Supporting Children with Additional Needs

Supporting Learners with Special and Additional Needs
This page is designed to help you support your child with SEN or additional needs with remote learning. Please see below some tips, resources and websites that may help to support your child at this time. 
Making a Routine
Establish a daily routine. Routines provide reassuring structure and purpose.
A visual timetable or checklist can be a useful tool so that everyone understands the plan. The remote learning pages flow nicely into the next activity. However, your child may need to take more short breaks in-between work tasks. A timer on a watch, phone or Youtube can help transition your child from break back to work. 


Visual Timetables and Timers
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  A child struggling with dyslexia can feel very frustrated. This may result in challenging behaviour or emotional withdrawal. Such reactions can affect learning even more and are upsetting for everybody.
 Try to build your child's confidence, by balancing praising efforts and strengths, with sensitive constructive criticism to help improve skills. Show you understand their difficulties, but know they can overcome when they learn and practise some brilliant strategies. 

Tips for Working at Home


1. Use a colour overlay for reading

 Visual Stress is a reality for about 30% of the population. It can cause headaches, migraines, reading discomfort and distortion of text that can vary from mild to so severe that reading is seriously impaired or even prevented. Use a colour overlay (this could be a coloured ruler or small piece of coloured transparent plastic) to place over text whilst reading.

2. Use a ruler to focus on one line at a time when reading. 

For some individuals, words can become blurred and appear to move on the page. Using a ruler can help people who struggle with reading focus on a single line. 

3. Reduce Time Spent Reading or Writing

 You can break things down into chunks and allow for small breaks to reduce stress.  

4. Record your Ideas

 Use a voice recorder on a phone or tablet to record ideas before you write them. This will help your child remember what they wanted to write down as well as making work more interesting.

5. Mind Maps and Bullet Points help to Organise Ideas

Work together with your child to encourage ideas and set their ideas out in a way that is best for them. 

6. Use Audio Books to Encourage a Love for Stories 

Books and reading should be an enjoyable experience. Take away the stress and pressure and enjoy an audiobook with your child. 

7. Use Technology to Type Some Pieces of Work

A word processor can reduce the physical demand of writing and spelling correction software can help to see which words need to be checked. 

8. Share the effort

Children who struggle with reading will become anxious and try to avoid reading at times. Take it slowly, you could share the reading by taking it in turns to read. You read a page and then your child can read a page. 
 Students who have a specific learning disability in math can struggle with both simple and complex math topics.  

1. Talk or Write Out a Problem

For the dyscalculic student, math concepts are simply abstracts, and numbers mere marks on a page. Talking through a problem or writing it down in sentence form can help with seeing relationships between the elements. Even restating word problems in a new way can help with organizing information and seeing solutions.

2. Draw the Problem

Drawing the problem can also help visual learners to see relationships and understand concepts. Students can “draw through” the problem with images that reflect their understanding of the problem and show ways to solve it.

3. Break Tasks Down into Subsets

Dyscalculic students can easily get overwhelmed by a complex problem or concept, especially if it builds on prior knowledge — which they may not have retained. Separating a problem into its component parts and working through them one at a time can help students focus, see connections and avoid overload.

4. Focus on One at a Time 

Students can become highly anxious seeing 20 Maths problems on one page, especially if one sum is hard enough. Cover up the other problems using a blank piece of paper and work through them one at a time. This is an easy yet helpful technique for many dyscalculic students.  

5. Use “Real-Life” Cues and Physical Objects

Relating math to the practicalities of daily life can help dyscalculic students make sense of concepts and see the relationships between numbers. Props like measuring cups, rulers,  and countable objects that students can manipulate can make math concepts less abstract.

5.  Use Maths Resources 

A number line, a 100 square or a times table grid can increase children's confidence in tackling mathematical problems independently. Please see the printable resources below. 

1. Use a Visual Timetable 

Children with Autism need structure and routine. A visual time table can reduce anxieties about the day ahead and is a reassuring tool to use to lay out expectations. You can use the printable timetable on this page. Cut it out and lay out the images in order and remove what they have completed. You could also use a schedule to tick or make your own that is appropriate to your child. 

2. Create a Working Space

You might want to set up a specific space where children to their work tasks. They may have one in their classroom already in the likes of a 'work station'. Each child is different so you can ask them to help set one up. 

3. Understand Sensory 

 Be aware of your child’s sensory needs and support them in managing that need to help them learn e.g. sound reducing earphones if noise is a problem, comfortable clothes, keep the area surrounding the work space clear to avoid over-stimulation etc.

4. Take Brain/ Sensory Breaks 

Taking breaks is important when working hard. Check out our sensory box ideas below for some nice ideas. For other sensory break ideas see below. 

5. Play Games Together 

-          Play lots of games with your child to encourage social skills, such as taking turns and winning and losing.

Calming activities 

See below some calming activities. There are thousands to choose from online. 
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Sensory Support and Ideas 

Sensory Toys

These sensory/fidget toys were bought from local bargain shops. They do not have to be expensive and we can loan packs to families. 

Ear Defenders 

Ear defenders and noise cancelling headphones can be a great way to block out unwanted noise and distractions. 

Safe Space 

A safe space can be helpful when children are cannot regulate their emotions or feel overwhelmed. Above is a dark den and below is a pillow fort. Either can work fine. 
Fine and Gross Motor 
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External Agencies and Support 

During these challenging times, we are still working with outside agencies to support families and children. We continue to work with the ADHD Foundation who can offer some on line training and support, those children who are supported by the Speech and Language Therapist can continue to receive this remotely or by phone and with CAMHS though our Mental Health School Support work. Our ELSA (emotional literacy support assistants) offer one to one sessions for those children who need help with their mental health and wellbeing. We also signpost families to agencies such Koala to support with managing children’s behaviour at home during lockdown. Our school website is regularly updated with resources, support ideas and links. 



Wirral SEND Partnership (SEND IASS) provides free and confidential impartial information, advice and support to disabled children and young people, and those with SEN, and their parents. Wirral SEND Partnership also covers other issues related to special educational needs/disability (SEND) such as health and social care issues.
Useful Websites

Speech Langauge and Communication and Interaction 

Social, Emotional and Mental Health


Cognition and Learning




Sensory and Physical Needs


If you would like some more useful websites and specific tips and advice please look at the SEND Support and Advice for parents/carers below.