Special Education Needs Course Level 3.
Assignment number 1.
Outline the legal and regulatory requirements for children with disabilities or specific requirements.
Regardless of the circumstances all children have rights to be treated fairly and lawfully. Unfavourable treatment could include,
- Direct discrimination- could include refusing a child access to the setting.
- Indirect discrimination- maybe only display information in one language.
- Discrimination due to disability- children having fewer opportunities to take part in activities than other children.
Children with special educational needs or disabilities also have additional legal and regulatory requirements to promote inclusion and protect from discrimination. These include,
- The Equality Act 2010- allows children to receive the same access to public and private services. Making accessible to all, i.e. ramp or braille. This promotes equal opportunities and inclusion for all children.
- The Children’s and Families Act 2014- this is a single assessment process that will support children from 0-25yrs. This is an EHC- Education, Health and Care plan. This act requires children and families to be involved in decisions about their care. It also places a legal duty for schools to provide appropriate support to children with medical conditions.
- Special Educational Needs and Disabilities code of practice: 0-25yrs. This provides guidance on policies and procedures that are set out in part 3 of the children’s and families act 2014. Organisations using this are, all local authorities, NHS trust, Local early year’s providers and independent and specialist schools.
The principles underpinned in the code are,
- Views and wishes of the child and carers.
- Taking part in discussions and getting the information and support to make the right decisions.
- Give support to achieve the best possible outcomes.
When following these principles the support hopefully will lead to partnerships providing quality support for all who have disabilities and special educational needs. The code of practice aims to remove barriers to learning for all children and that early identification and intervention from all services can support them.
- The United Nations Convention on rights of the child. - This document give rights and entitlements to all children regardless of circumstances and their needs. There are 54 articles that explain the rights. Some examples are,
Article 12- states the views of the child should be listened to and respects. They do not give authority over adult views but can be taken into account.
Article 23- outlines that children have rights to receive special care and support to enable to live full and independent lives.
Article 31- responsibility to be able to play freely within the environment.
- The Unites Nations Convention on the rights of persons with Disabilities. - Human rights treaty that gives rights to disabled people. It outlines ways of reducing the barriers.
Article 7 outlines for children what must be taken into account,
All necessary measures should be taken into account to have full participation as others do.
Primary consideration should be in their best interests.
Should have rights to express their views and opinions that affect them, and to be taken seriously.
- The Special Educational Needs and Disability regulations 2014- this came in to effect on the 1st September 2014. It sets out the requirements for local authorities for accessing children and young people’s needs and drawing up their EHC. It requires them to consult with parents and to keep all involved in the care informed throughout the whole process.
A reference to this is taken from, (Ref, Dovenston. M. (2006) Primary Special Educational Needs, Exeter. Learning Matters Ltd). It says that it recognises that parents hold key information and have a variety of unique skills, knowledge and understanding about their child.
This can provide a good balance of information needed to get the child the best.
Explaining the importance of working inclusively with children with disabilities or specific requirements.
It is important to promote equal opportunities for children by having an environment free from discrimination. All children should have the opportunity to be educated within a mainstream setting with children of all mixed abilities. Having a child-centred approach will help to meet their needs and strengthen the child. Example, visual timetables, signs in different languages. Access to the whole school through ramps. All these are use at the school which I work at.
Two models of disabilities are:
Medical model disability, this is when it is seen as an illness. They are labelled by their condition. As they focus on the disability, strengths and interests of the child can be over looked.
Social model disability, this recognises that everyone has rights. Attitudes towards disabilities is from ‘society’ not the individual. Ways of promoting inclusive practice are:
- Respect the child.
- Empathy demonstrated by practitioners.
- Children are empowered.
- Their interests are at the centre of your planning.
Examples, using the Individual Education Plans (IEPs) and Annual reviews to get together to discuss these.
Good equal opportunities which are a legal requirement, which is not optional, will promote inclusion within the setting. Some of the stratagies used are listed below:
- Make everyone feel welcome.
- Respect and value the individual.
- Plan using their interests.
- Resources and materials used to promote a positive image.
- Practitioners to display positive attitudes.
- Deal with discriminatory language and behaviour in the correct manner.
The benefits of working together with parents and other professionals.
When you are involved in providing care and support for children, parents must be consulted and involved. This will provide insight to have the children are at home, and it is respectful to the family. Along with parents the use of external agencies provide help. Examples: I have contact with a special school who provides information to help me provide the best for the child I work with.
