Lesson 2 – Identifying various mental or physical handicaps

Education of pupils with special educational needs (SEN) is an integral part of the European education system.

Support for these children aims at stimulating pupils’ psychological and physical development and enhancing the effectiveness of learning. It is intended to correct disorders, reduce gaps in the knowledge or skills to be acquired within the framework of a curriculum, and eliminate causes and symptoms of disorders, including behavioural disorders. It is crucial to prepare children and young people for life as full members of society (within the family, local community and labour market) by ensuring, through special methods, the most comprehensive development of pupils within their potential.

In order to ensure the effectiveness of psychological and educational support, it is necessary first to identify properly the pupil's needs and then to provide the most suitable types and methods of support which will indeed bring the expected effects.

In general, the following pupils and students are defined as those with special educational needs:

  • with long-term illness,
  • with physical disability,
  • with specific learning difficulties (including dyslexia, dysgraphia, dyscalculia and dysorthography),
  • with speech impairment,
  • with trauma-induced emotional and behavioral difficulties,
  • who are experiencing repeated educational failures,
  • who are experiencing community negligence relating to their family’s welfare, quality of spare time activities and community socializing,
  • who are experiencing adaptation difficulties resulting from cultural differences or a different educational background,
  • who are socially maladjusted and at risk of being so.