Special educational needs
This chapter focuses on some of the issues involved in working with children with special educational needs, particularly within the context of mainstream schools. It indicates that the relationship that a school has with the parents of a disabled child can be complex. It is very common for rivalry to develop, with the school believing that it knows what is best for the child and becoming unduly critical of the mother, who is variously seen as neglectful or overindulgent. Special Educational Needs Coordinators (SENCO) now manage large teams of workers: classroom assistants, individual support teachers, learning mentors, home–school liaison workers, behaviour support teams (BEST), parent volunteers, and others. The chapter illustrates some points about the teacher’s experience with an extreme example that comes from a work-discussion seminar where a support teacher in Italy was describing her work in a mainstream school, supporting a boy with multiple disabilities.