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Practice Requirements for Children with Disabilities

2530 words (10 pages) Essay in Childcare

17/10/17 Childcare Reference this

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Formal Assessment One

OUTLINE the legal and regulatory requirements in place for children with disabilities or specific requirements.

Following the Equality Act 2010 and the Special Educational Needs (SEN) Code of Practice (2001)all establishments including those delivering education have a statutory duty to promote practice that values the individual needs of children and promotes equality and inclusion. This means that where possible children with SEN should be taught in mainstream schools or early education settings.

All children with SEN needs must be treated where possible the same as other children. Educational establishments have to ensure they have clear SEN policies in place and these need to be reviewed regularly. Children with SEN need to be offered full access to a broad, balanced and appropriate curriculum at all stages.

The governing body or management group are responsible for establishing appropriate staffing levels and funding arrangements to ensure there are enough resources both human and physical to be able to adhere to the policy.

All staff need to be aware of the individual needs of pupils and systems need to be set up to ensure the passing of information from one school phase to another. They should be involved in the development of policies and be aware of procedures for identifying, assessing and making provision for children with SEN.

The Code of practice recognises the importance of the role of parents and the child and both need to be included in the discussions for any support that is necessary and the development of targets for learning.

It is a requirement that Individual Education Plans (IEP) are drawn up to help guide the delivery of special education support and services and to identify additional or different interventions necessary from the existing curriculum to enable the child to progress. Suitable learning challenges should always be set so that children don’t become disillusioned and opt out of education. Where possible the targets should be in the child’s own words or symbols.

IEP’s need to be reviewed at least twice a year preferably termly and adaptations made in light of the child’s progress. The parents and child must always be included and present at reviews and Annual reviews should include all appropriate staff and support agencies including the next educational provider when a child is moving from one educational stage to another. Children need to be listened to and their views valued. They need to be able to express their feelings, participate in discussions and indicate their choices including when changing schools.

To assist schools external support services should be used to support the school, family and individual child. Schools need to work in partnership with LEA and the providers of their services as children with SEN are more likely to have health issues including mental health problems. Consultation is necessary as health issues maybe contributing to difficulties in school and with their ability to learn.

Many schools have put in place a SENCO who is responsible for monitoring the use of the policies in place and for coordinating the provision for children with SEN. They are responsible for the various action plans such as School Action and School Action Plus

EXPLAIN why it is important to work inclusively with children with disabilities or specific requirements

The implementation of inclusion promotes positive awareness and greater social understanding of all children and staff in an educational setting. It also provides opportunities for friendships between all children and develops comfortable interaction with those with disabilities. In a middle school I taught in there was a centre for children with disabilities. However for many lessons, breaks, lunchtimes and school trips all children were together. This enabled children to support each other and assist those with disabilities to join in the wider curriculum and to feel accepted in the school community.

Inclusion helps avoid the segregation of children with SEN and encourages children to respect each other and learn to understand those with diverse characteristics. It also encourages respect for children of all background and abilities. Being educated together builds confidence and enables those with SEN to become more positive and assertive as well as develops communication skills.

‘Inclusion does not simply mean the placement of students with disabilities in general education classes’

(Inclusive Schools Network page 1)

It is necessary for the school to make fundamental changes in the way the school community supports and addresses the individual needs of all children. This will benefit all children and enable them to flourish. Following the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities means that educational establishments must encourage respect for children with SEN. They must also permit equal access to the curriculum and adapt school for children with disabilities. This is from the physical side such as providing access for wheelchairs and children with other physical disabilities, as well as providing extra support including writers, readers, use of sign language to help with their learning and assessments.

Teachers and staff need to be able to adapt lessons to accommodate the wide range of learning styles in their classes e.g. visual, auditory and kinaesthetic. Use of computers, braille, different colour papers, various size fonts will assist the different needs of children. This will help all children to access the curriculum and encourage a positive and exciting learning environment. As a teacher I have spent many hours planning differentiated lessons that take into account the class’s varying needs. I have put work on different colour paper according to what has been identified for a child, for example yellow or green. I have made use of the interactive white board to allow children to hear and see as well as come up and use the interactive pen to enhance their understanding of a concept. Individual learning mats are also helpful as the child has the information at their desk and does not need to keep putting up their hand or feel embarrassed to ask questions.

Inclusive education creates a supportive environment for all, from providing academic support to behavioural support. There is a need for consistency throughout the school community. If the children with SEN feel part of the school they and their families will feel valued for who they are.

By developing inclusion in education, hopefully children will grow up to respect those with different needs and stop prejudices and stereotypes in wider society. Children are being prepared for their future adult life in the community, it is important to remember that “today’s classmates are tomorrow’s employers”. (Heartland Equity and Inclusion Project {n.d.} )

EVALUATE the benefits of working in partnership with parents and other professionals

It is vital to work with parents as they have day to day knowledge of their child and over the years will have found ways of dealing with their needs. Parents see the child with their own needs and characteristics. Sometimes this may be forgotten in an educational setting where there are many other children to be looked after and educated. There is also an emotional attachment between parents and their child and this needs to be respected by staff particularly if there is conflict in opinions and what is deemed to be best for the child. Some parents may have different viewpoints and opinions to that of practitioners. These will need to be discussed professionally and hopefully get an agreement.

When I have discussed issues with parents they are normally very supportive particularly if you can explain how it will benefit their child. I have normally managed to come up with suggestions that promote a positive outcome. Parents often just need guidance particularly if they are worried about how their child is progressing in the classroom. With modern technology it is often easy to show parents new apps or websites that can help them support their child at home. At one parents evening I had my IPad and was able to show a parent maths activities to help develop basic maths skills. The parent was delighted as they had not thought of using the IPad in that way.

Depending on the disability of the child will also influence what support might be needed by parents. I was involved in planning a year 7 school trip to York. All pupils were going. There was one pupil who was in a wheelchair. They were able to come with because I asked the mother if she would like to join us. She said she would and then I was able to plan the best thing for the pupil. It necessitated her being in different accommodation as the hostel couldn’t cope with her sleeping arrangements. But the rest of the trip was fine. She had a great time and all children helped support her during the trip and whilst visiting the different sites.

It must also be remembered when working with parents that they may have their own disabilities. They need to be respected and help from external agencies may be necessary to help parents attend meetings and other school events.

Depending on a child’s needs may determine what outside agencies are needed to provide support for the child and the school. For example speech and language therapists, health visitors and social workers or GP’s and paediatricians. The child can only learn if all their needs are taken into account. Schools and other educational setting may not have the expertise needed therefore outside agencies must be used as a support for the school as well as the child and their family.

Educational settings are there primarily to provide learning and knowledge and the better use of outside expertise the easier it will be for the child to access learning whilst coping with their problems. In one school I taught in a Chinese child joined. He was not able to speak or understand any English. The school provided a translator who came into classes and helped support him for a term. By the end of the academic year he was able to communicate with staff and pupils and had made very good progress academically.

DESCRIBE how practitioners can adapt their existing practice to support children with disabilities or specific requirements.

There are many different areas where adaptation needs to be made to existing practice. This is why there needs to be a whole school approach.

Firstly the learning environment to allow the child to move around safely. From putting in ramps and stair lifts to repositioning furniture in classrooms to cope with the disability of the child. The timetable of a class may need to be altered so that the lessons are in a downstairs room rather than upstairs.

The teaching resources and materials will also need to be adapted according to the needs of the individual. Worksheets may need to be changed or provided for those with learning disabilities like dyslexia. Pictures and diagrams may need to be used rather than just the written word. Vocabulary sheets can also be provided to assist with understanding. I taught one group of pupils with very low ability in maths and I printed off large posters with pictures to help them understand and for them to be able to see the information all the time. For example months of the year, times of the day. This also helped them to learn to spell important words.

I have also taught a pupil with very poor eye sight in PE. I had a ball that had a bell in it to allow her to hear it and other children helped her in small game situations. I also used larger and colourful balls when teaching throwing and catching skills. When teaching deaf children it is necessary to consider where to position the child and the teacher throughout the lesson. I have worn an audio box to allow the child to pick up what I am saying.

Providing extra support is important as well as adapting activities. A child may need help with personal care for example getting changed for PE or swimming. Depending on the lesson will determine what support or adaptation is needed.

I have included lots of group work to help children who have no confidence in maths to support each other. The children then don’t feel that they are stupid. I have taught a pupil with dyscalculia and he needed more one-to-one support that group work.

I have also taught a child who needed support in maths only when I was doing work that needed graphs drawing or the use of compasses and protractors. The rest of the time he was fine and near the top of the class. He also needed support when it was assessment time as he lacked confidence in himself. Many children with disabilities are the same.

The emotional needs of a child is also important so it may be necessary to adapt how to deal with behavioural issues that come up. The child may just need some time out or somewhere to go if they can’t cope in the classroom setting.

Adapting existing practice is challenging and the advantage of inclusion is that when all children are taught together differentiation often helps all children. Those with disabilities or specific learning requirements become part of the group and with extra support in the classroom are easier to help.

Reference List

Inclusive Schools Network, Together We Learn Better: Inclusive Schools Benefit All Children. www.inclusiveschools.org Sponsored by Stetson and Associates, Inc. Houston, TX (n.d) (accessed 04 June 2014)

Heartland Equity and Inclusion Project, Why Is Inclusion Important?

Heartland Community College (N.D.) www.heartland.edu/help/inclusion/importance.jsp (accessed 03 June 2014)

Special Educational Needs Code of Practice November 2001 Ref: DfES/581/2001

http://media.education.gov.uk/assets/files/pdf/s/special%20educational20needs%20code%20of20practice.pdf

United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities 2006

http://www.un.org/disabilities/convention/conventionfull.shtml

Cox, P.R. Dykes, M.K. ‘Effective Classroom Adaptations for Students with Visual Impairments’, in Teaching Exceptional Children July/August 2001

www.pathstoliteracy.org (accessed 30 May 2014)

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