Special needs education

Education is a basic right for all children and the aim of education is to try and encourage and enable all children to reach their full potential in school. Special needs children may require additional support and help at school. As a result of this, all schools should have measures in place to ensure that all children with special needs get the help they need to fulfil their potential. The term 'special needs' covers a range of different illnesses, conditions and difficulties, including physical disabilities, chronic health conditions, serious medical issues, behavioural disorders, mental health problems and developmental problems. As a result of the breadth of children covered by the umbrella term, special needs, the response to special needs must be multi-faceted, as some children may require different kinds of help and support to other children.

Help at school.

School can be challenging for children, but it may be particularly difficult for children with special needs. Children may struggle to fit in, make friends, do their school work, sit down for long periods and concentrate, get around the school and cope with being away from their parents, for example. Children with physical disabilities and serious or chronic health conditions may struggle to get around, they may struggle with their work due to missing a lot of classroom time (if they have to go to hospital or they stay at home because they are not well enough to be at school) and they may struggle to integrate with other children. Schools may have a number of different measures, which can help children with disabilities and health conditions.

They may provide additional earning support, they may have measures and policies to help integration and they will have equipment to ensure that children can get around the school easily and join in with activities and games. Children with development delay or learning difficulties will be given additional support to help with school work, facilitate understanding, increase confidence and encourage children to enjoy their time in the classroom. Children may have one to one lessons with a support teacher, they may have additional help in the classroom and they may also have special work to take home. Children with behavioural disorders may benefit from therapies to help to increase their self-esteem, handle difficult situations and control their emotions. They may also benefit from additional help with their school work. Sometimes, behavioural disorders can be difficult to understand and diagnose and this can lead to a child simply being written off as a 'naughty or disruptive' child.

Once a diagnosis is made, assistance and support can be given to ensure that the child gets the additional help they need to enable them to thrive at school. Getting help at school can also be very beneficial for the future.

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