Significant numbers of children with epilepsy attend mainstream schools. If they are to get the most from their education it is important for schools to know what, and how, to tell all pupils about their condition. Ann Lewis and Sarah Parsons of the University of Birmingham School of Education outline the findings of a one-year research project funded by Epilepsy Action read more

SENCOs will have a significant role to play in carrying out the new duties set out in the Disability Discrimination Act, writes Bill Goler read more

Working with very able pupils presents a challenge to any teacher, but when learners also have special educational needs, there are complex issues to address. Julian Whybra shares his experiences of children and young people with Asperger syndrome

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A report into the range of teaching approaches used for dyslexic children in Scotland and their effectiveness recommends early intervention and a tailored approach, with an emphasis on the power of appropriate teaching techniques to help children to become normal learners

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What is literacy for children who do not learn to read and write? Drawing on a recent study, Dr Lyn Layton calls for a radical reinterpretation of what is meant by literacy, arguing that we should prepare all teachers to recognise a broad interpretation of literacy that is in line with the diverse needs and activities of learners

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Michael Farrell looks at a number of different areas in which special provision is needed read more

Wireless technology is useful, but raises health concerns. Vicky Lapins looks at schools’ obligations for safer use read more

Two recent policy reviews have established the government’s priorities for spending on public services that help disabled and disadvantaged pupils

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Special education consultant Michael Farrell considers provision for pupils with orthopaedic impairments and motor disorders read more

All primary schools must have a disability equality scheme in place by December 2007. Margaret Collins offers some practical suggestions to help you meet the challenge read more

A useful update on the current law regarding discrimination is provided by Patti Turner

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Philip Jones presents a case study and discusses the difficulties faced by schools when providing intimate care to pupils who have disabilities. read more

Ofsted’s last report on PSHE observed that parenting is frequently ignored in secondary schools. Dr Sue Dale Tunnicliffe outlines ways forward for 11-19 year olds. read more

Gill O’Donnell argues that schools need to take a proactive approach to fire alarms if they are not to fall foul of the new disability discrimination legislation. read more

ICT can enhance opportunities for inclusive learning. However, getting the right ICT tools in place to support this process can be a daunting prospect. In this article Gerald Haigh, in conversation with SENCOs, shows what is possible and argues that simple innovations tailored to individual needs often work best. read more

A new report confirms that joined-up working has been a positive and significant experience for the majority of those involved. read more

This article discusses ways in which SENCOs can support children with dyslexia within mainstream education, and provides a list of warning signs that might initially lead to referral, by training principals from Dyslexia Action, Rosemary Norburn and Glenys Heap

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How can you handle children’s surprise at a new classmate’s disfigurement in a way that is positive for everybody? Jane Frances of Changing Faces offers some practical ideas. read more

Every Disabled Child Matters is a three-year campaign by organisations working with disabled children and their families. Its objectives and proposed actions for change are summarised below. read more

The Early Support programme seeks to improve the quality, consistency and coordination of services for young disabled children and their families. A new report examines its effectiveness. read more

Dysgraphia is a processing problem causing difficulty in remembering and using the correct sequence of muscle movements in order to write

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Dyscalculia is a specific learning disability involving maths skills.

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Visual memory is the ability to recall information that has been presented visually. The activities listed here can help develop visual memory and can be incorporated into a lesson for the benefit of all pupils

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Auditory memory is the ability to recall information that has been given orally. The activities listed here can help develop auditory memory and can be incorporated into lessons for the benefit of all pupils

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Semantic knowledge is the ability to understand narrative. This includes the ability to understand the meanings of words in different contexts, as well as a knowledge of the meaning of relationships between words. The activities listed here will help develop semantic knowledge

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Phonological awareness is the ability to be aware of sounds within words and to be able to break down words into syllables and into phonemes. The activities listed here can help develop phonological awareness and can be used in lessons for the benefit of all children

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Visual discrimination is the ability to recognise similarities and differences between visual images. The activities listed here can help develop visual discrimination skills and can be used in lessons to benefit all children

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Listening is the ability to attend to sounds across a range of stimuli. Use these activities to help pupils with listening and attention difficulties

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Word finding is the ability to access vocabulary from the long-term memory. These activities can help develop word finding skills and can be used in lessons for the benefit of all pupils

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Dr Diane Bebbington and Eileen Burke examine the effects of unsupported language difficulties. read more

Auditory discrimination is the ability to detect similarities and differences when listening to sounds. The activities listed here can be used to strengthen auditory discrimination skills and can be incorporated into a lesson to benefit all children

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Changing attitudes is fundamental to achieving full inclusion for disabled pupils, argues Liz Fitzpatrick. Here she discusses the right to equal opportunities for those with disabilities, set out in the Salamanca Statement, as well as how to go about achieving them

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Citizenship Days for Years 7,8 and 9 focused on the global economy, the environment, disability and challenging stereotypes. read more

A new survey draws attention to the lack of preparedness for dealing with epilepsy in schools. The survey was presented as part of National Epilepsy Week’s theme of ‘Educational challenges for children and younger people’. Epilepsy Action has also produced information and resources which SENCOs will find useful in advising colleagues. read more

Visual perception is the ability to recognise, interpret and organise visual images. The activities listed here will help develop visual perception skills and can be incorporated into lessons to benefit all pupils

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Visual comprehension is the ability to listen to information that has been given orally, then remember it, understand it and use the information across a range of tasks. These activities can help develop skills in this area, and can be incorporated into lessons for the benefit of all pupils

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This month’s professional update summarises the requirements of the Disability Equality Duty (DED) for the public sector and outlines the steps that schools, colleges and local authorities will need to take to ensure that they comply with new legislative requirements. read more

Whether at home or at school, ICT can play a major role in enabling young people to achieve their potential whether or not they have a disability or specific learning difficulties, says Adam Waits, lead assessor (children and young adults) at national computing and disability charity, AbilityNet. read more

The research study summarised in this article sought to develop an understanding of the issues that affect the inclusion of disabled children in play in the playgrounds of six primary schools in Yorkshire (1). read more

In response to the requirements of Part 4 of the Disability Discrimination Act 1995, local authorities (LAs) and schools now need to review and revise their strategies and plans to improve access to schools for disabled pupils. read more

While dyslexia is now widely accepted as a specific difficulty and is becoming better understood, its equivalent in the world of numeracy lags far behind explains Linda Evans

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Literacy and literature read more

John Liddle, head of services to education, AbilityNet East, challenges readers to think anew about the effective use of technology to support children with special educational needs and how this has implications for the role of learning support assistants. read more

As integrated services for children become the norm, key workers, or lead professionals, are likely to play an increasingly important role in coordinating support for children and young people with SEN or disabilities. Recently published research identifies what effective key worker support looks like in practice and what should be done to ensure that it is effective. These findings and their implications are likely to be of particular interest to SENCOs who may take on key worker roles in the future. read more

A unique combination of sound and touch is bringing a whole new world of teaching opportunities into both special needs and mainstream education. read more

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