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Special educational needs

 So, what exactly is the definition of Special educational needs?

A child is only considered to have special educational needs, (SEN) if they have a learning difficulty that requires a greater level of support than his or her peers. This would therefore require educational provision to be made for the child.

A child who has a disability that prevents them from fully accessing the same educational facilities as his or her peers, would also be considered to have SEN. This also counts for children who have social and emotional difficulties, or conditions that affect a child’s mental state, though this child would only be seen as having SEN providing such a condition hinders them from fully accessing educational facilities, therefore requiring provision that is eitherextra or different from what the school gives through its usual differentiated teaching.

Children that are younger than the compulsory school age, can also beconsidered as having SEN, if it is determined early on, that such child could not fully access the same educational facilities as his or her peers, or they have a learning diffculty that will certainly require special educational provision that is extra or different to the provision given to his or her peers, as and when the child was to start full-time education.

Section 312 of the education act 1996, stats, Special educational provision means:

“a) For children of two or over, educational provision which is additional to, or otherwise different form, the educational provision made generally for children of their age in schools maintained by the LEA, other than special schools, in the area.

“b) For children under two, educational provision of any kind.”

Definitions in the 1998 Children Act (section 17 [11], Children Act 1989) defines a disability to be…

“A child is disabled if he is blind, deaf or dump or suffers from a mental disorder of any kind or is substantially and permanently handicapped by illness, injury or congenital deformity or such other disability as may be described.”

 Autism and misconceptions

It is often the case that parents of children whom have been diagnosed as having an autism spectrum condition assume that their child’s educational setting will naturally make adjustments and accommodations for the child! Most assume that a child with autism is automatically considered to have special educational needs, therefore requiring additional provision to be made. Again isn’t actually the case at all. A formal diagnosis of autism is just that, “A diagnosis of autism” nothing more, nothing less! Such a diagnosis does not entitle a child to receive additional educational provision (through the school must make reasonable adjustment for any child with a disability, this is adifferent thing all together).

Although a child with a diagnosis of an autism spectrum disorder is classified as having a, ‘disability’ this is not a ‘learning difficulty’. Whether the child has a learning difficulty is usually determined by the school or local authority (LEA) dependent of the child’s age.

 Common confusion

It should be noted that despite a child’s autism, they may well succeedacademically, requiring little if any extra provision at all. This is more commonly the case for children diagnosed with High functioning autism orAspergers syndrome. However it is extremely important to remember that regardless of a child with autism high academic progress, who may have even received the top grades in their class, can still be considered and seen as having special educational needs. As mentioned before, if such a condition as autism affects areas of the child’s social and emotional functioning while at school, hindering the way they access education could result in a child being placed on the special educational needs register. Behavioural difficulties, exclusions, misunderstandings, due to poor social interaction and communication, increased anxiety and school refusal are all factors that should be taken into account when considering if a child has SEN. Sadly it is often the case thatLEAs refusal to carry our a statutory assessment or even issue a statement as they claim the child does well academically therefore not requiring additional provision to be made. This is not true and certainly isn’t a good enough reason not to make educational provision for such a child.

 Lastly it is important to remember that just because a child doesn’t speak English as a first language doesn’t  mean they have SEN.

Coming up next time… Section one understanding special educational needs, part two, ‘The stages of SEN and is my child receiving the right type/amount of support?’

All information has been created to help others for their own personal use, this advice is independent and is given by myself a lone (No 3rd party participated was used throughout). Please do not use article for anything other than personal use, nor edit the information in any way. All published articles, throughout this site remain property of the author and this blog. Alway seek permission before using any post for anything other than described above.

Thank you



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Special educational needs

Education Is Key – Education Is A Key To Success

Cambodian Children’s Deaths Linked to Hand, Foot and Mouth Disease


sudo takeshi / Getty Images

The mysterious illness that has killed dozens of Cambodian children may be a deadly strain of hand, foot and mouth disease, a common childhood illness. Lab tests have confirmed that a virulent strain of the disease called EV-71 was responsible for some of the 59 cases of illness reviewed in Cambodia since April, including 52 deaths,according to the World Health Organization (WHO) and Cambodian Health Ministry.

