‘Areas of Need’ Explained


The new ‘ Code of Practice’ (Oct 2013) states that there are four main areas which cover Special Educational Needs. These areas and their meanings are as follows:


Area of Special

Educational Need


Relating to difficulties with:






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

Attention / Interaction skills: May have difficulties ignoring distractions. Need

reminders to keep attention. May need regular prompts to stay on task. May need

individualised motivation in order to complete tasks. Difficulty attending in whole

class. Interaction will not always be appropriate. May have peer relationship

difficulties. May not be able to initiate or maintain a conversation.

Understanding / Receptive Language: May need visual support to understand or

process spoken language. May need augmented communication systems Frequent

misunderstandings. Repetition of language and some basic language needs to be

used to aid their understanding.

Speech / Expressive Language: May use simplified language and limited

vocabulary. Ideas / conversations may be difficult to follow, with the need to request

frequent clarification. Some immaturities in the speech sound system. Grammar /

phonological awareness still fairly poor and therefore their literacy can be affected.






May have difficulties with the skills needed for effective learning such as use


• Language, memory and reasoning skills

• Sequencing and organisational skills

• An understanding of number

• Problem-solving and concept development skills

• Fine and gross motor skills

• Independent learning skills

• Exercising choice

• Decision making

• Information processing

Children may have a specific learning disability such as dyslexia, dyscalculia,

dyspraxia or dysgraphia.



Social, Mental


Emotional health



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



These pupils may have a medical or genetic condition that could lead to

difficulties with:

• Specific medical conditions

• 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.










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