There are four categories of special educational needs and disabilities.

Cognition and Learning – this refers to the thinking skills and thought processes that a child has acquired. Learning needs can differ between subjects and situations.

Communication and Interaction – this refers to speech, language and communicating. This can also include Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) and other diagnosed conditions.

Sensory and Physical – this can include hearing loss/impairment, visual impairment, sensory processing difficulties and physical difficulties. There is a variety of reasons for these needs including congenital conditions, injury or disease.

Social, Emotional and Mental Health this is a broad term which refers to the social interactions, emotional well-being and mental health of pupils.


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