The SEND Code of Practice gives an outline of the principles that are needed to maintain a positive working relationship with the parents:
- Consult with the children and parents when reviewing services
- All providers should support parents contributing to the reviews of the EHC plans.
- Make arrangements to provide advice and information to the children.
These are all from the new SEND code of practice 2014 0-25yrs. There are still a number of principles from the 2001 paper which are in use. These are,
- Use parental knowledge of relationship with the child.
- Focus on strengths as well as their needs.
- Be aware of their feelings.
- Make sure parents are aware of and understand procedures and give documents well in advance of any meetings.
- Respect differing perspectives.
- Respect needs of the parents.
- The need to be flexible and also structured within the meeting.
Working with other professionals and agencies you can provide opportunities to gain more knowledge and other strategies to help in providing professional care to the children in your care.
In school you will have a designated person who is in charge of the SEN children. They are usually referred to as the SENCO, (special educational needs co-ordinator.) they are responsible for providing support for those who need it.
My job is to support the learning of a child one to one, who has learning difficulties. I work and liaise with the SENCO worker on a regular basis to ensure we are providing the best support and care for him. Together we have tailored a literacy programme, and we have used outside agencies to provide this material. These are: Speech and language therapist, and a Special school who have given us programmes to use.
(Ref, Dovenston.M. (2006) primary special educational needs, Exeter, Learning Matters Ltd) says,’ It is important to listen communicate, take advice and share information with all relevant parties, but always maintaining confidentiality’.
Other professionals which can be involved in care for children are:
- Physiotherapist – to meet the physical needs of the children. Provide exercises and treatment.
- Speech and language therapist – devise a programme involving parents and practitioners to use with them.
- Health visitors – provide advice and support and help to educate families.
- Paediatrician – used to diagnose a condition and possibly refer to other agencies
- General practitioner – usually first point of contact and they will usually make the referrals.
- Social worker – have the role of provide safeguarding and protection to children. Also providing guidance and practical help for families.
Together all professionals, practitioners and parents will help to provide the support, knowledge and care that a child needs.
How practitioners can adapt existing practices to support children with disabilities or specific requirements.
During the last year or so a number of pieces of legislation has been changed or undated, this includes the SEN code of practice 0-25yrs. This means that all establishments who use these must take responsibility to make sure that the environment is a high standard to provide the care needed.
Taken from, (www.eenet.org.uk 19.10.2014) they say that they should,
- Adapt to meet the requirements within the legislation.
- All materials and resources are age and stage appropriate.
- Display positive attitudes.
- Inclusion within the learning environment.
- Have early intervention.
- Have positive role models.
The environment is an important aspect. Children need to have appropriate access to the buildings, through ramps, security, high and locked gates. Having the correct equipment, tables chair etc. when choosing an activity to do think about how it is going to take place, if on floor can all taking part or can it be moved onto the table. If a child has a visual impairment do they have the appropriate equipment to use?
Visual timetables can help children. I use one of these for the child I work with. Having positive attitudes towards all provides an image for all to follow whatever their needs may be.
Children like to do things for themselves, but due to their disability they may find it difficult, for example going to the toilet, getting dressed and undressed. Fastening zips. Velcro is good and gives them confidence to do things for themselves.
Some children don’t know how to express themselves and their feelings in an appropriate way. Again I have had this problem. I have made and used a number of flash cards which have different faces on them which represent an emotion. I get the child to show me the card if they need to. They do contain a word explanation.
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If a child has a physical impairment provide activities that allow them to be at the same level. Have room for them to move without injuring themselves safely around the classroom. For those with sensory impairments try not to change the layout without telling them and showing them (work through it with them). If possible try and keep the floor space clear of obstacles and always supervise the child through any activity.
Providing activities that are too easy is the same as giving them something too hard. Through your assessment and judgment you will know the level/ stage which the child is at and you can plan your activities around this using differentiation. Another example is the tailored literacy programme which I use. Giving the children confidence to achieve even the smallest thing will encourage them to do more.
References used in this assignment are:
- Course material for assignment number 1.
- Own experiences from the school where I work.
- Website – www.eenet.org.uk 19.10.2014
- Books. – Doveston.M. (2006) Primary Special Educational Needs.Exeter. Learning Matters Ltd.
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