You may have heard your child’s school using the term SEN, but do you know what it means? SEN stands for Special Education Needs or Special Education Needs and Disabilities. The term SEN covers a wide range of needs including
specific learning difficulties
emotional, social, and behavioral difficulties
communication, speech, and language,
visual, multi-sensory, and hearing impairments,
psychiatric problems, mental health conditions, and physical disabilities.
The SEN teachers assist the young who require different or extra support with learning than other children of similar age. A child is said to have a special need if they find it challenging than other children to learn or progress. These children need extra help with their learning from SEN teachers to provide them a helping hand to thrive.
Special education needs to mean providing the child with the best possible support to succeed in their progress and learning, and that each child with SEN will have a different need according to his or her disability.
A child is considered to have a learning difficulty if he or she:
has significantly higher complexity in learning than the other children of similar age
has a disability that prevents them from progressing in their regular activities than others
Types of Children with Special Education Needs (SEN) include:
The list of difficulties that the child may have are listed down:
Behavioral and emotional– The child may struggle with self-confidence or find it complicated to follow rules (for eg. school rules, rules given by the parents or their class teachers, etc.).
Learning, thinking, and understanding– the child may have a particular area that they may find it tricky to follow such as spelling or reading. This does not mean that every activity of learning will be challenging for the child.
Communication, language, and speech– the child may face challenges of understanding what others say or expressing themselves.
Sensory or physical impairments- the child may face physical or sensory impairments which may not allow them to progress as that of their fellow classmates.
Some of the Challenges Faced by Children Having SEN:
emotional, behavioral, and physical difficulties
medical needs (such as cerebral palsy, epilepsy)
specific learning difficulties (such as dyslexia)
If Your Child is Facing With Any Disabilities, They May Require Extra Support in Different Areas Including:
understanding others or expressing themselves
communicating with adults or making friends
behavioral difficulties in school
reading or writing, or understanding information or any other relevant work
physical or sensory requirements at school that may affect
How To Support A Child In Need?
You can best support these gifted children to reach their potential and obtain the most out of their learning and education. You can use several techniques to check how they learn and grasp the tricky areas and then evaluate a process to assist them to learn and teach. You as a parent or SEN teacher can help the child in identifying the underlying obstacles so that they can perform the basic needs effectively and succeed in their learning.
Furthermore, every school is needed to develop a system to identify such children to monitor, access, and deliver suitable support for any SEN that these children may possess. They may designate a certified SEN teacher to coordinate or offer support to the children. However, schools are required to involve and inform the parents while creating the SEN provision for these children.
How to Become a Special Needs Teacher?
For being a Special Education Needs teacher you are required to obtain a certification to teach the children with difficulties and disabilities. The following steps will help you to become a Special Education Needs teacher:
Earning an approved special education bachelor’s degree or master’s degree
Completing an internship in SEN education
Taking your state’s expected exams for SEN teachers
Applying for a teaching license
Beginning to apply to SEN education positions
Roles of the SEN Teachers:
teaching national subjects in the curriculum
helping children to develop their abilities and self-confidence
preparing study materials and lessons
assessing and marking work
talking about the children’s progress with their parents and caretakers
attending training workshops and meetings
organizing sports events, social activities, and outings
The Relevant Skills and Responsibilities of a Special Education Needs Teacher
What can you do as a SEN teacher? The SEN teacher may support the child with behavioural or physical challenges, or learning. This is a rewarding, yet demanding job. Sometimes as a SEN teacher, you are required to work in a SEN school. You are responsible to work one to one with an individual child or a small group of children depending on the requirements and severity of their conditions.
You will require a great deal of patience to succeed as a teacher. Additionally, a strong understanding of children and a caring attitude is also important when working with SEN teaching. The SEN teachers will also be responsible to provide support to the child’s parents and families too. Another responsibility of a SEN teacher is to arrange outings, social gatherings, and sports events to encourage the child in his or her progress with SEN.
Related Skills of SEN Teacher
How Can the SEN Teachers Engage Themselves?
SEN teachers may spend most of their time outside the classroom instead of a full-time classroom work to mark and assess the child’s work. The SEN teacher can plan lessons and take part in various activities including outings, social gatherings, and parent’s meetings to further encourage the child.
The teachers can engage themselves as primary school teachers who teach children from four to eleven ages. Further education (FE) lecturers or teachers teach children above sixteen years of age.
What Should be the SEN Support Plan?
The SEN support plan should include SMART outcomes, which stands for Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, and Time-bound. Here, an outcome comprises the difference or the benefit that you wish to see in the child’s learning process. This plan is created usually by the school or educational setting after identifying a SEN child. The parents and caretakers of the child are regularly involved with reviewing and writing the SEN support plan. This plan generally comprises four stages such as-
Assess: The teachers or the parents can assess an overview of how to start with the process of teaching the children.
Plan: The teachers or parents can plan the overall process of teaching as well as learning by simply jotting down all the things that they wish to include to help the children succeed.
Execute: The decided plan can be put into work i.e. executed (for eg. arranging a sports event that will help boost the self-confidence of the child).
Review: A review can be done of the earlier mentioned points to see if the SEN support plan is perfect for the children and that they are progressing with the help of this plan.
This plan can however be modified according to the progress and requirements of the child and to evaluate whether the plan works better with the gifted child.
Every child needs to progress in order to face the challenges in the real world. Starting to learn from a very young age is essential for a child. Thus, SEN support is offered to young children with Special Education Needs between zero to twenty-five years of age and until they are in education or learning. Despite the disabilities and hardships, the child can progress with the help of a proper support plan and a good teacher to help them achieve success in their overall development.