive to change their environment to meet up with the needs of the kid with disabilities. This does indeed very much depend after what those specific needs are. For instance if the kid has a visual impairment attention must be studied to remove any tripping dangers. Also if changes to the surroundings are made the kid should be produced alert to them. Specific instructions should be given if the room must be evacuated quickly does indeed the child is aware of the procedure to follow? Any areas that the child has to repeated regularly should be easily assessable to the kid for example their overcoat peg should be by the end of the row, their lunchtime box accessible. The other children within the course should be trained to understand the room, seats should be tucked in, gadgets should be removed from the floor. When considering the child's needs for example with reading the work do newspaper actvitities need to be enlarged/ coloured in a specific way? Depending on the severity of the necessity can books be produced available in Braille, can music books be utilized? The toys and video games of the class should be considered, is there a requirement for electronic speaking toys. Any items used should be produced part of the normal day for those children where possible to avoid any kind of segregation. The tutor must be aware to verbalise any key activities such as playtimes, lunchtimes etc. All the children in the course should be prompted to use a few of the aids to promote empathy and respect within the course and to normalise any treatment material. For example visual products could be used by all the kids in certain lessons. Any equipment needed to support the kid should be purchased and this is where it can be beneficial to apply the competence of the experts. For example a practioners first effect may be to say the child should get alternative activities during PE periods. However this may not have to be the case much like appropriate equipment such as balls that produce a noises, they could totally participate along with their peers.

Often it's the views and beliefs of the individuals involved in the teaching of the child which have to be transformed and definitely not the child themselves. With a little creativity most daily activities can be designed and differentiated to meet the varying and sometimes challenging needs of children.

Therefore to conclude, there are many functions that govern how children with needs are educated and with careful consideration of both parents and the child these can be efficiently followed. Through inclusive practice and good communication the needs of the child and wishes of the mother or father can be effectively met.


Burnham Louise, (2008), The Coaching Assistants Handbook, Essex, Heinemann.

Beith Kate (2008), Children's treatment learning and Development, Essex, Heinemann.

Special Educational Needs code of Practise:,

http://webarchive. nationalarchives. gov. uk/

Convention on the privileges of persons with disabilities:

http://www. un. org/disabilities/convention/conventionfull. shtml

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