The numbers of cases and deaths have been scaled down since an initial report put the caseload at 62. Epidemiologists are now interviewing parents and still trying to determine a cause for all the cases; in many, relevant medical information may have been omitted and not all the children were tested before they died. “As far as I’m aware, EV-71 was not identified as a virus in Cambodia before,” Dr. Nima Asgari, who is leading the WHO investigation, told the Associated Press.

The Institut Pasteur in Cambodia tested samples taken from 24 patients and found that 15 came back positive for EV-71.

(MORE: Drug-Resistant Bacteria Found in 4-Million-Year-Old Cave)

EV-71 has been reported in other regions of Asia, including Vietnam and China. This strain of the disease can cause paralysis, brain swelling and death. In Cambodia, most affected children were under age 3, and many experienced severe respiratory symptoms that escalated quickly; some also developed neurological symptoms.

The Institut Pasteur in Cambodia tested samples taken from 24 patients and found that 15 came back positive for EV-71.

(MORE: Drug-Resistant Bacteria Found in 4-Million-Year-Old Cave)

EV-71 has been reported in other regions of Asia, including Vietnam and China. This strain of the disease can cause paralysis, brain swelling and death. In Cambodia, most affected children were under age 3, and many experienced severe respiratory symptoms that escalated quickly; some also developed neurological symptoms.

(MORE: Study: Preschoolers’ Sack Lunches Reach Unsafe Temperatures)

The disease, which is caused by enteroviruses — the same family as polio — is moderately contagious and is spread through sneezing, coughing and contact with blisters or infected fecal material. Although no vaccine or specific treatment exists, the disease is typically mild and most children recover in 7 to 10 days without medical treatment, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

The CDC notes also that children with hand, foot and mouth disease are most contagious during the first week of illness, but can continue to spread the disease long after symptoms have disappeared because the viruses that cause it can remain in the feces for weeks. Also, infected people who show no symptoms of the disease can still spread the viruses to others.

Hand, foot and mouth disease should not be confused with foot-and-mouth disease which affects cattle, sheep and swine.

Although the U.S. is not experiencing a similar outbreak, hand, foot and mouth disease can be contracted by anyone. Between November 2011 and February 2012, the CDC received reports of 63 people with symptoms of hand, foot, and mouth disease in Alabama, California, Connecticut and Nevada.

To prevent the disease, the CDC recommends:

  • Washing your hands often, especially after changing diapers
  • Thoroughly cleaning objects and surfaces (toys, doorknobs, etc.) that may be contaminated with a virus that causes the disease
  • Avoiding close contact (like kissing and hugging) with people who are infected

Read more: 

MORE: Bad Food: Illnesses from Imported Food are on the Rise, CDC Says

ADHD in Children

ADHD: What Is It?

Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is a condition that robs children of their ability to focus and pay attention. Kids with ADHD are fidgety and easily distracted. This makes it difficult to stay “on task,” whether it’s listening to a teacher or finishing a chore. The National Institute of Mental Health estimates 3% to 5% of kids have ADHD, but some experts believe that figure could be as high as 10%.

Bored boy sitting at desk in classroom

ADHD Symptoms: Inattention

The main symptom of ADHD is the inability to pay attention. Kids may have trouble listening to a speaker, following directions, finishing tasks, or keeping track of personal items. They may daydream often and make careless mistakes. Children with ADHD tend to avoid activities that require sustained concentration or that might be boring.

