SEND Information

Useful Resources

Please see below for the latest updates, information and support available if your child has an additional need:

Help children with SEND continue their education during the Coronavirus

Supporting Children with ASD and Learning Difficulties in isolation

Sensory Strategies Booklet

Supporting Children with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)

What is ADHD?

Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is a neurodevelopmental disorder with symptoms of impulsivity, poor concentration and restlessness that are experienced both at home and in school. The condition is sometimes likened to a steam train that has an engine that never switches off and is constantly ‘on the go’. Symptoms are often present and consistent from a young age, but become more noticeable during their school years. Usually children are diagnosed with ADHD when they are between six and twelve years old. The condition can be managed with support, cognitive behavioural therapy and medication if necessary.

Signs of ADHD may include:

  • Acting without thinking
  • Difficulties taking turns or waiting for things
  • Poor concentration – easily distracted
  • Forgetful and disorganised
  • Inability to complete long tasks
  • Difficulty sleeping
  • Difficulty following instructions
  • Make careless mistakes
  • Restlessness/ unable to sit still/ fidgety – to an excessive degree
  • Talking non-stop and interrupting

How can I support my child at home?

  • Create clear routines and boundaries.
  • Offer immediate, positive praise to reinforce good behaviours. “Well done for holding my hand while we walked across the road.” Accumulative behaviour reward charts can help motivate children to achieve bigger incentives and rewards.
  • Keep instructions short and to the point.
  • Let them burn off steam as much as possible may help them to sleep later. (e.g. swimming, riding their bike, playing football, visiting the local park etc)
  • Minimise feelings of frustration and restlessness by distracting them with another activity.
  • Create good ‘sleep hygiene’. Have a calming routine before bedtime and avoid keeping stimulating items such as computer games in the bedroom at night.
  • Provide objects for them to fiddle with while they are expected to listen or concentrate. (Believe it or not, this is what fidget spinners were actually designed for!)
  • Break down long tasks and homework activities into small chunks or steps.
  • Demonstrate briefly what you want children to do.
  • Try to minimise distractions and work in a quiet, calm area.
  • Provide a place where they can go to in order to let of steam if they are becoming overwhelmed.

Where can I find further information?

Further information can be found at:

http://www.addiss.co.uk/ (Attention Deficit Disorder Information and Support Service)

https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/attention-deficit-hyperactivity-disorder-adhd/  (NHS Website)

https://www.understood.org/en (Understood)

https://sleepcouncil.org.uk (The Sleep Council)

Supporting Children with Autistic Spectrum Disorder (ASD)

What is Autistic Spectrum Disorder?

Autistic Spectrum Disorder or Autism is a developmental disorder that affects how people interpret the world around them. It is not an illness and there is no cure for it. It simply means that your brain works differently to others. Autism is something that you are born with and often (but not always) appears when children are young. No two people with Autism are the same however there are some common traits of autism.

Children with Autism may:

  • Find it hard to communicate, interact or socialise appropriately with others
  • Find it hard to understand emotions or empathise.
  • Find loud noises overwhelming and unpleasant
  • Take longer to understand information and need longer to complete activities
  • Do or say things repetitively
  • Have a very literal understanding of the world.
  • Have obsessions
  • Have difficulties with toilet training

What can I do to support my child at home?

  • Introduce routines – having a visual timetable of the day may help.
  • Stay calm.
  • Address him/her by name. Then speak clearly and concisely. e.g. “Andrew it’s dinner time.” Allow the child a little extra time to transition from one activity to the next. Don’t keep repeating yourself or rephrasing questions repeatedly if it seems they are not responding. Your child may simply be processing what you have said.
  • Keep their home environment, calm and ordered.
  • Try to limit sensory stimuli such as harsh, fluorescent lighting or strong perfumes etc. For some children attending crowded places such as shopping centres, stadiums etc with lots of noise, smells and bright lights can become overwhelming. Wearing ear defenders may help them to cope in noisier environments. Some cinemas even have Autism friendly screenings of films, in which the sound and lighting are adjusted and there are more relaxed rules about behaviour such as wandering around during the showing. Most theme parks and airports will now make special arrangements for families with an Autistic child so that you can skip long queues etc if you contact them in advance.
  • For some children new experiences such as going on holiday or having a haircut may be difficult. Try to show pictures or videos and talk them through what they can expect to happen.
  • Some children with Autism lack an understanding of danger. They may taste things as a way of exploring them in the same way that a toddler would. If this is the case, ensure they are closely supervised and store dangerous items and choking hazards out of reach.
  • Using ‘Social Stories’ may also help some children with Autism to see how they should respond in social situations. Social Stories present information in a literal way, which may improve a person's understanding of a previously difficult situation or activity. They provide information about what might happen in a particular situation, and some rules for behaviour.

Where can I find further information and support?

Autism Family Support Team autismfamilysupportteam@rotherham.gov.uk

NHS website https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/autism/

National Autistic Society https://www.autism.org.uk/about/what-is/asd.aspx

Autism Education Trust https://www.autismeducationtrust.org.uk/

Carol Gray (Author of Social Stories) https://carolgraysocialstories.com/social-stories/social-story-sampler/

Explaining Autism to children (Newsround) https://www.bbc.co.uk/newsround/31425238

 Supporting Children with Cognition and Learning Difficulties

What are cognition and learning difficulties?

