Special Education Needs - 4 things you need to know if your child is struggling at school

'Every child is unique, with individual strengths and learning needs. Child-centredness is at the core of the Primary school curriculum. This recognises that there are different kinds of learning and that children learn in different ways.'

(Children With Special Educational Needs - Information Booklet for Parents, NCSE April 2014)

As a former SENCO in a UK school, I have worked with many children with special educational needs and helped them to get the support they required to get the most out of their time in school. There are many children who somehow manage to slip through the net; the quiet ones, the shy ones, the ones who misbehave to cover up their inability to complete the task at hand. If your child has slipped through the net, you are their safety net and you should be aware of support available.

When your child is struggling at school, it can sometimes be difficult to know where to turn to for help. Here are four things you need to know to make sure your child gets help if you feel they are unhappy and struggling at school.

1) Has your child just had their school report? Did you notice their scores in the Sigma-T and Micra-T test were low? If your child scored below 4 they may have difficulties and require extra support.

2) Your child is entitled to support teaching if:

- they are in mainstream education and have scored below 10% on standardised tests for reading and maths.

- they have mild speech or language difficulties

- they have mild social or emotional difficulties

- they have mild co-ordination or attention controlled difficulties (eg dyspraxia , ADHD)

Pupils DO NOT NEED a formal diagnosis to avail of learning support under the General Allocation Model.

3) If you are worried about your child's progress and think there may be an underlying problem, talk to their teacher or the Principal. If necessary, they can arrange for NEPS (National Educational Psychology Service to become involved. NEPS supports schools in meeting with children with special educational needs and supporting them under The Continuum of Support . This support is tiered in three levels:

Classroom Support - This happens in every good classroom and involves differentiation to ensure work is planned and delivered to meet the needs of all of the children in the class.

School Support - When ordinary classroom support is not enough, children may have a learning support teacher or resource teacher. These children usually have a support plan.

School Support Plus - This stage is for those children with complex / enduring needs, and only a few children need support at this level. These pupils will have a support plan / Individual Education Plan.

4) A formal diagnosis results in extra teaching hours to support your child. The school should be funded to offer this support for significant sensory impairment, emotional disturbance and / or behaviour problems, Autistic Spectrum Disorder.

At Emerald Education Centre, we start where your child is at. We build a programme of learning to match your child's needs and work at their pace to ensure they make progression.We used strategies to help them to succeed. Please contact Elaine Lingard on 083 8550210 / 07802 524998 for more information or to book a FREE assessment.

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Bundoran Retail Park, Station Rd, Bundoran, Co. Donegal


CRO 575542

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