Terminology

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Terminology

ADD (Attention Deficit Disorder)

Attention Deficit Disorder is a brain disorder, often diagnosed during childhood.
Common symptoms include inattention, easily distracted, poor working memory and impulsivity.

ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder).

Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder is a neurodevelopment disorder.
Main characteristics include short attention span / lack of concentration, difficulty listening, constant interuptions, inability to stay still, constantly fidgeting, or showing restless behaviour.

ASD (Autism Spectrum Disorder)

Autism can affect how people communicate or interact with the world around them, to varying degrees.
They may also show repetitive behaviours, be overly sensitive to light, sound, taste or touch,  be intense and highly focussed in their interests, and in severe cases can become extremely anxious, or so overwhelmed they can lose all conscious control over their behaviour.

DSA (Disabled Students Allowance)

Disabled Students’ Allowance (DSA) is financial support to cover the study-related costs you have because of a mental health problem, long-term illness or any other disability.

This can be on its own or in addition to any student finance you get.

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Dyscalculia

Dyscalculia is a specific and persistent difficulty in understanding numbers which can lead to a diverse range of difficulties with mathematics, for example difficulty in counting backwards, or weak mental arithmatic.

Dyslexia

Dyslexia is a learning difficulty that primarily effects the skills involved in accurate and fluent word reading and spelling.

EHCP (Educational Health Care Plan)

EHC plans are for those with special educational needs who require support beyond that which an educational setting can provide at SEN support.

An EHC plan is a legally binding document outlining a child or teenager’s special educational, health, and social care needs. The document has to list all of the child’s special educational needs, provision to meet each of the needs and that provision has to be specific, detailed, and quantified.

PATOSS (Professional Association of Teachers of Students with Specific Learning Difficulties.

I am a full PATOSS member which means I hold a specialist qualification in teaching and assessment of people with Specific Learning Difficulties. I’m qualified to provide diagnostic assessment and teach people with Specific Learning Difficulties.

PDA (Pathological Demand Avoidance)

‘Demand avoidance’ involves not being able to do certain things at certain times, and also refers to the things we do in order to avoid demands.

Significant demand avoidance can relate to physical or mental health; or relate to a developmental or personality condition.

Processing Disorders

A processing disorder is a deficiency in the ability to effectively use the information gathered by the senses. 

Most common are auditory processing disorder or a visual processing disorder.

Symptoms include:-

  • Significant difficulty understanding speech, especially in the presence of background noise.
  • Difficulty following multi-step directions that are presented verbally, without visual cues.
  • Easily distracted by loud or sudden sounds.
SEN (Special Educational Needs)

The term ‘Special Educational Needs‘ is used to describe learning differences, difficulties or disabilities that make it more challenging for children to learn than other children of the same age.

These can be categorised into 4 broad categories:-

  • Cognition and Learning.
  • Communication and Interaction.
  • Social, Emotional and Mental Health.
  • Sensory and/or Physical Difficulties.

Children with Special Educational Needs (SEN) are likely to need extra or different support from that given to children in mainstream education.

SENCO (Special Educational Needs Co-ordinator)

A Special Educational Needs Co-ordinator, is the school teacher who is responsible for assessing, planning and monitoring the progress of children with special educational needs and disabilities.

They will co-ordinate additional support for pupils and liaise with their parents, teachers and other professionals who are involved with them.

Working Memory

Working memory is the retention of a small amount of information in a readily accessible form. It facilitates planning, comprehension, concentration, reasoning, and problem-solving.

Working memory is responsible for many of the skills children use to learn to read.

Being able to solve math problems requires the ability to recognise patterns in numbers.  This eventually leads to the ability to remember mathematical formulas.  The ability to remember, sequence, and visualize information can be difficult for a child with weak working memory skills.

Children rely on both incoming information and information stored in working memory to do an activity. If they have weak working memory skills, it’s hard to juggle both. This can make it challenging to follow multi-step directions.

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