The ‘SEND Code of Practice: 0-25 years’ (2014) states that there are four main areas included in Special Educational Needs and Disability. 

 These 4 areas and their meaning are as follows:







Children may have a delay or disorder in one or more of the following areas:

Attention / Interaction skills: Some children may:

• Have difficulties ignoring distractions.
• Need reminders to keep listening.
• Need regular prompts to stay on task.
• Need individualised motivation systems in order for them to complete tasks.
• Have difficulty attending in whole class sessions.
• Have problems interacting with other children or adults.
• Have peer relationship difficulties.
• Not be able to initiate or maintain a conversation


Understanding / Receptive Language:  Some children may:

• Need visual support to understand or process spoken language.
• Need augmented communication systems like Makaton or the Picture Exchange System    (PECS).
• Experience frequent misunderstandings with adults and other children.
• Repeat language they have heard without understanding it (echolalia).
• Need instructions repeated and language simplified to aid their understanding.


Speech / Expressive Language:  Some children may:

• Use simplified language and limited vocabulary.
• Be unable to express their ideas or hold a conversation without the need for frequent  clarification.
• Have some immaturities in their speech sound system.
• Have difficulties with grammar / phonological awareness which affects their achievements in  literacy.






Some children may have difficulties with the skills needed for effective learning such as: 

• Language, memory and reasoning skills.
• Sequencing and organisational skills
• An understanding of number
• Problem-solving and concept development skills
• Fine and gross motor skills
• Global delay which affects their learning in all areas
• A specific learning disability such as dyslexia, dyscalculia, dyspraxia or dysgraphia


Social, Mental
Emotional health 



Some children may have difficulties with social and emotional development which may lead to, or stem from;

• Social isolation.
• Behaviour difficulties.
• Attention difficulties (ADHD).
• Anxiety and depression.
• Attachment disorders.
• Low self-esteem.
• Issues with self-image.


Sensory and

/ or Physical



Some children may have medical or genetic conditions that lead to difficulties with:

• Gross / fine motor skills.
• Visual / hearing impairment.
• Accessing the curriculum without adaptation.
• Physically accessing the building(s) or equipment.
• Over sensitivity to noise / smells / light / touch / taste.
• Toileting / self-care.