Cognition and learning difficulties is a broad term that encompasses learners who may experience:

  • low levels of attainment in all forms of assessment
  • difficulties in acquiring new skills (notably in literacy and numeracy)
  • difficulties in dealing with abstract ideas and generalising from experience
  • and a range of associated difficulties, such as delayed speech and language development and social or emotional difficulties.

Cognition and learning difficulties include:

  • Moderate learning difficulties
  • Severe learning difficulties
  • Profound and Multiple Learning Difficulties
  • and Specific learning difficulties such as: dyslexia, dyspraxia and dyscalculia.

What can I do to support my child at home?

  • ü Repetition, repetition, repetition. (Overlearning helps)
  • ü Allow them to work at their own pace – Do not rush them!
  • ü Break homework and instructions down into small steps
  • ü Demonstratewhatyouwanthim/hertodo
  • ü Provide regular breaks to avoid your child becoming overwhelmed or frustrated
  • ü Check your child has understood what you’ve asked by saying, “What do you have to do?”
  • ü Praise effort as much as success. “e.g. Well done! You’re trying so hard.”
  • ü Use multi-sensory strategiesg. singing timestables, writing spellings with your finger in a tray of salt/sand, or painting their name on the floor outside with a paintbrush and a tub of water, using magnetic letters to write words and playing interactive computer games to support learning in class such as https://TTRockstars.com or www.phonicsplay.co.uk etc.

Where can I find further information and support?

Further information can be found on the Understood website at: https://www.understood.org/en

Dyscalculia

What is Dyscalculia?

Dyscalculia is a specific and persistent difficulty in the understanding of maths concepts and symbols. People with dyscalculia often cannot understand simple number concepts or master basic numeracy skills. They are likely to have difficulties learning number facts and patterns, telling the time and understanding quantity, prices and money. For some children this causes feelings of anxiety towards mathematics.

How can I support my child at home?

  • Use a familiar/ simple calculator
  • Use pencils/ dry wipe boards (So it’s easier to erase and edit mistakes)
  • Use graph paper to help him/her keep columns and numbers straight.
  • Pre-set phone reminders and alarms to help him/her keep track of time.
  • Use math apps and games that allow him/her to practice essential skills in a fun way e.g. www.ttrockstars.com , www.topmarks.co.uk or https://mathsframe.co.uk
  • Use of a watch with the five minute intervals marked on it.
  • Use of practical apparatus and resources such as a hundred square, counters etc to reinforce basic concepts.
  • Stay calm and offer reassurance
  • Repetition

Where can I find further information?

For further information visit: https://www.dyslexia.uk.net/specific-learning-difficulties/dyscalculia/

Dyslexia

What is Dyslexia?

Dyslexia is a learning difficulty that primarily affects the skills involved in accurate and fluent word reading and spelling. Children who are highly intelligent can also be dyslexic. Dyslexia can run in families and is a life - long disorder. A diagnosis of dyslexia, can only be given by a trained professional who would conduct a diagnostic assessment usually when children are at least 7 years old. These assessments are only carried out if a child is suspected to have dyslexia and with parental permission.

Signs of dyslexia in children aged under 5 years may include:

  • Difficulties learning sequences e.g. nursey rhymes, reciting the alphabet, clapping rhythmically
  • Slow speech development
  • Difficulties carrying out two or more instructions at a time e.g. put your car in the box and then put it in the cupboard.
  • Forgetfulness e.g. names, colours etc
  • Difficulties with fiddly activities e.g. fastening buttons, drawing and cutting
  • Clumsiness – Bumps into things or trips often, struggles to catch or kick a ball
  • Obvious good and bad days in terms of their understanding
  • Difficulty paying attention, sitting still or listening to stories
  • Showing no interest in letters or words
  • Muddling words e.g. pasgetti (Spaghetti) or flutterby

Signs of Dyslexia in children aged 5-11 years may include:

  • Poor concentration or may try to avoid work
  • Difficulty following instructions
  • Difficulty remembering things in order e.g. times tables, days of the week or the alphabet etc
  • Being forgetful, disorganised or appear to be a ‘scatterbrain’
  • Performing inconsistently from day to day
  • Being excessively tired due to amount of concentration and effort required
  • Being verbally bright but poor standard of written work
  • Messy work with many crossings out
  • Difficulty spelling (e.g. words tried several times, e.g. rain, ren, rayne or spelling a familiar word several different ways within one piece of writing)
  • Reverses letters when writing or muddles letters up within words.
  • Confuses symbols such as + and x signs and letters that look similar e.g. b/d, p/g, p/q, n/u, m/w.
  • When reading: struggles to sound out words, misreads familiar words, mispronounces words, misses out or adds extra words and demonstrates poor understanding of the text.

How can I support my child at home?

