Helping a Child With Attention Problems or ADHD: Professor Amanda Kirby discusses how to help a child with attention problems or ADHD.

A great need and challenge has recently come to my wife Tsega at the school where she is working. She has been given a child to look after one-to-one who has got SEN-Special Educational Needs which specifically I believe to be ADHD/ Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder – I will correct myself later if I am mistaken. We have started exploring a few articles, books, forums, lectures, courses, institutions etc. Later, I came across a wonderful website that has got loads and loads of information in forms of amazing lectures and interviews from and with world class experts and scientists on SEN. I would like to just start with this video that you see above just to start; but I would like to encourage you to explore the whole website and even type on the search box any topic that you would like to learn about and a whole lot of information will come at your disposal.
Website to explore:
Enjoy and you will benefit a lot from this site.
Yours as ever,
Merid Desta
About the speaker: Amanda Kirby is Medical Director of the Dyscovery Centre in Cardiff. She is a leading expert in dyspraxia (DCD) and related conditions with several best-selling books on the subject.

I know I’m not supposed to quote Wiki, but here we go – who cares as long as we can authenticate and justify the facts. Continue reading.

“Special Educational Needs (SEN)

Children who face barriers to their learning will often require additional educational intervention to support their learning. This may include what is commonly referred to as Wave 2 or Wave 3 intervention. Wave 2 intervention consists of time limited support for a child, focusing on a particular area of difficulty. This support is provided, within the classroom, with the view to accelerate progress and address misconceptions that may have developed. Wave 3 intervention consists of more individualised support designed specifically for an individual child, again, with the view to accelerate progress.

If a child or young person has not made progress despite such differentiated teaching he or she would usually be supported by a staged method of support outlined in the 2001 SEN Revised Code of Practice. A meeting would usually be arranged between key school staff such as the child’s class teacher and SENCo (special educational needs coordinator), parents and the child. Key learning objectives would be agreed and a plan made for the provision necessary to achieve these. The Code of Practice recommends an Individual Education Plan as a means of recording and reviewing this. That level of support is known as School Action and would usually result in additional support being made available for a child, such as a few hours working with an adult each week. If a child’s needs are greater or (s)he has not made sufficient progress in response to a School Action level of support then a School Action Plus level may be appropriate. This is similar to School Action but usually includes a greater level of resource and additional advice from appropriate professionals from outside the school, such as an educational psychologist or speech and language therapist.

If a child or young person’s parent(s) or educational setting believe that his or her needs cannot be met by the school’s resources they can apply to their local authority to carry out a Statutory Assessment of Special Educational Needs. If this is agreed the Statutory Assessment can lead to a Statement of Special Educational Needs. This is a document which summarises the child or young person’s needs; what learning objectives need to be addressed and what provision is necessary to achieve this. The local authority is responsible for the provision on the Statement and will provide funding and advice to the educational setting to ensure this happens. The number of children with Statements of SEN often varies according to location due to the different arrangements for supporting SEN in each authority. However the criteria for whether a statutory assessment is necessary are national and described in the 2001 SEN Revised Code of Practice. and parents have a right to appeal to the First-tier Tribunal (formerly the Special Educational Needs and Disabilities Tribunal) if they do not agree with the local authority’s decision. In most cases it is appropriate for children with statements of SEN to be educated in their local mainstream school with additional support. However it may be agreed that some children or young people with very significant needs will have their needs better met in a special school.

Figures published in 2009 showed that 17.8% of pupils in English schools have special educational needs (SEN), a proportion that has steadily grown over the last four years, from 14.9% in 2005.[1]

The previous year, in January 2008, the Department for Children, Schools and Families (DCSF) stated that some 223,600 (or 2.8 per cent) of pupils across all schools in England had statements of SEN. The percentage of pupils with statements of SEN placed in mainstream schools (nursery, primary, secondary) was 56.6 per cent. The corresponding figures for the proportion of pupils with statements of SEN placed in maintained special schools was 36.9 per cent, with 3.6 per cent in independent schools.

In 2008 there were some 1,390,700 pupils with SEN without statements representing 17.2 per cent of pupils across all schools. This is an increase from 16.4 per cent from a year earlier. Contrary to the pattern for pupils with statements of SEN, the incidence of pupils with SEN without statements is greater in primary schools (18.1 per cent) than in secondary schools (17.8 per cent).[2]

In spring of 2011, the Conservative – Liberal Democrat coalition released a new green paper entitled “Support and aspiration: a new approach to special educational needs and disability.” It looks to change the way that special needs provision is assessed. The green paper proposes a new assessment that will take all areas of a child’s needs into consideration, the ‘education, health and care plan’ would start from birth and until the age of 25. The paper also proposes that by 2014 parents would have option to have an independent budget. The consultation period is from March until June 2011 and can be completed online.”


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About Merid Desta

I am a very passionate and mature African-Ethiopian researcher/ peacebuilder/ manager/ leader/ who have been doing a research on peace and conflict in the horn of Africa. I have learned that both my under- and post-graduate studies need to be topped up with formal studies of theories and praxis of peace, conflict, justice, identity, nationalism, ethnicity, religion and other related theories. All the trusts, institutes, faith-based and other secular organisations in which I was involved in leadership, mobilising and training capacities, were committed to addressing all aspects of individuals and communities’ life. Being an advocate for all human beings to be released from their spiritual, physical, social, mental and economic poverty, with a view to enabling them to become fulfilled and responsible human beings who live up to the standard of their best capacity, was at the core of all my work and the people and teams whose ministry I led. I have been involved in interfaith; interethnic; intercultural and interdenominational peacebuilding, conflict resolution and management work in the capital. My family’s life has always been sacrificial. We have committed our lives and are preparing for more commitments to work initially among a few communities and regions in Ethiopia, Eritrea, Somalia, Sudan/ South Sudan and the surrounding regions. These nations of Eastern Africa have often been under enormous threats and incidents of civil wars, ethno-religious conflicts, genocide etc.

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