Every child is an individual and children with Special Educational Needs are as different from each other as any other children, perhaps even more so. Even if a child has had a ‘label’ attached to his/her particular special need, this does not mean that his/her needs will be exactly the same as others with the same ‘condition.’ In all types of disability, the difficulties can range from mild to severe and many children will have problems in more than one area of learning. When you are looking for information to help a particular child you should consider all the areas in which he/she might have difficulty.
The most common special needs you are likely to find in your class are learning difficulties of various types. These may or may not be related to a physical or medical condition. Learning difficulties can range from moderate ( to severe. In the North of Ireland these are usually termed MLD and SLD. In the Republic of Ireland, these are classified as Mild, Moderate, Severe and Profound general learning difficulties.
Many pupils do not conform to what we would consider ‘good’ behaviour. Sometimes this is related to other problems in their lives which lead to them having a special educational need. The behaviour may be caused by a physical or medical problem or a learning difficulty.
Increasing inclusion has meant the removal of barriers to access and this is encouraging more parents to have their children educated in mainstream schools alongside their peers. Increasing advances in technology is making this more and more successful.