Distracted schoolgirl in classroom

ADHD Symptoms: Hyperactivity

Another component of ADHD is the inability to sit still. Children may run and climb on things constantly, even when indoors. When they are seated, they tend to squirm, fidget, or bounce. Some kids with ADHD talk excessively and find it difficult to play quietly.

child jumping on bed, blurred motion

ADHD Symptoms: Impulsiveness

A third symptom is impulsiveness — cutting in line, interrupting others, or blurting out answers before the teacher finishes a question. This aspect of ADHD makes it difficult for children to wait their turn or think before they act.

boy throwing paper airplane in class

ADHD’s Impact on Daily Life

Without treatment, ADHD can affect a child’s development socially and academically. The inability to focus often leads to poor performance in school. Kids who interrupt or cut in line may have trouble making and keeping friends. These setbacks can lead to low self-esteem and risky behaviors. ADHD also increases the risk of childhood depression and anxiety disorders.

boy writing on blackboard as punishment

Causes of ADHD

Children with ADHD have less activity in areas of the brain that control attention. They may also have imbalances in brain chemicals called neurotransmitters. It’s unclear what causes these irregularities, but ADHD runs in families, so many experts believe genetics play a role.

Brain scans showing ADHD in child

Types of ADHD

There are three forms of ADHD. Combined type is the most common and applies to children who display inattention, hyperactivity, and impulsiveness. In the hyperactive/impulsive type, children are fidgety and can’t control their impulses. Kids with the inattentive type, formerly called attention deficit disorder, have trouble focusing. But they are not overly active and usually don’t disrupt the classroom.

school boy pulling a girls hair in class

Medications for ADHD

Stimulant medications can help increase a child’s attention span while controlling hyperactivity and impulsive behavior. Studies suggest these drugs work in 70% to 80% of patients, although they may have some troubling side effects. Non-stimulant medications are also options for some children.

Generic Medication for ADHD

Counseling for ADHD

Counseling can help a child with ADHD learn to handle frustrations and build self-esteem. It can also provide parents with supportive strategies. A specific type of therapy, called social skills training, can help kids improve at taking turns and sharing. Studies show that long-term treatment with a combination of drugs and behavioral therapy is more effective than medication alone.

Child in a psychotherapy consultation

Special Education for ADHD

Most children with ADHD are educated in standard classrooms, but some do better in a more structured environment. Special education is a type of schooling that is tailored to meet the specific needs of children with learning disabilities or behavioral disorders. Not all children with ADHD qualify for special education.

man helping his boy do his homework

The Role of Routine

Parents can give kids more structure at home by laying out clear routines. Posting a daily schedule will remind your child of what he or she is supposed to be doing at any given time. This can help a child with ADHD stay on task. The schedule should include specific times for waking up, eating, playing, homework, chores, activities, and bedtime.

father and daughter looking at chores chart

ADHD and Junk Food

While many kids bounce off the walls after eating junk food, there is no evidence that sugar is a cause of ADHD. The role of food additives is less certain. Some parents believe preservatives and food colorings worsen the symptoms of ADHD, and the American Academy of Pediatrics says it’s reasonable to avoid these substances.

Boy eating hotdog with mustard on shore

ADHD and Television

The link between television and ADHD is unclear, but the American Academy of Pediatrics suggests limiting young children’s exposure. The group discourages TV viewing for kids under 2 and recommends no more than two hours a day for older kids. To help your child develop attention skills, encourage activities like games, blocks, puzzles, and reading.

girl watching anime cartoon on television

Preventing ADHD

There is no surefire way to prevent ADHD in children, but there are steps you can take to reduce the risk. You can increase your chance of your child not having ADHD by staying healthy during pregnancy. Start by avoiding alcohol, drugs, and tobacco during pregnancy. Children whose mothers smoked during pregnancy are twice as likely to develop ADHD.

Pregnant woman pushing shopping cart

Outlook for Children With ADHD

With treatment, a large majority of children with ADHD improve. They should continue to undergo regular follow-up since many kids grow out of the disorder as they get older. But more than half of patients continue experiencing symptoms once they reach adulthood.

Scrambled egg on a plate with toast

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Police: Mom found 3 adults dead in Minn. day care


A mother who dropped off her toddler at a home day-care on Monday returned a few minutes later to make a grisly discovery: three adults inside, shot to death.

The woman’s child was unhurt and no other children were at the day care at the time. Police had made no arrests by Monday evening, and were seeking a suspect in his mid-20s, believed to have fled on a BMX bicycle.

“It’s a tragic day for the city of Brooklyn Park,” Chief Michael Davis said. “We are going to bring whomever is responsible for this to justice.”

