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ADD/ADHD Information - Scotland
SCHOOL BASED STAFF
The head teacher has overall responsibility for managing the school, including provision for special educational needs. In large schools s/he may delegate responsibility for provision for special educational needs to a member of the school's senior management team. Where the head teacher retains responsibility for provision for SEN within the school, s/he will allocate resources to support children's learning and will liaise with class/subject teachers and learning support teachers. S/he will also co-ordinate, and often chair, reviews (such as those involving Records of Needs) and will gather views from those within the school involved in your child's education, such as teachers, auxiliaries and learning support teachers. S/he will also deal with any concerns you may have which can't be resolved at class level.
The class or subject teacher may be the first to identify your child has special educational needs. As part of the assessment and review process, s/he will be asked to state your child's strengths and weaknesses. S/he will be invited to discuss how the needs of the child can be met in the classroom and what additional support may be necessary. The teacher's views may be given in writing and/or by attending meetings.
The teacher is also responsible for the day to day monitoring of changes in your child's development, and will keep a written note on file.
Learning Support Teacher
Support for learning teachers have five main roles:
a. Advising other members of staff on the full range of learning strategies, methods and resources;
b. Teaching co-operatively with class and subject teachers to offer the most effective combination of class and individual work;
c. Offering tutorial support to individuals and small groups of pupils who require intensive help, through observation, assessment and direct teaching;
d. Providing a range of special services eg. support for pupils after a period of hospitalisation or return from residential education, dealing with external agencies, etc;
e. Delivering training for other staff members.
Their role will vary between areas and even between classes in the same school. Staffing levels also vary widely. Some support teachers are attached to single schools or clusters of schools. Others are part of teams or networks and are
brought in to schools according to a particular need.
Auxiliaries or Support Assistants
An auxiliary may work with your child if this is considered necessary. They may assist in the classroom, during breaks and at the start or end of the day, etc. Their work is based on the advice of other professionals such as the class teacher, educational psychologist and the learning support teacher. Increasingly auxiliaries work with a group of children, rather than just one.
The role of the assistant is to help the classroom teacher with tasks in the classroom. This could involve working with a group of children for reading lessons, preparing resources for a lesson, supervising activities, etc. They are not specifically employed to support children with special educational needs, but to assist the teacher in more general ways.
EDUCATIONAL SUPPORT STAFF
Officer of the Education Authority/Pupil Support
If your child is being considered for a Record of Needs, an officer will be appointed to give you information, for instance about local pre-school services in your area.
Education officers are also the professionals within the local authority who will take decisions about what level of support your child will receive, taking into account recommendations given by other professionals.
In most Scottish local authorities, there is likely to be a Pupil Support or Support for Learning Department (or equivalent) that could help provide advice and support or assist in resolving disagreements where these cannot be dealt with by school staff.
Educational psychologists employed by the local authority usually work for Education Psychological Services. They may work with your child at any time from birth to 19 if it is thought your child has special educational needs. They will assess your child's progress, taking into account academic progress as well as social, emotional and behavioural issues. They can provide help and advice to individual families and school staff. For instance they will introduce teachers to a variety of techniques to help pupils with special educational needs. They will also help the school management team to develop policies for children with special educational needs. If a Record of Needs is being considered the educational psychologist will often gather assessment reports from other professionals as well as undertaking their own assessment. S/he will then make recommendations about what support it is felt a child should have to meet their special educational needs. S/he may chair Record of Needs meetings. The educational psychologist can also provide reports for children attending a Children's Panel or for young people attending Court.
Pre-school Home Visiting Teachers
The role of the home visiting teacher varies between areas, and not all areas have this service. Teachers with experience of early child development would visit your home to assist your child to learn and develop before s/he goes to school. Priority is given to children nearest school entry age, although referrals can usually be made from birth.
Some common aspects of their work include:
a. giving advice and information on child development and educational placement;
b. identification and assessment of special educational needs;
c. empowering parents and increasing their confidence in their parenting skills;
d. helping parents to focus on the positives and maximise their child's potential;
e. knowledge of the education system and local networks.
