Identifying Special Needs - Diagnostic Checklists for Profiling Individual Differences, 3rd Edition28.99
- A fantastic guide to diagnosing special educational needs.
- Practical and easy-to-use checklists to support educators identify additional needs.
- Guiding teachers with conversations with other professionals and parents about special educational needs.
Review compiled by: Sarah Wordlaw
As educators, we know the importance of shaping teaching and learning to meet the needs of all children. Part of this is being able to identify those young people with special educational needs and facilitating the best possible learning. The term ‘SEN’ covers a wide spectrum of barriers to learning – children may have wide-ranging or specific problems. For example, a child might have trouble with one part of learning, such as numbers or letters, or they could have problems communicating with other children or adults. From personal experience, I have found that once the specific barrier is identified it becomes much easier for a practitioner to support the child’s learning. However, identification can often be tricky.
Identifying Special Needs gives advice on both recognising and then categorising the different characteristics of the spectrum of special needs. From reading the book, you can tell very quickly the expertise of Glynis Hannell, who provides insight from her educational psychologist background. What I particularly liked was the practical help offered to educators through simple checklists to determine how to help students with SEN. The criteria for diagnosing SEN are supported by helpful notes, which are relevant to all teachers irrespective of primary or secondary age. There is also information supporting conversations with other professionals and parents and carers.
The chapters are separated into the different SEN categories: cognition and learning, communication, developmental, autism spectrum disorder, social-emotional and mental health and sensory. Each chapter is then broken down into further categories and help to determine eligibility for resources and advise on intervention and specialist support.
This book stands out because its easy-to-use checklists support not only the identification of SEN but also helps teachers to understand the causes and characteristics of various types of special needs and profile individual differences. Unlike other books on SEN, it also supports the teacher to create accurate profiles for individual students and gives advice on how to work effectively with parents and carers (including involving parents in observing children). I love how it also gives recommended follow up reading, professional references and websites. This book is useful for all classroom practitioners both primary and secondary, particularly those who are looking to move into a SENCO role.
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