Two nearby community colleges were locked down for several hours after the shootings were reported at 6:30 a.m. Both had re-opened by Monday afternoon, even as police continued to search for a suspect with police dogs.

The day care, called Visions and Butterflies Child Care, is licensed to care for as many as 12 children. DeLois Brown, 59, is listed in state records as the license holder in good standing, with no adverse rulings or restrictions. The license is valid through February 2013.

No one responded to a call to the home Monday afternoon. Police did not release the identities of the victims or the woman who found them.

Police spokesman Todd Milburn gave this account:

The mother had just dropped off her toddler, speaking to someone at the house as she did so. As she was leaving the area, she saw a man on foot who seemed to be acting suspiciously.

The woman called the day care and was talking to someone when the line went dead. She returned to the home and found three people had been shot. She grabbed her child and called 911. Police confirmed the victims were dead when they arrived.

Milburn said the woman saw the same suspicious man on a bicycle when she returned to the day care.

Police said they had no information on how many children were typically cared for at Brown’s home, or when they were normally dropped off.

A neighbor, Hakeem Hughes, 18, said he heard screaming coming from the direction of the house around 6:30 a.m. but didn’t pay much attention because children often played outside the home. When he went to catch his bus to school, he said police told him to go back inside because a gunman was on the loose.

“I’m just shocked about it,” Hughes said. “They are good people. They are innocent people.”

A few hours after the shootings, police tape was stretched around the house, a gray split-level in a modest neighborhood with children’s toys in the fenced backyard. The Hennepin County sheriff’s crime lab van was parked outside, and authorities went in and out, carrying what appeared to be evidence to the van.

A small group of people stood in the street several houses down, sobbing and hugging each other.

Brown’s LinkedIn profile listed her as follow-up coordinator for Pink Purse Project Inc., a women’s and girls’ empowerment organization. She worked for nearly nine years in the nearby Osseo Area Schools system as a child care instructor and later child care site supervisor.

Ron Brown, DeLois’ brother-in-law, said DeLois had just moved her parents to Minnesota from the St. Louis area. He said his brother, Joseph, died in February, and DeLois brought her parents up to Minnesota from Illinois just last week so she could take care of them.

“She called us a week ago today, to say they made it back safe and sound with a truckload of furniture,” Ron Brown said.

Brown said DeLois and Joseph didn’t have any children together, but DeLois had some children before the pair were married.

A neighbor, Lisa Johnson, said that since Joseph died, the house had been busier, with more people coming and going. Johnson said she saw a moving van outside Brown’s home a week ago.

Police: Mom found 3 adults dead in Minn. day care

Is the Economy Destroying Fatherhood?


With the tight economy, fathers are found struggling to balance work life with personal life.

Tom Watson knows what it’s like not to have time to spend with his family.

“My wife and my sons would ask me to come and spend time with them and I would often use the line ‘We’ll see’ or ‘Maybe later’ as a way of answering them and then I would head to my office to carry on with my work. I felt that if I could just get ahead on my work, I could get out and spend time with my wife and play with my kids. The problem was that work just kept building and so did the pressure to provide for my family. I would rarely find the time to be there for them.

“Then one day my boys and I were having lunch together and my oldest son Brad asked me if I’d join them outside after lunch for a game of street hockey. I answered him as I had grown accustomed with, ‘We’ll see.’ I finished my lunch and headed to my home office to get back to work when I realized I had left my cell phone on the kitchen counter. I was on my way back to the kitchen to retrieve my phone when I ran upon a conversation between my boys that stopped me dead in my tracks. My middle son, Kelly, was talking to Brad and his words thundered in my ears. ‘Brad! Dad’s not coming out. He always says ‘we’ll see’ and he never comes and plays. He’s too busy and he’s no fun anymore.’

“As I stood there frozen in the hallway, it was like a knife had pierced my heart. There I was, working hard to build my business trying to provide for my family, thinking I was doing the right thing. What I realized in that moment was that I was losing touch with my family! I wasn’t the husband or the father I had been to my family in the past. I had become obsessed with trying to build a company to pay the bills and I was foregoing family time to make that happen. What I realized in that instance was that my sons didn’t care about my work – they just wanted their dad to be there for them like he used to be. They wanted some of my time – they needed my time and so did my wife!

