Children and young people with special educational needs and disabilities are many times more likely than their peers to have a diagnosable mental health issue, but these often go undetected and there is much uncertainty about how best to help. This course tackles the issue head on; first exploring why prevalence is high and recognition is low and the implications for this on our practice. We then go on to consider how a very simple, three question plan can form the basis of our recognition of and response to those children who are struggling. We acknowledge throughout that children with SEND are highly diverse, and you are encouraged to consider how best to apply the ideas in the course to the particular children you have in mind.
The course has been developed and delivered by Dr Pooky Knightsmith who has a PhD in child and adolescent mental health and has spent many years as a governor at a range of special schools and who has led many training events for staff and parents supporting children with SEND. This course is based on training originally commissioned by the Department for Education in Gibraltar.
Pooky has a PhD in child mental health from the Institute of Psychiatry, King’s College London. She is the author of several books, and is a former chair of the Children and Young People’s Mental Health Coalition. She runs Creative Education alongside her husband and Mother-in-Law.