  • Don’t rush them – they need to take their time.
  • Provide a clear, quiet space to do homework
  • Practise reading and spelling every day for a short period of time
  • Encourages activities that he/she likes and feels good at in order to boost their confidence (e.g. music, swimming lessons, joining a sports team)
  • Listening to audio books as an alternative to reading
  • Reading to your child
  • Typing on a PC or tablet instead of writing
  • Using a ruler or piece of paper to help read along the line and move it down one line at a time
  • Using coloured overlays for reading or writing on coloured paper
  • Break instructions down into small steps
  • Celebrate effort and hard work even if he/she makes mistakes
  • Repetition and overlearning of basic skills
  • Some learners also find the ‘Toe by Toe’ programme helpful.

Where can I find further information?

Further information can be found at:

http://www.bdadyslexia.org.uk/ (The British Dyslexia Association)

http://www.thedyslexia-spldtrust.org.uk (The Dyslexia-SpLD Trust

https://vimeo.com/57077317 (‘My Dyslexic Mind’ by Newsround)

http://unwrapped.dyslexiascotland.org.uk (Dyslexia Unwrapped)

Dyspraxia

What is Dyspraxia?

Developmental co-ordination disorder (DCD), also known as dyspraxia, is a condition affecting physical co-ordination. It causes a child to perform less well than expected in daily activities for their age, and appear to move clumsily. It is more common in boys, can sometimes run in families and continues into adulthood. Signs of dyspraxia are often present from an early age but it tends not to be diagnosed before the age of 5 because children’s rates of development can vary. Dyspraxia does not affect a child’s intelligence but children often need adapted equipment and additional support. 

Signs of Dyspraxia include:

  • Delays in: crawling, walking, self-feeding and dressing
  • Difficulties with holding a pencil correctly, drawing, writing, using scissors or manipulating fiddly objects e.g. sewing and threading
  • Difficulties in sports
  • Clumsiness, falling or tripping constantly

How is Dyspraxia diagnosed?

If you suspect that your child has difficulties with their motor skills, please speak to your child’s teacher for further advice or support. Parents can also seek a referral to an Occupational Therapist through their local GP or Doctor’s Surgery who can assess their motor skills and co-ordination and offer further support and advice.

PN: School is unable to refer children directly to an Occupational Therapist.

How can I support my child at home?

  • Teach ways of doing things they find difficult, such as breaking down difficult movements into smaller parts and practising them regularly.
  • Using pencil grips or ergonomic pens so that they are easier to hold
  • Using adapted cutlery
  • Wearing shoes with Velcro fasteners or elasticated no-tie laces.
  • Using a PC to word process my ideas instead of writing

A number of children have difficulties with their co-ordination and fine motor skills but do not have a diagnosis of dyspraxia. The following activities can help to develop their co-ordination:

  • Practising writing using a multisensory approach e.g. writing letters in a sand/ glitter tray with their finger, painting letters outside using a wet paintbrush on the floor, using ‘Magic Writer’ magnetic writing boards or aqua doodle games.
  • Dot to Dots and tracing
  • Painting, crafting and drawing
  • Copying shapes
  • Modelling with playdough
  • Threading pasta, buttons, beads, cotton reels etc onto shoe laces or string
  • Any sports activities e.g. football, gymnastics, dance lessons, skipping, swimming, riding bikes or scooters, using the monkey bars at the playground etc
  • Playing ‘Operation’, ‘Jenga’ etc
  • Using construction kits e.g. Duplo, Lego, K’Nex, building blocks etc
  • Crafting activities
  • Fastening and unfastening: buttons, zips, shoe-laces, hook and eye fastenings
  • Picking items up using tweezers or chop sticks.
  • Cutting a variety of materials including: playdough, paper, card, fabric etc
  • Drawing shapes or letters with your finger on someone’s back or hand and getting them to guess what you have drawn.
  • Use of Apps such as: ‘Hairy Letters’

Where can I find further information?

Further information or support can be found at:

https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/developmental-coordination-disorder-dyspraxia/

https://dyspraxiafoundation.org.uk/

https://www.teachhandwriting.co.uk/

https://otplan.com

http://therapystreetforkids.com

There are also many ideas to develop ‘Fine Motor Skills’ (Ability to use hands)

Speech and Language

What is Word Finding Difficulty?

Word finding difficulty is a speech and language disorder. Many of us from time to time experience that frustration when you know what word you want to use and it’s on the tip of your tongue but you just can’t remember it. We often say things like, “Do you know where I put that er… the…er whatsit. You know that thing. It begins with r.” This is word finding difficulty and we all experience it occasionally, but for some people this is a frequent and persistent problem that they may need help and support in order to overcome. Stress, anxiety and lack of sleep can all make the problem worse.

How can I support my child at home?

  • ü Be calm and patient
  • ü Listen and wait
  • ü Ensure your child is getting enough sleep
  • ü If you know what your child is trying to say, don’t always say the word for them, but try to prompt them instead. Try using prompts such as:

Give them the first letter/ ask what it begins with.

Ask them to describe the word/say what it means (Talk around the word)

Can you remember a word that rhymes with it?

Can you do an action to show me the word?

Where can I find further information?

Further information can be found at: www.understood.org/en

View the full booklet here.