Education Welfare Officer
Some local authorities in Scotland run an education welfare service. Here, an education welfare officer works with young people, their families and school staff when there is concern over attendance or other welfare issues. S/he would explore the issues involved, and help plan ways to address them. The education welfare officer also has a role in assisting communication between the home and school if this has been a problem in the past.
Director of Education (or equivalent)
The Director will deal with situations that have not been resolved by other educational professionals, for instance resolving complaints or deciding on what resources should be given to your child. S/he may not be able to attend meetings about your child but will advise other professionals involved where necessary.
Visiting (or peripatetic) teacher of the deaf or visually impaired
The visiting (peripatetic) teacher provides educational support to children and young people with sensory impairments, their teachers and parents/carers, often from pre-school onwards. The teacher may visit home or school, or both, and aims to ensure that the hearing and visual requirements of your child are met to ensure academic and social inclusion.
PROFESSIONALS IN OTHER SETTINGS
If it is decided that your child should undergo an assessment for a Record of Needs the medical officer is required by law to provide a medical assessment at which you are entitled to be present. They will also prepare a report for a Future Needs Assessment.
School Nurse and/or Doctor
School nurses are involved with health promotion and education, prevention of ill health, immunisation, health surveillance and screening. They will inform parents and the family doctor if further action is considered necessary. The school nurse acts as an important link between home and school. Although the nurse may work in several schools she visits each school regularly and discusses with school staff whether any pupil has a health need requiring attention. The school nurse links with other members of the health team in the community or hospital, as well as other agencies such as education and Social Work. The school nurse can advise on issues such as bedwetting, soiling, emotional and behavioural
The school doctor can give advice on a range of issues relating to your child's SEN. For example:
a. how your child's condition might affect learning;
b. things to think of when planning trips;
c. issues about medication.
The school doctor will sometimes attend review meetings. You can contact the school doctor or nurse through the school, usually the school secretary, or contact your local community child health service.
Community Learning Disability Nurses (CNLD)
These nurses offer specialist support and advice to people with learning difficulties and the people who care for them. In some parts of Scotland these nurses work with children as well as adults. CNLDs work closely with school medical officers, school nurses, teachers, educational psychologists and health visitors in their work with school aged children. They can provide assessment, support and advice on a range of issues.
Problems identified at the time of referral are varied but commonly present as behavioural problems of one kind or another. The nurses are also commonly asked to assist with sleep problems, continence management and, with older children, issues relating to personal development.
A number of different therapists exist to assist some children with special educational needs develop functional skills. Such professionals can include speech and language therapists, physiotherapists and occupational therapists.
Often therapists will work with your child in the school, generally in a specially designated room. Increasingly therapists are seeking to transfer skills to parents and staff working daily with pupils. Exercises can then be provided regularly and do not depend on the presence or availability of the therapist. In reality, many areas have a shortage of therapists and there can be long waiting lists to access these services. The school doctor or your own GP can be consulted about
therapy services for your child.
You should contact your local social work office if you would like to find out about available social could include respite/short breaks, holiday help, advocacy, befriending, money or benefits advice, etc. If you or your child feel socially isolated, they may also be able to link you up to local social groups. They can carry out an assessment of your or your child's needs for social support, and can help you to access a range of services from other agencies, for example suitable housing or adaptations to your existing house.
If your child is being considered for a Record of Needs and a social worker is involved with your family, they can assist you or your child to contribute views and/or may provide a report along with other professionals.
At the stage of Future Needs Assessment a social worker will be asked to attend to give an opinion as to whether your child is considered 'disabled' under the terms of the Disabled Persons Act. If so, your son/daughter will be able to access
community care services. You can request that a social worker does not attend if you feel strongly about this.
Further/Higher Education Staff
Many further and higher education institutions have a Disability or Special Needs Advisor. They can help you to find appropriate courses, accommodation, funding, aids and equipment, etc. They may attend Future Needs Assessment meetings.
The careers advisor will be able to advise you and your child on options available on leaving school. This will include information on further education, specialist courses to help a student live more independently, employment opportunities and other options such as day care. They are involved with your child while they are in school and college and can also offer advice after your child leaves school.
A key worker may be available from your local careers service to assist your son/daughter access education or training opportunities upon leaving school. They will work closely with your son/daughter and support them at all stages of
finding and accessing suitable post-school placements.
See also Social Worker.
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