As we await the upcoming and, hopefully, comprehensive SEND review, it is reassuring to know that Members of Parliament continue to raise issues of concern. Conor McGinn MP led a debate on the treatment and study of Tourette’s syndrome (p10). Rosie Cooper MP had a first reading of her Private Member’s Bill which proposes making British Sign Language a legally recognised language (p78).
Sometimes it can be difficult to define a neurodiverse condition in a child or young person. This lack of clarity can often make it difficult for parents, carers and educators to have confidence that their support is the best approach. Lindsay Fuller (p30) considers those tell-tale signs of dyslexia in pupils that may be overlooked, whilst Karla Pretorius (p52) considers how parents and carers can adopt strategies for children and young people with suspected, but undiagnosed, autism spectrum disorders.
Even when diagnosed and understood, there are often many different approaches which can be taken when supporting a neurodiverse pupil. David Morgan (p33) describes how dyslexia can manifest in many different ways, and provides a ‘smart’ approach to identifying the best course of action for each individual child.
Building a bridge of communication and coordination between educators and parents/carers is critical in providing a unified approach to the support and education of children and young people with SEND. Nadine Huseyin (p41) provides useful tips for teaching staff on how to open and maintain those all important lines of communication.
One of the long term changes which has emerged from the last two years of educational disruption is the rapid increase in remote education through a variety of online platforms, using a wide variety of teaching methods and techniques. Laura Driver (p24) describes her experiences of teaching in a classroom setting, and online, whilst Paul Keenleyside (p45) identifies the need for the establishment of objective quality standards in the realm of online SEND education.
Moving from school to college can be a difficult transition, and it can present a number of additional hurdles for visually impaired young people. Tara Chattaway (p64) investigates the research which shows that further education institutions are often falling short in the support they provide, and have a long way to go in accommodating these students.
When young people move from education to the world of work, one often overlooked possibility for the neurodiverse person is to become self-employed. Simone McLean (p36) describes her experiences of self-employment and presents this option as a viable course of action.
If you have something to say about the topics raised in this issue, or if you have ideas for areas we should be covering, but aren’t – or just want to let us know your views and opinions – then contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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