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I have come to know about the approaches to teaching children with special needs and disabilities (SEND) through the training that I received. The primary learning received by me regarding teaching was that not all the children in this category have disabilities, which limits their physical or mental abilities to learn. I make sure to provide all the children with SEND equal access to the curriculum and educational materials and customize it to suit their individual needs to facilitate learning (Benton & Johnson, 2015). My approach to teaching in this regard is by following the code of practice and continuous communication with the children and their parents along with the therapists. I undertake the approach of setting individual targets of learning with the students and share the same with the parents. I also make sure to communicate all the details of the response and progress of the children with all the other teachers. The Special Educational Needs and Disability Regulations (2014) in this regard shaped my teaching approaches.
I have emphasized including the children in all the programs of the school for enabling them to achieve and develop personally along with celebrate. Addressing the children with SEND with their names is essential for ensuring greater understanding and attention along with making the teaching environment focused to restrict distractions (Cline, 2018). I also ensure that the children are provided quite-time to ensure that they are not stressed and apply consistent rules applicable to everyone. I believe that I can gain further experience in the area of making children with SEND understand their abilities fully and provide enhanced personal attention by understanding their personal needs. Additional scope of improvement lies for me in the area of enabling the children with SEND to improve their self-esteem and identify the children needing special attention at the earliest (Galloway, 2018). Additional development is required to identify children who need special attention due to their circumstances.
The SEND Code of Practice governs the approach that is to be taken by the schools and authorities to engage with the students having special educational needs or disabilities (Gov, 2015). The guidelines identify a young person till the age of 25 which exceeds the normal compulsory school age of 16. The codes indicate the compulsion of the teachers associated with SEND to regard the perspectives of the children and their parents along with ensuring their participation in decisions (Hodkinson, 2015). The greatest challenge for the teachers to meet the SEND Code of Practice according to my perception includes engaging constantly with the parents and providing them all the minute details of the developments of the child and the tests that are provided. This is a very time-consuming task when done individually and creates a barrier between the teachers and the parents. Working with the agencies is also a challenge for the teachers of children with SEND as a lack of proper communication and coordination can lead to greater mental health difficulties for the children (Hornby, 2015). I will address such conditions by forming a procedure of keeping tabs on conversations and progress reports with the agencies and the parents to relieve any confusion and ensure the rapid progress of the children.
The needs of the children with SEND can be met effectively by considering the principle of supporting the young person and their parents for ensuing the cumulative development of the child and providing them with the best educational outcomes. This principle supports the Code of Practice for SEND and is a top priority to be considered for further endeavors in supporting children with special needs or disabilities (Skrzypiec, et al., 2016). I believe that having a greater understanding of the need for providing support to the parents of the child along with the young person is crucial for creating the appropriate framework for the development of the child. This is done through the creation of synergy of the efforts of the agencies, teachers, and parents to provide maximum benefit to the child (Upton, 2018). I think that providing proper support to the parents and guiding them through is essential for preparing them to handle the child with SEND at maximum times while they are at home so that proper guidance is provided to effectively transition the child to adulthood. This would make the children employable and enable them to live independently.
The activities associated with teaching the children with SEND have enriched my perspectives on the effective relationships between the teaching assistants (TAs) and the teachers. I have come to know that, TAs are the ones who work in close collaboration with the teachers to detail the individual progress and characteristics or condition of the children with SEND (Gov, 2015). TAs ensure consistency of learning and progress of the children as they ensure the inclusion of all the young persons in the class and provide them crucial assistance to be self-independent in learning. The activities related to the assessment of the children have enriched my perspectives on the interdependency of the teachers, and the TAs as it would be difficult to keep track of the learning objectives and concepts taught in the class along with the individual understanding, and additional assistance needs of the pupils (Galloway, 2018).
As per my experience from the activities, the TAs perform the vital function of remodeling the coursework and re-explaining the curriculum to the pupils after the classes taken by the teachers to collaborate widely with the teachers and the parents to ensure the educational success of the students. As per my experience, the TAs collaborate with the teachers to adapt the learning of the children as per their level of understanding and regularly. The teachers taking classes for the children with SEND are required to be accountable for the progress of the pupils and the development stage. The teachers are also responsible for the education and training received by the children from teaching assistants and specialist staff (Upton, 2018). This has enabled me to collaborate with the teaching assistants and the other staff along with the healthcare workers and parents to shape the individual curriculum for the children along with their specific learning goals.
Benton, L. & Johnson, H., 2015. Widening participation in technology design: A review of the involvement of children with special educational needs and disabilities. International Journal of Child-Computer Interaction, 1(1), pp. 23-40.
Cline, T., 2018. The Assessment of Special Educational Needs: International Perspective. 2nd ed. London: Routledge.
Galloway, D., 2018. Schools, pupils and special educational needs. 4th ed. London: Routledge.
Gov, 2015. Special educational needs and disability code of practice: 0 to 25 years. [Online] Available at: https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/398815/SEND_Code_of_Practice_January_2015.pdf[Accessed 28 May 2020].
Hodkinson, A., 2015. Key issues in special educational needs and inclusion. 3rd ed. London: Sage.
Hornby, G., 2015. Inclusive special education: development of a new theory for the education of children with special educational needs and disabilities. British Journal of Special Education, 2(1), pp. 234-256.
Peer, L. & Reid, G. e., 2016. Special educational needs: A guide for inclusive practice. 2nd ed. London: Sage.
Skrzypiec, G., Askell-Williams, H., Slee, P. & Rudzinski, A., 2016. Students with self-identified special educational needs and disabilities (si-SEND): Flourishing or languishing. International Journal of Disability, Development and Education, 1(1), pp. 7-26.
Upton, G., 2018. Staff training and special educational needs. 2nd ed. London: Routledge.