SEN Support

ALP Schools cater for various special educational needs and comorbid diagnosis.

We understand that both young people and family members sometimes need more information on these. 

Click on the links and you will find more information about the mentioned special educational needs and some useful links to helpful websites. This list is not exhaustive and there are many other special educational needs. These are some of the most common that ALP Schools cater for:


Autistic Spectrum Condition (ASC) is also referred to as Autistic Spectrum Disorder (ASD)

Autistic Spectrum Condition can cause difficulties with:

  • Flexibility of thinking
  • Social communication
  • Social interaction

ASC / ASD is a developmental difficulty which causes people to lack interest in others, not develop social communication and interaction skills and can result in a child or young person becoming isolated.

The impact of ASD / ASC varies, not least because the difficulty exists on a spectrum. It is very important that a person with ASD / ASC is identified as soon as possible to ensure that the nature and extent of their difficulties are understood.

Support for ASD / ASC will almost always amount to special educational provision such as ALP Schools. Support with social communication, social stories and small group work are examples of strategies we may use. This can be supported by specialist teachers and speech and language therapists.

Some further useful information can be found here:


Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) is a group of behaviours that affect a person’s ability to concentrate and control impulsivity. Typically, ADHD is one of three forms:

  • Inattentive ADHD
  • Impulsive ADHD
  • A combination of both

ADHD tends to be diagnosed when a child is relatively young. The NHS indicates that typical diagnosis range is from 6 – 12 years old.

ADHD has a very different impact for each child or young person. In our experience, ADHD will always qualify as being a special educational need because children or young people with ADHD tend to need support which is additional, or different, to that provided to pupils without ADHD.

Some useful further information can be found here:

Asperger’s Syndrome 

Asperger’s syndrome is an Autistic Spectrum Condition (ASC) otherwise referred to as an Autistic Spectrum Disorder (ASD).

The key difference between Asperger’s and ASD / ASC is the lack of a language disorder and/ or the lack of a learning difficulty. 

Asperger’s syndrome is often referred to as a difficulty with social skills. That is because people with Asperger’s syndrome will typically have difficulties with social communication, social interaction and social imagination.

Like all ASCs / ASDs, Asperger’s cannot be cured. However, children and young people with Asperger’s may be supported with special educational provision to help them develop social communication, interaction and imagination skills.

Asperger’s syndrome can have a significantly different impact. It is crucial to understand the impact of Asperger’s on the child or young person in question. Commonly, children and young people with Asperger’s have special educational needs, because they require special educational provision. 

Some further useful information can be found here:

Behavioural Difficulties 

Children and young people with behaviour difficulties tend to show emotional or behavioral responses which are different from that generally accepted. 

If a child or young person is demonstrating behavioural difficulties they may be said to have Emotional Behavioural Difficulties (EBD) or Social, Emotional and Behavioural Difficulties (SEBD). In England this has also been classified as Social, Emotional and Mental Health Difficulties (SEMH). Effective work towards the latter of these is one of our schools key components of being a healthy school.

Children and young people with behavioural difficulties often present with disruptive behaviour anti-social behaviour, aggression and difficulties maintaining relationships 

Some children and young people with behavioural difficulties require specially designed environments. They will often need smaller groups with familiar peers, where extra support can be offered. Structure and routine can also be crucial. All of our schools offer this support. 

Some further useful information can be found here:


Dyscalculia is a specific learning difficulty which causes a child or young person to have difficulties developing mathematical skills and understanding.

The effect of Dyscalculia can vary significantly, meaning that special educational provision needs to be planned carefully. It is very common for Dyscalculia to link with Dyslexia . It is rare for Dyscalculia to exist in isolation.

Common symptoms of dyscalculia are:

  1. Delay in counting.
  2. Delay in using counting strategies for addition
  3. Difficulties in memorising arithmetic facts and rules

Further useful information can be found here:


Dyslexia is a specific learning difficulty which can make it difficult to understand words and language. It has very strong links with Dyscalculia, Dysgraphia and ADHD.

