Identifying special educational needs

Identifying special educational needs

Identifying Special Educational Needs

A child with special educational needs may be a child who finds it harder to lean than his/her peers. However, it can also be the case that an otherwise bright child may have special educational needs, the child being “bright” is not a bar to an Education Health and Care Needs Assessment and/or an Education Health and Care plan.

In very broad terms, the types of Identifying special educational needs include:

Communication and interaction
Cognition and learning
Social, emotional and mental health difficulties
Sensory and/or physical needs

Specific kinds of special educational needs include:

Asperger’s syndrome
Auditory processing disorder
Autistic spectrum disorder
Behavioural difficulties
Brain Injury
Cerebral atrophy
Cerebral palsy
Conduct disorder
Cystic fibrosis
Developmental delay
Development language disorder
Down syndrome
Duane Syndrome
Fine and gross motor skill delay
Fragile X syndrome
Global developmental delay
Glue Ear
Hearing impairment
High-functioning autism
Irlen Syndrome (also known as S Meares-Irlen Syndrome, Scotopic Sensitivity Syndrome, SSS, and Visual Stress
Learning difficulties
Moderate learning difficulties
Multi-sensory impairment
Muscular dystrophy
Obsessive compulsive disorder
Oppositional defiant disorder
Pathological demand avoidance
Pervasive developmental disorder
Prader-Willi syndrome
Profound and multiple learning disability
Rett Syndrome
Semantic pragmatic disorder (also known as pragmatic impairment disorder)
Sensory processing disorder
Severe learning difficulties
Smith-Magenis syndrome
Spina bifida
Social anxiety disorder
Social skills difficulties
Sotos syndrome
Tourette’s syndrome
Visual impairment
Visual processing disorder
Worster-Drought syndrome

Early intervention is crucial and it is therefore important to seek early help.

Parental instinct or gut feeling is a good starting point and if you are have a feeling that something may be amiss or not right then seek an immediate appointment with your GP and seek a referral to a pediatrician, speech and language therapist or other relevant expert.

Depending on the child or young person’s age, regard could also be had to e.g. a child’s developmental milestones to see if the child is reaching them. There are charities and/or websites which provide very helpful information which may be a good starting point.

You might wish to review the information available on the ADA website, the link is: The UK government also provides very helpful information, the link is:

Experts that you could speak to include:

maternity team when your child is born
the child’s GP
a health visitor
a child development centre
nursery staff
school staff

Help can be sought from the NHS (albeit there can be lengthy waiting to be seen and also for follow up help, although this is not a reason to not seek help from the NHS), the School (SENCO), privately (although this can be costly) and through the Local Authority in the form of an Education Health and Care needs assessment which may or may not lead to the issuing of an Education Health and Care Plan.

Please contact us if you have any concerns about your child or young person’s development.