Tags: SEN – Special Educational Needs | SENCO | Well-being

Children and young people with complex health needs.

Effective mainstream provision

About Us: the Children’s Hospice South West Research Group, based at the University of Exeter, works closely with charity Children’s Hospice South West and has recently produced two publications based on research (see panel below) concerning the experiences of young people with cystic fibrosis and young people with degenerative neuromuscular conditions in mainstream education. Both booklets include helpful advice on:

  • – raising awareness
  • – improving communication
  • – making special arrangements
  • – relationships
  • – participation.

The advice outlined is likely to be useful to a wide range of professionals supporting young people with complex health needs, but should also prove invaluable to anyone coordinating provision for these youngsters in mainstream schools.

Copies of Including Young People with Degenerative Neuromuscular Disease in Mainstream Education and Including Young People with Cystic Fibrosis in Mainstream Education, and a research report, can be obtained, for a small fee, from: Tricia Nash, Children’s Hospice South West Research Group, Department of Sociology, University of Exeter, Amory Building, Rennes Drive, Exeter, Devon EX4 4RJ. Tel: 01392 263273

Email: [email protected]

Helping children with complex health needs in the early years
A new guide, Including Me: Managing complex health needs in schools and early years settings
, has been published. The guide gives practical advice and solutions to help children who have complex health needs get the support they need to attend schools and early years settings regularly and take part in all activities. It was launched by the Health Needs in Education consortium including Mencap, the Council for Disabled Children and the Royal College of Nursing, together with the DfES.

The guide, price £12.50, is available from the Council for Disabled Children. Tel: 020 7843 1900.

SEN basics

Introductory texts on teaching pupils with SEN

The Effective Teacher’s Guide to Behavioural, Emotional and Social Difficulties: Practical Strategies, £16.99, ISBN 0 415 36038 2

The Effective Teacher’s Guide to Autism and Communication Difficulties: Practical Strategies, £16.99, ISBN 0 415 36039 0

The Effective Teacher’s Guide to Dyslexia and Other Specific Learning Difficulties: Practical Strategies, £16.99, ISBN 0 415 36040 4

The Effective Teacher’s Guide to Moderate, Severe and Profound Learning Difficulties: Practical Strategies, £19.99, ISBN 0 415 36041 2

The Effective Teacher’s Guide to Sensory Impairment: Practical Strategies, £19.99,
ISBN 0 415 36042 0

All of these books are written by Michael Farrell and published by Routledge. They provide succinct overviews of issues that trainee teachers, teaching assistants and newly qualified teachers will find useful. They are also likely to be useful sources of information for anyone planning introductory level continuing professional development activities.

Bereavement, loss and grief

The following two books tackle sensitive issues and provide helpful advice that can be applied in both primary and secondary schools:

It’s OK to be Sad Margaret Collins, £17.99 ISBN 1 4129 1825 1 Lucky Duck Books/

Paul Chapman Publishing

Using stories about life events, Margaret Collins focuses on the needs of 4-9 year olds, and the ways in which they can express concerns, anxieties and grief. She also provides helpful advice for children and adults about how to help others when they are experiencing such difficulties.

Supporting Young People Coping with Grief, Loss and Bereavement Tina Rae and Deborah Weymount, £17.99 ISBN 1 4129 1311 X Lucky Duck Books/

Paul Chapman Publishing

This book and CD-Rom, published in June 2006, focuses on the needs of students aged 11-18. It is designed for use in a series of 10 sessions with whole classes or smaller groups.

This article first appeared in SENCO Update – Apr 2006

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