How Psychological Theory Can Support Individuals with Additional Needs

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Describe, analyse and evaluate how psychological theory can support individuals with additional needs within an environment. The wide range of Special educational needs (SEN) , meaning schools have to be adaptable and diverse to cater for the wide range of additional needs. This essay will briefly describe the range of SEN and outline how historical findings, government strategies and different psychological theories have changed the way SEN are approached. Types of SEN:

‘Autism was first described by the American Leo Kanner in 1943’ (Hodder Arnold., 2002.,) Students with Autism are known to suffer from social problems and find it hard to understand different social situations so would need consistency and routine in their lives along with extensive group exercises. Asperger's Syndrome is another form of autism and students with the syndrome will have many of the symptoms of those with autism however they are usually better at holding conversation and are not quite as detached from the world. As it is an Impairment of social skills so those with the syndrome would need constant attention and social communication. ADD (attention Deficit Disorder) and ADHD (Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder) are also very common, although children with ADHD or ADD are easily distracted and can be very hyper ADHD has no relation to intelligence. (NHS Choices) Children with ADHD/ADD need structure and clear communication, along with rewards and consequences for their behaviour to help overcome the symptoms. Global developmental affects 1% to 3% of children ( this condition is a delay in two or more of the learning processes such as speech or social interaction. There are also many types of physical SEN including conditions such as Cerebral palsy which affects the unconscious ability to contract or relax muscle (NHS Choices). Another very common SEN is Down syndrome which is a disorder ‘in which a person has an extra chromosome 21’ (Hodder Arnold., 2002) An Introduction to Children With Special Needs.) this SEN may require a lot of adaption in an educational setting as cases can vary and differ in many ways and people with Down syndrome usually have delayed development which would require the curriculum to be adapted to suit their learning. The two SEN I have decided to focus on are Dyslexia as well as children who are gifted and talented as I they are very prominent in schools as well as being an area of personal interest to me. Dyslexia, Dyspraxia And Dyscalculia are all from the Greek language and all affect learning in different areas those with Dyscalculia will have trouble with numbers, those with Dyspraxia will have physical difficulties and those with Dyslexia will have trouble with words. Students who are gifted and talented may not have any difficulties learning but still have SEN as Hodder Arnold highlights ‘the schools inspectorate (OFSTEAD) has highlighted the fact that often the most able children in schools are not receiving satisfactory education’. Meaning the higher attaining student’s are not being challenged.

History of SEN:
In the last fifty years many changes have been towards the education of students with SEN many of which have had positive advantages and have given those with SEN more options and learning opportunities. In the early 20th century SEN were viewed from the medical model perspective which focused on those with defects rather than normality and children were given cate¬gories according to their diagnostics emphasising their problems rather than their potential. In 1944 the Education reforms act split SEN into 11 categories in order to decide the appropriate measures that could be put in place to assist them. The 11 categories were vague and didn’t specifically target any diagnosed SEN, dyslexia would have been under the category of Specific Learning Disabilities (SLD). The act did not mention those who are gifted and talented. The 60’s and 70’s behaviourists approached children...
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