“With the economy as tight as it is, I know that I’m not the only father who has or is struggling to balance work life with personal life. These days, many fathers are either unemployed and working hard to find work or they are working multiple jobs in a global workplace just to make ends meet. Because of this, family time is limited and I often believe men just aren’t in the mood for family because they are despondent or feeling helpless as a provider.”

But, it doesn’t have to be that way, according to Watson, author of the autobiographical Man Shoes: The Journey to Becoming a Better Man, Husband & Father . Watson’s tips for dads in a tough economy include:

With the tight economy, fathers are found struggling to balance work life with personal life.

Share Time – Don’t spend time with your family. Too often I would say, “I have to spend time with my family.” What that term made it sound like to them was that I was begrudgingly stopping work to spend time with them. I realized I needed to reframe what I needed to do and so I began to say instead, “I need to share time with them.” Sharing indicates that everyone is going to get something out of that time. It’s a more positive way of thinking about being with your family. It’s important for your wife and your kids to know that you aren’t paying attention to them out of obligation, but rather, because you need to be with them as much as they need to be with you.

Make a Schedule – Stability and security are important. So set up a time throughout the week that is meant just for your family, and do your best to make that time on your calendar immovable. It has to beHIGH PRIORITY! Give them something they can look forward to on a regular basis and it will show them how important they are to you. If you follow through on this simple action, I have found that it can help you build a trusting relationship with the people who need you most – your family.

A Little Quality Time is Better Than No Time – If you’re working long hours, forced to work multiple jobs or work out of town and commute home on weekends, your family will be much more understanding if you ensure you block out a couple of hours every week for them. As long as you keep to the schedule and don’t let them down, that time will be as valuable as if you spent the entire weekend with them. The key is to BE THERE in body and in mind during those family times. Shut off your cell phone, shut down your computer and realize that whatever is going on in your work world will be alright; it can wait to be dealt with until after you have shared time with you family. The fact is that if your family life is in order, you’re likely going to be in a better place mentally and emotionally to deal with your work life. Success at home generally leads to greater success at work and vice versa.


Don’t Plan Big – Husbands/fathers who work a lot sometimes feel guilty about neglecting their families and they cater to that guilt by trying to create big moments. They feel that doing something lavish and expensive will somehow be seen as a payback to their wives or kids for not sharing time with them. There are many pitfalls to this including increased financial strain and the impossibility of sustaining these types of MAKE UP moments long-term. The truth is, for the most part, your spouse and kids don’t really care about the extravagant moments. More often than not, the extravagant moments are fleeting fun. It’s the little moments that happen every week that bond the family together. Things as simple as going for a walk, flying kites at the park, playing games, eating brown bag lunches together and listening to your family members talk to you about their lives are often the things that mean the most to your family. Those are the mortar moments that hold all the major bricks of your family’s life in place. Without those moments, I have found my personal and professional worlds begin to crumble. So make sure you spend time culturing the mortar moments weekly with your wife and your children.

“Life is a choice and the person you choose to be is in your control. No matter the hand you may have been dealt, there are no excuses,” Watson added. “I grew up as an orphan and I acted out a lot, because I lacked the guidance of a family until I was finally taken in by the Watsons,” he said. “And even when I found stability with the Watsons, it took some time for me to settle down. Having shoes on my feet, clothes on my back and food on the table were all good things, but it wasn’t those things that soothed me as a child. It was the time, love and attention I received from Mr. and Mrs. Watson, their family and friends that put me back on course. That’s what I believe every child needs; that’s what I believe our spouses need, and in fact that is what we as men need to be successful. While it may seem to some men that working hard to provide for their families is their primary responsibility, that’s just not so. Children are adaptable and can do without material things more easily than they can do without the love and attention of their parents. If my experience meant anything to me, it showed me that being a dad is far more than just being able to bring home the bacon. It’s not enough to just do for your family – you have to be with them, too.”

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