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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Basic information about the characteristics of autistic spectrum disorders, a condition which affects a child’s ability to socialise and to develop speech and language

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The terms ADD and ADHD are medical diagnoses and describe a syndrome of emotional or behavioural difficulties, which may include extreme impulsiveness, inattentiveness and continuous motor activity.

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Children with moderate learning difficulties (also known as global learning difficulties) have a general developmental delay. They have difficulties with learning across all areas of the school curriculum

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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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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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Spatial awareness is the ability to be aware of oneself in space. Awareness of spatial relationships is the ability to see two or more objects in relation to each other and to oneself. These activities will help develop spatial awareness skills and can be used in lessons for the benefit of all pupils

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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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Roger Smith explains the background to the Common Assessment Framework and how you can make it work in your school. read more

For any SENCO looking at how SEN is defined, identified and assessed in her own local education authority and elsewhere, it soon becomes apparent that the identification and assessment of SEN is not only complex but confused. Michael Farrell suggests that SENCOs can contribute to clarifying our understandings of SEN. 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

The Education and Skills Committee report on SEN includes a brief but important analysis of the role of the SENCO, which highlights a major gap between policy rhetoric and reality. read more

The Common Assessment Framework (CAF) and Lead Professional (LP) work are key elements in the Every Child Matters: Change for Children programme. This evaluation of authorities trialling the new approach will be of interest to SENCOs who will become increasingly engaged as the national roll-out continues for these processes for multi-agency working. read more

Recently published research by a team based at the University of Cambridge highlights the efforts of teachers and other staff in schools to develop inclusive educational practice. At the same time, it provides evidence that these efforts are unsustainable in the long term, and that a national review of policy and practice is required. 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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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

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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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The government’s 10-year strategy for childcare, Choice for parents, the best start for children, promised to establish a single coherent development and learning framework for all young children from birth to the age of five. The DfES is currently consulting on the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS), which provides that framework. read more

The guidance ‘Working Together to Safeguard Children: A Guide to Inter-agency Working to Safeguard and Promote the Welfare of Children’ is highly relevant to SENCOs. 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

Researchers based at the University of Bristol are examining the support for children with complex communication needs – in both mainstream and special schools – to express their views and make decisions for themselves. read more

The Special Educational Needs Regional Partnerships (SEN RPs) have made a substantial and marked contribution to the government’s agenda regarding provision for pupils with SEN, according to a report* from the National Foundation for Educational Research (NFER). read more

In addition to its specific recommendations concerning SENCOs, the Education Select Committee has outlined a future strategy on special educational needs. The government’s response will have many implications for the work of SENCOs read more

Many SENCOs, though aware of the benefits of ICT, are a bit wary of its complexities. Gerald Haigh provides a user-friendly guide read more

Angela Youngman finds out about a scheme to improve communication in early years settings through the use of sign language

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More and more schools throughout the country are realising that children with specific reading difficulties can be helped by the use of colour, either in the form of coloured overlays or as individually prescribed coloured spectacle lenses. By Tim Noakes. read more

Writing frames undoubtedly have their uses, but they can also limit the creative talents of the more able, writes Frank Bruce read more

A quick list of tips for calming hyperactive children, including preventative strategies read more

Looking for the root cause of many boys’ underachievement and subsequently the simple answer or ‘Quick Fix’, has become something of a preoccupation over the past few years. Here, School Improvement Officer Gary Wilson explains why he believes that neither of these particular tasks can ever bear fruit read more

Sadly, the number of children with back pain is increasing. In recent years, growing interest has spurred studies that support this worrying trend. Tessa Hicks explains how teachers can help protect their pupils from unnecessary pain. read more

One of our pupils is in care and has a statement of SEN. Her parents disagree with the statement’s provisions and plan to appeal to the special educational needs and disability tribunal. Which takes precedence, SENDIST or the family court? read more

What duty of care does a school educational psychologist owe a pupil and, if the psychologist is negligent, what damages will the LEA be liable for? read more

When dealing with pupils with challenging behaviour and emotional difficulties, risk assessment is vital says Amelia Wallington

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A new review group has been set up to recommend ways of: read more

The Manifesto for Education Outside the Classroom promotes high-quality outdoor learning experiences to support cognitive skills and aid personal development – gardening fits the bill, says Dr Susan Johnson

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Tips to run more efficient and effective meetings. read more

A consultation document from the DCSF seeks views on proposals for regulations to ensure that SENCOs are qualified teachers with a defined role in the leadership and management of the school

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Too many schools are not providing bilingual students with enough of the right support to help them succeed in their learning, according to the findings of a new report from Ofsted. read more

Inclusion has become one of the must hotly-debated topics in education — there are almost as many different takes on it as there are schools. Brahm Norwich, Professor of Educational Psychology and Special Educational Needs at the University of Exeter, helps you to unpick what inclusion means to your school and shows you how to develop strategies that will allow you to achieve this approach in practice. read more

Achieving inclusion — becoming an inclusive pyramid. read more

Identifying students who are underachieving is easy. The challenge is doing something about it. read more

Dr Carrie Winstanley explains the principle of dual exceptionality with dyslexic children

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