This page has information on the common words and phrases used when talking about Special Educational Needs and Disability.
Common terms for types of special educational needs and/or disability.
Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is the name for a range of similar conditions, including Asperger syndrome, that affect a person's social interaction, communication, interests and behaviour. NHS Choices has more information.
If your child has been diagnosed with an illness, disability or sensory impairment that needs a lot of additional support for them to live day to day, they might be described as having “complex needs”. A child might have complex needs from birth, or following an illness or injury. NHS Choices has more information.
A child may be described as having global developmental delay (GDD) if they have not reached certain milestones in all areas of development (called developmental domains). Contact A Family has more information.
Epilepsy is a condition that affects the brain and causes repeated seizures. NHS Choices has more information.
Hearing Impairment, Deafness, or hearing loss, happens when one or more parts of the ear are not working effectively. Find out more from NDCS.
People with a moderate learning difficulty/disability are likely to have some language skills that mean they can communicate about their day to day needs and wishes. Some people may need more support caring for themselves, but many will be able to carry out day to day tasks. Find out more from BILD.
People with profound and multiple difficulty/disabilities may have the highest levels of care needs in our communities. They may have other disabilities such as visual, hearing or movement impairments, or they may have autism or epilepsy. Most people in this group need support with mobility and many have complex health needs requiring extensive support. They may have considerable difficulty communicating, doing so non-verbally, and characteristically have very limited understanding. In addition, some people may need support with behaviour that is seen as challenging. Find out more from BILD.
Physical disability or Mobility Difficulties means there are limitation on a person's physical functioning, mobility, dexterity or stamina due to an physical impairment (e.g. cerebral palsy).
People with a severe learning difficulties/disability often use basic words and gestures to communicate their needs and many need a high level of support with everyday activities, but they may be able to look after some if not all of their own personal care needs. Some people may have additional medical needs and some need support with mobility issues. Find out more from BILD.
Previously know as Behavioural, Emotional & Social Difficulties (BESD), Social, Emotional, Mental Health Needs (SEMH) difficulties is an overarching term for children who demonstrate difficulties with emotional regulation and/or social interaction and/or are experiencing mental health problems.
Specific Learning Difficulties (or SpLDs), affect the way information is learned and processed. They can have significant impact on education and learning and on the acquisition of literacy skills. (e.g dyslexia or dyspraxia). Find out more from British Dyslexia Association.
Children with SLCN may have difficulty with only one speech, language or communication skill, or with several. Children may have difficulties with listening and understanding or with talking or both. Each child also has a unique combination of strengths. This means that every child with SLCN is different. Find out more from Afasic.
Visual impairment is a decreased ability to see to a degree that causes problems not fixable by usual means, such as glasses. Find out more from NHS Choices.
This page has information for residents in the City of Bristol. Find out about what other Local Authorities do.
Last Update 8 May 2017 by Findability Team.
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