Lancashire SEND IAS

Lancashire SEND IAS

Information, advice and support for Special Educational Needs and Disability

Areas of SEN

There are four main areas of special educational need. Your child may have difficulties in one area, in a few areas or in all of them. The SEN Support your child needs should be matched to their identified SEN.

Cognition and learning

This is about how your child learns and how they think. Some learning difficulties may be obvious, whereas others aren’t. SEN in this area might include:

  • difficulties reading or writing or with maths
  • specific difficulties such as dyslexia or issues learning new skills
  • issues with memory, organisation or planning
  • a reduced ability to learn because they have difficulty managing their emotions

Communication and interaction

This is about how your child communicates with others and their relationships and social skills. SEN in this area might include:

  • speech and language difficulties
  • problems communicating with others, such as not being able to say what they want to, or having difficulties understanding what’s being said to them
  • not understanding or using social rules or how relationships with other people work
  • struggling with their relationship with you, any siblings, wider family and friends

Sensory and physical

These are physical and sensory things (over or under sensitive senses such as touch or hearing) that could make it more difficult for your child to learn in a usual school or college environment. SEN in this area might include:

  • difficulties with hearing or sight or multisensory impairment
  • sensory triggers or difficulties
  • any physical disability
  • problems with fine or gross motor skills – fine motor skills are small movement skills such as picking something up between thumb and fingers and using it, gross motor skills are larger movements such as running and jumping

Social, emotional and mental health

These kinds of difficulties can show in lots of ways, such as being withdrawn or isolated or having challenging and disruptive behaviour. Difficulties could include things like:

  • social anxiety, phobias or refusing school
  • mental health difficulties such as anxiety or depression, self-harming or an eating disorder
  • physical symptoms that there is no identified cause for
  • attention deficit hyperactive disorder (ADHD)
  • attachment disorder or difficulties
  • self-esteem and confidence issues