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It is quite common to see children and young people with an uneven profile of skills. It may be that they have 'Specific Learning Difficulties' (SpLD), that is, difficulties in one (or possibly more) areas, but not across the board.
It is important to remember that the SEND system is needs-led not diagnosis-led, although it often does not feel that way. It is important to get support for the impact of any difficulty on the individual, rather than rely on generic assumptions based on the label given. Many labels have very broad definitions and therefore tell educators or employers very little about the person.
Children grow into adults who may find their difficulties disabling in some contexts, requiring Reasonable Adjustments to be made in college, university or the workplace.
Secondary schools and colleges should have an appropriate person to carry out assessments for Access Arrangements for exams. Suitable adjustments are set out by the Joint Council for Qualifications (JCQ) and are subject to yearly changes.
University students may need a new assessment of their difficulties to make an application for Disabled Student's Allowances, and working adults may need Assistive Technology to help them with their work.
Reasonable Adjustments are subject to the individual and whether they are considered disabled under the Equality Act (2010).
Bren Prendergast Specialist Teacher (SEND)
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