As you watch your child grow and develop you may notice that they may have difficulties in areas that are different to that of their peers. In the main, they are just that – worries. However, it is often a comfort to know that you have sort out help if you have concerns. The world of SEN can often be a minefield. Not only because you are trying to understand your child’s struggles, but also because nationwide special educational needs support is a multi-layered system that is grossly underfunded and brings together many stakeholders such as education, health, and social care. Decisions are made across agencies from local authorities, schools and the health service – all of which come with their own agendas.
To try to make this process easier for parents, The SEN Expert has put together a handy document for you to complete to give you an evidence base to use to support any concerns you have. Parents can then use this to discuss their concerns with their school’s Special Educational Needs Coordinator (SENCO) or GP.
Complete the table below over a month, highlighting any behaviours that you see. Using the commentary box to write down any detailed examples you have. It is important to note that this table is not a diagnosis, it is a tool to help parents feel empowered in discussing special educational needs with professionals.
Which strategies have you used with your child that have been successful?
Describe your concerns below:
|Cognition and Learning
Struggles with reading, writing and spelling
Difficulties with numerosity
Processing difficulties such as sequencing, inference, coherence and elaboration
Weak working memory
Poor short-term verbal memory
Other types of executive function difficulties
Issues with movement
Struggles to see the board at school.
Struggles to hear, sitting sideways with one ear aimed at the teacher
Weak fine motor skills
Weak gross motor skills
|Communication and Interaction
Struggles with social communication skills
Misunderstands humour or colloquialisms
Language use is repetitive
Becomes overwhelmed in stimulating environments
Rigidity of thought
Thrives on routine
|Social, Emotional and Mental health
Lacking in emotion, seems detached
Changes in physical appearance
Changes in behaviour
Becomes overly attached
Asks to go home/asks to stay later in school
Change in subject matter they write/draw/create