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Educating children with special educational needs and disabilities

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  1. Introduction.
  2. Cost of bringing up a disabled child.
    1. Article 27 of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child.
    2. Parents of disabled children.
    3. Diminished earning power.
  3. The housing circumstances of disabled children.
    1. Families with very disabled children.
    2. Not enough resources.
  4. Families experiences of social exclusion.
    1. The relationship between social services departments and families.
    2. Children with continuing nursing care needs.
    3. The Children Act 1989.
  5. What parents want.
    1. Getting a diagnosis for their child.
    2. One point of contact for access to services.
    3. Support which is flexible enough to respond to their particular needs.
    4. The social security benefits they are entitled to, as early as possible.
  6. Education provision for disabled children.
    1. Encouraging teachers to explore ways to facilitate the learning of all their pupils.
    2. UNESCO and learning through experience.
    3. Encouraging teachers to recognise and use natural resources that can help to support the childs learning.
    4. key factor in creating more inclusive classrooms: Improvisation.
    5. Providing teachers with opportunities to consider new possibilities.
  7. Conclusion.
  8. References.

Special Educational Needs (SEN) has a legal definition: children with SEN have learning difficulties or disabilities that make it harder for them to learn than most children of the same age. These children may need extra or different help from that given to other children of the same age. The SEN Code of Practice for England legally defines children with SEN as children who have a considerably greater difficulty in learning than others the same age. It also includes children who cannot use the educational facilities, which other children of a similar age use because of their disability. Children under school age who would fall into either category without extra help are also included.

[...] This form of critical reflection, carried out in collaboration with colleagues, seems to be particularly important in the special needs field. Here our traditions have led us to conceptualise our work in a relatively narrow way, thus missing many possibilities that might lead to better learning opportunities for the children we seek to help. Specifically our traditions have led us to see our work primarily in technical terms (Heshusius, 1989; Iano, 1986). This leads to a concern with finding the 'right' teaching methods or materials for pupils who do not respond to existing arrangements. [...]

[...] The following 'graduated response' to a child's special educational needs are set out in the Special Educational Needs Code of Practice. This sets out the key principles for identifying, assessing and reviewing SEN. There is an emphasis on early identification. Statements for children under two are rare, however if a statement is made it is usually because the child has complex needs or a particular service is required e.g. home-based teaching. There are over 300,000 disabled children under the age of 16 in England and Wales. [...]

[...] From ?Homes unfit for children?, Oldman and Beresford (1998, p. 15). Children who have a range of health and support needs often receive many assessments and uncoordinated services from different agencies. They are also particularly at risk of unequal access to health care and education. Access to both primary care and hospital services can vary from area to area. Schools have different policies concerning support to children who need medication or who use ventilators etc. Some children's human rights to good health care and to education are being contravened. [...]

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