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SN - Categories of Special Needs

What you need to know to better respond.

About the Course

As Rita Pearson so eloquently and passionately put it, “Every Kid Needs a Champion”, most especially if you are a kid with a special educational need; then you need a teacher that will champion, advocate for and help support and meet your  ‘need’! Special educational support teachers, you are those champions, and here at CPD College we have scoped, engineered and assembled a course that will help you better understand and support children assessed as having a special need.

We help you get to grips with the many aspects of this huge area, from knowing and understanding the details of the many categories of SEN to the writing up of IEPs, from supporting the child with Down Syndrome to supporting the child with dyslexia. We cover all areas.

Our broad course in special education is directed towards equipping those teachers who will meet children with special educational needs, either in the classroom or school; informing and guiding their response to the child in the general setting or guiding & directing their intervention strategies/techniques if tasked with formally supporting the child’s educational development.

The course ranges across many bases, to include outlining:

  • The categories of special educational needs
  • The inclusion journey in Ireland
  • The importance of experienced and knowledgeable teachers
  • General learning disabilities, speech & language disorders, autism spectrum disorders etc.
  • A fresh look at ‘Team Teaching’ – principles, practices & pragmatics
  • A treatment of the crucial area of I.E.P.s
  • Understanding and supporting the child with Down Syndrome

Plus the provision of 200+ articles and advice sheets across the spectrum of special education to include: breaking the link between SEN and low attainment, speaking/reading/writing for the SEN child, special needs response pack, behaviour management resources, ASD good practice guide, managing social/emotional/behavioural difficulties, understanding memory difficulties etc. etc. to name but seven of the items.

If you have a SEN role in your school, then this course is definitely for you.



The online format of this course enables you to study at a time and place that best suits your own needs. 

You can access your course anytime until January 31st 2018.

Within this highly interactive web based course, a dynamic learning experience awaits, where you can interact with your fellow course participants through the in-course chat forums and communication tools provided by the CPD College learning system. 

Our friendly and knowledgeable tutors actively support each course, providing expert interaction, guidance and feedback for all participants on chat questions and assignments which call for critical reflection, self-analysis and a reasoned response. 

On successful completion of your course, you can download and print off your CPD record and certificate of completion.

We look forward to welcoming you to your course.

Learning outcomes

This course aims to:

  • Distinguish, describe and categorise various behavioural conditions that exist including ADHD and possible teaching strategies to support children with each one
  • Plan and manage an assessment & intervention process for a student suspected of having ASD
  • Understand, appraise and respond to the needs of a child with Down Syndrome
  • Describe the indicators of dyslexia and deploy measures, strategies & techniques to better help the child cope with his/her difficulty/disability
  • Discuss each other area of potential special needs support that may exist for a child in their school.
01 - Here we set out and detail the guiding principles & model of provision for supporting children with special educational needs in Ireland, including:
  • Assessment and diagnosis
  • The roles played by various people
  • Models of resource allocation
  • Differentiation for SEN
02 - We briefly identify, itemise and describe the categories of various special educational needs arising from varying degrees of disability e.g. ADHD, ADD, Autism, MGLD, Speech & Language Disorders etc. and thereafter review and illustrate a range of support strategies for teaching & learning in each diagnosed area.
03 - Deals with the crucial support offered through solid Individual Education Plans, encompassing what constitutes an IEP, the procedures that govern the development of a plan, the convening & conducting of meetings, followed by the writing, implementation and subsequent review of the IEP. Sample plans are provided for analysis.
04 - This module endeavours to impart a better understanding of and response to the child with Down Syndrome by all teachers and provides insight into how best to support the child within the class and about the school.
05 - Here dyslexia in all its detail is under the microscope. What is dyslexia? How do you screen & assess for suspected dyslexia? What are the common characteristics / indicators of dyslexia? What are the best practice approaches and interventions to deploy in support of the diagnosed child? These are some of the many questions that we explore and seek / suggest answers for in module 5.

"WOW! I came looking for ideas to support my teaching and possibly add to my repertoire of skills. What an over-powering, awe inspiring experience. Totally transformative. I got it all in this course – pedagogy, principles, practices, approaches & techniques, advice and plenty of ideas. And the course chat forums were wonderful too, great to chat with fellow teachers on a like-minded mission! And all those wonderful resources. Anyway….well done CPD College. See you again in 2018.”  - Aoife, 2017