Common features of Dyslexia are:

  • Confusing letters like b and d, either in reading or writing
  • Missing letters out when trying to spell a word
  • Reading very slowly and hesitantly and lacking fluency.
  • Leaving out whole sections of text when reading, or re-reading the same section.
  • Putting letters and figures the wrong way round;
  • Poor organisation skills and time management skills;
  • Poor memory and concentration

Further useful information can be found here:

Moderate Learning Difficulties 

Moderate learning difficulties can affect all areas of learning and may be as a result of an underlying condition, brain condition or brain injury.

A child or young person with moderate learning difficulties can present with the following difficulties:

  • learning new skills
  • learning social skills
  • communication
  • poor memory
  • poor attention span

Further useful information can be found here:

OCD (Obsessive Compulsive Disorder)

Obsessive compulsive disorder is a mental health condition which is often linked to anxiety.

A person with obsessive compulsive disorder struggles with obsessive thoughts about a particular issue. This then leads to the person having to follow a pattern of behaviours in order to relieve the anxiety associated with the thoughts.

The impact of obsessive compulsive disorder can vary significantly. It can be extremely disruptive to a child or young person’s ability to access learning and engage with education. That is because the obsessive thought, and associated anxiety, can be highly distracting. The compulsive behaviour can also interrupt a child or young person’s learning.

Further useful information can be found here:

PDA (Pathological Demand Avoidance)

Pathological demand avoidance is a  developmental disorder  related to autism .

Pathological demand avoidance is increasingly controversial, with a number of local health groups refusing to recognise it as a condition in its own right. This is causing children and young people difficulties in securing adequate special educational provision.

Children and young people with pathological demand avoidance (PDA) can come across as being manipulative and appear to have good social skills. Pathological demand avoidance can be linked with anxiety. Children and young people with PDA seek social control in order to avoid demands being placed on them. As such, their controlling behaviour is a result of anxiety related with demands being placed on them.

A person with pathological demand avoidance does not display typical signs of autism, such as avoidance eye contact.  

Children and young people often display the following behaviours:

  • Distracting others to prevent demands being placed on them
  • Coming up with excuses for not complying with a demand
  • Creating fictional reasons for not being able to comply with a demand
  • Using noises to ‘drown out’ the demand
  • Lashing out in response to a demand

Further useful information can be found here:

Sensory Processing Disorder 

Sensory processing disorder is a condition which affects the way that the brain receives and interprets sensory information. It has also been referred to as Sensory integration disorder (SID)

A child with sensory processing disorder will struggle with responding to sensory stimulation. It can affect sight, touch and/or movement.

Support for sensory processing disorder is likely to include occupational therapist, speech and language therapist, physiotherapy, specialist teaching and equipment and adapted learning environments. Some of these are offered within our schools and others are accessed via partnership work with external organisations. 

Further useful information can be found here:

Speech, Language and Communication Difficulties 

Speech, language and communication needs (SLCN) encompasses a wide range of difficulties such as a speech delay, autism or Down’s syndrome.

A child with speech, language and communication needs:

  • Might have speech that is difficult to understand
  • They might struggle to say words or sentences
  • They may not understand words that are being used, or the instructions they hear
  • They may have difficulties knowing how to talk and listen to others in a conversation

Further useful information can be found here:

Tourette’s Syndrome

Tourette’s syndrome is a condition which affects the brain and central nervous system. It results in a person losing control over their movements and speech. The involuntary movements or vocalisations are generally referred to as ‘tics’.

The current support for Tourette’s syndrome tends to be cognitive behaviour therapy and, occasionally, speech and language therapy.

Teaching a child or young person how to manage their tics will amount to special educational provision. Therefore, Tourette’s syndrome is seen as being a special educational need.

Further useful information can be found here: