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Introduction

For confidentiality purposes the pupil in this case study was referred to as Sam.

This case study was based on a pupil who was demonstrating an area of delay within their social development. This area has been carefully selected from notes and close observations with Sam over a period of time. The writer has included the special education needs statement for Sam to demonstrate a detailed profile of his requirements.

The information gathered has been obtained from the school Sam is currently at. Results from key assessments subjects such as English, Reading, Writing and Maths has been collected to illustrate how Sam is performing in school (see Appendix 1). Questionnaires have been carried out on staff who work closely with Sam to provide further information about Sam’s personality and behaviour. Formal and informal observations have been conducted to observe what Sam’s characteristics and how he related to children socially in the school setting. Other documentations such as the Pivots programme has been included to support this case study.

Case study:
Sam attended a mixed, large School situated in the North East of England. The school was mixed with two classes in each year group. It was based in an area of high deprivation with a high level of unemployment with adults possessing very little or no qualifications.

The school last Ofsted report highlighted,
“Children join the school in Year 3. Assessment on entry suggests attainment broadly in line with national averages. “Pupils with SEN are high in the school, currently 24% under School Action, 7% School Action with 2% of pupils statement. Stability is generally good with many families spending their entire lives within the confines of the local Estate”. (see Appendix 0)

Sam was 7 years of age pupil and learning in Year 3. He was a special education needs pupil who was in the Autistic spectrum. Sam possessed severe learning difficulties and required a lot of one to one support in school. These included speech and language difficulties, hearing impairment and multi sensory impairment. Sam chronological age in his last Test for Reception of Grammar indicated that he was 3 years old. Sam was in full time care of his Grandparents and lived with his elder brother. Unfortunately Sam’s mother passed away last year, which he was not in the care of since birth. Sam does not have a relationship with his biological father. Sam was a well known child and he appeared to be a quite a happy boy in school. It was however observed over a period of time that Sam struggled to demonstrate good interactive skills of a boy of his age. Sam found it difficult to integrate with his peers and express his opinions fully. The Writer understood part of this would be due to his speech and language difficulty. It was observed that during social play situations or befriending children Sam lacked confidence and can easily be led astray by children who may sometimes take advantage of him. According to Jean Piaget a Theorist of cognitive development, he suggested that there are five stages that children go through and they needed for each one to be experienced in an order. Based on his theory Sam was at the ‘Sensorimotor stage’. This was based on children who were between two to six and seven years of age. This was where children started to associate words to objects and learned how to manipulate the environment. Piaget described how children applied incomplete knowledge to logic, such as explaining that trees created wind when it is blown. The Writer agreed with parts of Piaget’s five stage theory, as Sam sometimes applied incomplete knowledge to logic at times, such as birds could only fly because they were not very heavy.

Lev Vygotsky was another Theorist of cognitive development. He suggested that when children talked with more skilled and experienced learners they were able to build on their knowledge of language and awareness of a particular way of...
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