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We are very proud to work with some fantastic special educational needs schools and residential homes across the West Midlands, as well as some amazing SEN teachers and support staff. We understand that working with children with special needs can at times be challenging but know that ultimately it’s very rewarding.
Throughout the year we try hard to give back to the schools and the staff that support us. Most recently we hosted a SEN football tournament which saw 12 schools compete and take home trophies. However, today we’d like to do our bit to support those working in the special needs schools by sharing our top tips.
Depending on the disability, some children may need to be eased into social interaction. It’s good to bear in mind that different children may react differently and while some may embrace it, others may find it daunting. Our advice would be to take things slowly. If you are new to the child, then start by introducing yourself and explaining how you will be helping them, this will help them to feel as comfortable as possible. After a short while, when you know them better, you’ll learn how to get the best from them and be able to provide more encouragement.
It’s important to keep a close eye on your pupils as at times those with SEN struggle to verbalise discomfort. By monitoring each child closely you should be able to spot clues that indicate that they are unhappy or stressed. Addressing the situation early on will ensure that less disruption is caused.
You may not always be working with the same child, especially if you are a Teaching Assistant or Learning Support Assistant, however, it’s important that you are using the right methods for the right child. It goes without saying that the same teaching method will not work for every child. For example, an Autistic child will have different needs than a child with an emotional and behavioural disorder.
Like all children, children with SEN need consistency. Keeping a consistent routine can be crucial to their development and overall happiness. With that said, it’s important to be organised and to always plan ahead to create minimal disruption to that routine and keep children thriving and smiling.
Working with SEN children can have its ups and downs. Surprises can happen that can turn a good day to a bad day very quickly and vice versa. Keeping calm and staying positive is tough but it’s the best way to get pupils back on track and focused on learning. Afterall getting stressed never helped anyone!
If you need some more help or advice, get in touch, don’t forget that our consultants are here to help. Many of our staff are trained to deal with children with SEN and will have even more tips for you to help you, help the students.