Special Needs of Students often Missed in Schools

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Special Educational Needs (SEN) By: Please log in to see tutor details
Subject: Special Educational Needs (SEN)
Last updated: 01/10/2016
Tags: did you know?, special educational needs (sen)


The modern trend in education is to place the vast majority of dyslexic pupils in mainstream schools. However it is clear from research that youngsters struggle with daily routines, and face teachers in the academic environment who are not always sympathetic or simply do not know how to help their dyslexic pupils with the pressure of their studies, or the examination process. Individual problems may not be acknowledged as frustrations arise due to unexplained low rates of achievement; Head teachers often become concerned about budgets, league tables and OFSTEAD.


Dyspraxia or Developmental Co-ordination Disorder (DCD) is impairment in the ability to move. Caused by an immaturity in the way that the brain processes information, it results in cognitive messages failing to be transmitted appropriately. This manifests itself in affecting the planning of what to do and how to do it; it is also associated with problems in language coordination, thought and perception. Being known as Clumsy Child Syndrome in past years, nowadays ten per cent of the population are affected with two per cent severely, so in a class of 30 three children are likely to have this disorder. Males are four times more likely to be affected than than females. It is best to teach this significant minority strategies that help in their coordination of brain impulses. These impulses then correctly trace neurons within the brain and this helps develop their cognitive skills.

Dysgraphia, Dyscalculia & Dysnomia

Signs for Dysgraphia (writing problems), Dyscalculia (mathematics problems) & Dysnomia (memory problems) are considered for in all assessments, however within the Dyslexia assessment there are specialized tests that will pick up on any signs syndromes. These are very rare and little is known about the conditions; however they make a significant difference to the learning capacity of the student and can result in very intelligent people failing quite minor exams.


ADD stands for Attention Deficit Disorder and ADHD stands for Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder. These conditions are caused by a chemical imbalance in the brain and manifest themselves by affecting the parts controlling attention, concentration and impulsivity. The symptoms of the simpler ADD are a lack of concentration or attention in all aspects of life, whereas ADHD falls into three main areas hyperactivity, impulsivity and inattention. These very intelligent children appear dreamy through to being always on the go. People with ADHD find it difficult to filter out unnecessary information coming into their brain, so become easily distracted, respond before they have considered things and don’t know when to stop. A child with ADHD often has problems socializing, take longer to settle and concentrate, and may have problems following instructions. The condition is long term and there is a genetic component.

Scotopic Sensitivity Syndrome (Irlen Syndrome)

Scotopic Sensitivity Syndrome or Irlen Syndrome is a condition that is thought to stem from the brain and/or eye incorrectly processing and interpreting what is seen, however the direct scientific cause is currently unknown. It manifests itself in attention and concentration difficulties that are caused as a direct result of these visual distortions. It impairs the ability of the individual to read, study and work efficiently, and it often causes tired and uncomfortable eyes. It also causes poor depth perception so judging distances and the relationship between objects becomes difficult. A lack of depth perception can cause problems with such things as difficulty with ball sports, escalators, walking and bumping into objects, driving/cycling and judging heights. It is associated with ADHD, Dyslexia and headaches, as well as reading problems, Autism and Aspergers syndrome.

Today it is believed that this condition affects approximately 12% of the population. To make matters worse standard sight tests and educational assessing methods are unable to detect this condition.

The Scotopic Sensitivity Syndrome tests include information on decoding neuronal signals, screening for washout, blur, shaky, seesaws, rivers, swirl and halo imaging of the optical senses. A basic colour combination can be set but a specialist Scotopic Sensitivity Syndrome technician should complete the unique diagnosed colour that compliments the optical signal to allow an unscrambled image to be viewed.

Viv A-level Biology Tutor (South West London)

About The Author

I have been teaching secondary for 25 years, tutoring for 22. I am a progressive dyslexia teacher, I encourage the pupil to gain better marks by setting a challenge to their ability, then taking them through it so that they become more confident.

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