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What are the different types of SEND?

Cognition and Learning

What is the difference between dyslexia and being slow at reading?

In the classroom, it doesn’t make any difference: any child who is falling behind with reading needs additional support and the type of support they need is very similar. Initially we assume that children are dyslexic, and put in place appropriate teaching resources and strategies because they will help children, whatever the reason for their being slow.

The main difference between them is that with appropriate and specific support, the child who is slow at reading will begin to make progress but the dyslexic child is likely to continue to find it hard to read, write and spell.

What are dyslexia, dyspraxia, dyscalculia?

Dyslexia, dyspraxia and dyscalculia are all specific learning difficulties (SpLD). This is because the difficulty is confined to a narrow part of the school curriculum.

  • Dyslexic children find it hard to read, write and spell
  • Dyscalculic children struggle to grasp basic concepts of maths
  • Dyspraxic children find it hard to write neatly, do up buttons, ride a bike, run, swim etc.

How do you help children with dyslexia?

Children with dyslexia generally need:

  • To learn using hearing, seeing, touching and moving. They find it hard simply to learn by listening.
  • To repeat something over and over again until they know it.
  • The opportunity to work on their targets every day.
  • Help with working memory
  • Strategies to help them to organise themselves
  • Activities to improve their self-esteem

Every child is different, and your child’s targets will determine how they are supported.

Can I talk with someone about whether my child has a dyslexic profile or not?

If you are concerned, talk to your child’s class teacher. The class teacher and SENCO can help you to identify whether or not your child has the ‘profile of a dyslexic learner’ and can talk to you about how you can help your child at home.

Communication and Interaction

What involvement do Speech and Language Therapists have with school?

All schools can refer children to Speech and Language therapists.  The situation with families who use the Base medical services changes, but at the moment US pre-school children (ie children in British Nurseries and Reception classes) can access speech therapy on Base whereas school age children can’t. For this reason, schools can now refer US children to NHS Speech Therapists.

Are teachers qualified to support children with SLCN?

Yes- all teachers are trained to support children with a range of learning barriers. If a Speech therapist requests a specific approach to teaching and learning, your child’s class teacher will know how to help them.

What is Autistic Spectrum Disorder?

Autism, Autistic Spectrum Disorder, ASD, Asperger’s’ Syndrome. These are all ways of talking about a certain kind of communication disorder in which some children’s brains work slightly differently from other children.  The differences we tend to notice include:

  • ASD children don’t understand that everyone doesn’t think in the same way. They find it hard to communicate because they don’t know what you want to know
  • They don’t have empathy with other people.
  • They like life to have rules and for it to be consistent: they don’t like change.
  • They often find it hard to stay on someone else’s topic of conversation.
  • They get very interested in a small range of things
  • They don’t like certain textures, smells, sights or sounds
  • They are very anxious and don’t understand a world where things change, rules are broken and machines make sudden noises.

Some ASD children will run or hit or shout when they are anxious. They don’t mean to behave badly, but they get very frightened.

What support is available for children with autism and autistic traits?

We are used to having ASD children in school, but every one of them is different and the support they need is different. Types of support can include:

  • Getting to know and trust their class teacher and other adults who work in the classroom.
  • Visual timetables and symbols.
  • Social skills, Social Stories or Lego therapy Groups.
  • Individual workstations
  • Individual programmes of support.

If a child has a diagnosis, and is finding it hard to cope in school, we can request support from the County Inclusive Resource (CIR). This is an outreach service which works with children and school staff to help children to manage in mainstream classrooms.

How do we get children’s peers to understand that autistic children don’t always make good choices?

Depending on the age of the children, we can read them books or stories about autistic children, or we can simply talk to them about the difficulties one of their peers has and how we all work together to support them.

How are all children taught about specific needs of different children, how are they taught to be understanding of each other’s needs as learners


The school has an inclusive ethos and offers an inclusive curriculum. We take regular opportunities to talk to children about similarities and differences between them and how they can support each other.

What do I do if I think my child has Autism? What support is available for getting a diagnosis?

Talk to your GP, without your child being present. Your GP may phone the school, or ask for a report, or they may simply make a referral to the Child Development Centre at Bury hospital. Only a paediatrician can make a diagnosis of autism.

Social, Emotional and Mental Health

Who will monitor if they are making progress with their behavioural needs?

If your child is at SENS, there will be termly meetings with you, your child and the class teacher. Those meetings will be to monitor your child’s targets

What support is available for children with social, emotional and mental health issues?

The support your child receives will depend on their individual needs. It might include:

  • Individual daily reward systems
  • Regular opportunities to talk to a member of staff
  • Access to named adult outside
  • Playground buddies
  • Social skills groups or cooking/ Lego/ drawing groups
  • Opportunities to attend clubs at dinner time
  • Home school link books

If social, emotional and mental health needs are more significant, we might refer a child to an outside agency like:

  • Behaviour Support Service
  • School nurse
  • Pupil Referral Unit (also called PRU)

How do you identify social, emotional or mental health issues in the children?

As primary schools, we quickly get to know our children. We find out about their problems because they tell us, you tell us or we observe their behaviours.

Sensory and/or physical needs

What help is available for a child with hearing impairment?

Every child who is seen by the audiology team at the hospital will be referred by them to a Teacher for the Hearing Impaired. The teacher will come into school to offer advice and support.  If the child needs equipment like hearing aids, the Teacher for the Hearing Impaired will ensure that we know how they work. She will also work with you at home to ensure that your child has all the resources they need.

What help is available for children with visual impairment?

Every child who is seen by the vision clinics at the hospital will be referred by them to a Teacher for the Visually Impaired. The teacher will come into school to offer advice and support.  If the child needs equipment like visualisers or enlarged print books, the Teacher for the Visually Impaired will ensure that we know what they need. She will also work with you at home to ensure that your child has all the resources they need.

My child wears glasses. Does that mean she has an SEND?

No. If your child wears glasses, and has no additional need, we are not likely to make any provision for her that is different from the provision we make for other children.

What help is there for children who are physically disabled?

Children who have a physical disability which has been identified at the hospital, or is being treated, will automatically be referred to an occupational therapist. She will work with the school to ensure that we do everything we can to meet the children’s needs. She will provide us with many of the resources and equipment the child needs.

If my child can’t or doesn't want to do something the rest are doing, what will you do?

Those are different questions. If a child can’t do what the others are doing, we need to give them something equally simulating which is appropriate to them. If a child doesn’t want to do something, we treat them in the same way we would treat their peers. All children are expected to participate in all activities.