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SEND - A Summary

Cognition and Learning:

Cognition and learning is an area of need that focuses on:

  • Moderate Learning Difficulties (MLD)
  • Severe Learning Difficulties (SLD)            
  • Profound and Multiple Learning Difficulties (PMLD)
  • Specific Learning Difficulties (SpLD)

Children and young people experiencing difficulties in these areas. A wide range of needs are covered including moderate learning difficulties (MLD) to severe learning difficulties (SLD); and  profound and multiple learning difficulties (PMLD), where children are likely to have severe and complex learning difficulties as well as a physical disability or sensory impairment.

Specific learning difficulties (SpLD) affect one or more specific aspects of learning and include dyslexia, dyscalculia and dyspraxia.

Communication and Interaction

Children with social communication and interaction difficulties have problems understanding what other people mean. Communication is not just the words we use; but how we use our body language, facial expression and tone of voice to communicate with someone else.

Children with these difficulties may find it hard to understand the messages we give to each other without speaking, such as the meaning we put into our voice, the expressions on our faces, and gestures such as waving, pointing or shrugging.

Eye contact is another important part of non-speaking communication, and most of us do this without thinking about it. Children with social communication difficulties may not know instinctively how and when to give eye contact. Children with social communication and interaction difficulties can also have trouble in understanding what other people are thinking or feeling; finding it difficult to see things from someone else’s point of view. They may do things which seem out of place; such as talking in a very loud voice to the person who is standing next to them, talking continually about things that interest them to someone they have never met before, and taking turns can be challenging. This can often make it hard to make or keep friends and join in games.

Social, Emotional and Mental Health

Social, emotional and mental health (SEMH) needs are a type of special educational needs in which children/young people have severe difficulties in managing their emotions and behaviour. They often show inappropriate responses and feelings to situations.

This means that they have trouble in building and maintaining relationships with peers and adults; they can also struggle to engage with learning and to cope in mainstream education. Children with SEMH will often feel anxious, scared and misunderstood.

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Registered address: United Learning, Worldwide House, Thorpe Wood, Peterborough, PE3 6SB.

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