How do children with SEND develop? Part 1

Marie is a new (to MBK) trainer that specialises in Children with Send.  We have a selection of upcoming dates for her courses, Developing a SEND Friendly Environment and Supporting Children with SEND. Until then we have some of her wise words to keep you going…
Marie Smith SEND
I am very excited to be writing my first blog for MBK and have sat for some time thinking about the topic. One of the questions I get asked most by staff when working in settings relates to child development and SEND. ‘How do children with SEND develop?’, ‘how do we support their development?’ and ‘how do we know where their learning is at?’ So this seemed like a good place to start.

The answer to the first question above is that all children with SEND, like all others, have their own individual pattern of development with strengths in some areas and difficulties in others. However, their primary area of need is a great place to start. Many children whose development is delayed show slower development in all areas of learning. For example, some children will present with a 12-month delay across all areas compared to their chronological age. However, many children have a more uneven developmental profile and will develop in line or ahead of their peers in some areas of learning and will be delayed in others. If a child is struggling with language development, then it is important to focus your attention here not forgetting how this area of learning influences others.

Where children have a specified condition or disability it is helpful to find out about how their condition affects their development if at all. Children with autism spectrum or social and communication needs typically develop well in areas related to physical development and early maths however other areas of learning are delayed. It is typical to see a delay in areas including language and communication, social development and understanding of the world. Children with a diagnosis of Down Syndrome on the other hand tend to show stronger development in areas related to social development and early reading skills but have greater difficulty with developing early maths and speech and language skills.

What this means for practitioners is that it is key to complete detailed observations and assessments of where children’s skills lie and focus attention to the child’s specific areas of difficulty.

I have more to say but I’ll save that for another day, check back soon and Good Luck!

Marie x

About the author: Marie Smith

Marie Smith MBK Training
Marie is not only a fantastic guest blogger but also a qualified teacher working in both Early Years and Primary education with a focus on special educational needs, disabilities and a specialism in autism and associated conditions. With experience as a SENCO and Assistant Headteacher she now works as an independent SEND consultant delivering high quality, bespoke training and packages of support within early years settings, schools and groups within the community.

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