Special educational needs (SEN) is a legal term. It describes the needs of a child who has a difficulty or disability which makes learning harder for them than for other children their age. Around one in five children has SEN at some point during their school years.
Having SEN makes it difficult for the person to carry out normal day-to-day activities.
- Normal day-to-day means things that people do on a regular basis, for example mobility, dressing or cleaning (physical co-ordination), and having a conversation.
- Long-term usually means the impairment should have lasted or be expected to last at least a year.
- Substantial means not minor or trivial.
- Physical impairment includes sensory difficulties such as visual or hearing impairments.
- Mental impairments include learning difficulties, autism, dyslexia, speech and language difficulties, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHA).
We understand that while having a child with special needs brings with it many of the typical joys of parenting, there are many stresses too.
Having a child with a special need can have a huge impact on you and your other children. And it can also place stress on your relationship – especially if you don’t work together to keep your family strong and united.
It can often be lonely and hard to know where to turn and a struggle to get the help your child needs.
Some examples of SEN are:
- Emotional and behavioural difficulties (EBD)
- Autism, including Asperger Syndrome
- Attention Deficit (Hyperactivity) Disorder (ADHA/ADD)
- Specific learning difficulties such as Dyslexia
- Obsessive Compulsive Disorder
- Communication Difficulties
- Medical Needs such as Epilepsy and cerebral Palsy
- Mobility difficulties
If your child has SEN, they may need extra help in a range of areas, for example:
- reading, writing, number work or understanding information
- expressing themselves or understanding what others are saying
- making friends or relating to adults
- behaving properly in nursery/school
- organising themselves
- sensory or physical needs which may affect them in school
If your child has a disability or long-term health condition, you might be entitled to Disability Living Allowance (DLA) for them as well as other financial support. If you are thinking about making a claim Family Support is able to help.
Amongst other things we can support you with completing the form, gather your evidence and attend the assessments with you.
Make the first step and talk to one of our local Family Support workers to see how we can help. Pop into one of our family centres, email email@example.com or phone 020 8753 6070.
Find out more
Need to know what help is available locally for special educational needs and disabilities?
The Hammersmith and Fulham Local Offer provides information about services that children, young people and their families can expect from a range of local agencies. Knowing what is out there gives you more choice and therefore more control over what support is right for you.
If you want support around your child’s additional learning needs, visit the Parents Active website, which aims to help parents/carers of disabled children living in the London Borough of Hammersmith and Fulham.
The national charity Scope offers fantastic advice and a free confidential helpline available Monday to Friday, 9am to 5pm: 0808 800 3333