Jargon Buster

We know that people like to talk using acronyms and sometimes this can feel like jargon overload.

We have created an A-Z definition list to help you!

These terms and definitions are not exhaustive or legal definitions. We have made every effort to reference sources.

Additional Learning Need(s)

A person has additional learning needs if he or she has a learning difficulty or disability (whether the learning difficulty or disability arises from a medical condition or otherwise) which calls for additional learning provision.

A child of compulsory school age or person over that age has a learning difficulty or disability if he or she—

(a) has a significantly greater difficulty in learning than the majority of others of the same age, or

(b) has a disability for the purposes of the Equality Act 2010 (c. 15) which prevents or hinders him or her from making use of facilities for education or training of a kind generally provided for others of the same age in mainstream maintained schools or mainstream institutions in the further education sector.

A child under compulsory school age has a learning difficulty or disability if he or she is, or would be if no additional learning provision were made, likely to be within subsection (2) when of compulsory school age.

A person does not have a learning difficulty or disability solely because the language (or form of language) in which he or she is or will be taught is different from a language (or form of language) which is or has been used at home.

http://www.legislation.gov.uk/anaw/2018/2/section/2

 

“Additional learning provision” for a person aged three or over means educational or training provision that is additional to, or different from, that made generally for others of the same age in—


(a) mainstream maintained schools in Wales,
(b) mainstream institutions in the further education sector in Wales, or
(c) places in Wales at which nursery education is provided.

Source: http://www.legislation.gov.uk/anaw/2018/2/section/3
 

Additional Learning Needs and Education Tribunal

Special Educational Needs and Disability

Attention Deficit Disorder

Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is a behavioural disorder that includes symptoms such as inattentiveness, hyperactivity and impulsiveness.

Source: https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/attention-deficit-hyperactivity-disorder-adhd/

Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder

Autism Spectrum Disorder

Autism is a different way of thinking and feeling. It affects how you experience the world around you.
 
Autistic people may:

  • find it hard to communicate and interact with other people
  • find it hard to understand how other people think or feel
  • find things like bright lights or loud noises overwhelming, stressful or uncomfortable
  • get anxious or upset about unfamiliar situations and social events
  • take longer to understand information
  • do or think the same things over and over.

Source: https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/autism/what-is-autism/

Autistic Spectrum Condition

Autism is a different way of thinking and feeling. It affects how you experience the world around you.
 
Autistic people may:

  • find it hard to communicate and interact with other people
  • find it hard to understand how other people think or feel
  • find things like bright lights or loud noises overwhelming, stressful or uncomfortable
  • get anxious or upset about unfamiliar situations and social events
  • take longer to understand information
  • do or think the same things over and over.

Source: https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/autism/what-is-autism/

Dyslexia is a common learning difficulty that can cause problems with reading, writing and spelling.
 
It's a specific learning difficulty, which means it causes problems with certain abilities used for learning, such as reading and writing.
 
It's estimated up to 1 in every 10 people in the UK has some degree of dyslexia.
 
Dyslexia is a lifelong problem that can present challenges on a daily basis, but support is available to improve reading and writing skills and help those with the problem be successful at school and work.

Source: https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/dyslexia/

Dyspraxia, also known as developmental co-ordination disorder (DCD), is a common disorder that affects your movement and co-ordination.
Dyspraxia does not affect your intelligence, but it may make daily life more difficult for you. It can affect your co-ordination skills – such as tasks requiring balance, playing sports or learning to drive a car – and your fine motor skills, such as writing or using small objects.

You may find routine tasks difficult, and coping at work may be hard.

If you have dyspraxia you may have problems with:

  • co-ordination, balance and movement
  • learning new skills, thinking, and remembering information at work and in leisure activities
  • daily living skills, such as dressing or preparing meals to time
  • writing, typing, drawing and grasping small objects
  • social situations
  • dealing with your emotions
  • time management, planning and personal organisation.

 

Source: https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/developmental-coordination-disorder-dyspraxia-in-adults/

Often seen as related to dyslexia, those with dyscalculia (sometimes known as number blindness) show great difficulty with numeracy, arithmetic and mathematical concepts.

Often seen as related to dyslexia, those with dyscalculia (sometimes known as number blindness) show great difficulty with numeracy, arithmetic and mathematical concepts.

Difficulties associate with dyscalculia include: counting backwards, difficulty reading analogue clocks, memorising numbers, prices and phone numbers, carrying and borrowing, placing values, planning, scheduling and being on time, school time tables and deadlines.
 

Source: https://www.dyslexic.com/blog/what-is-dyscalculia/

Specific Learning Difficulty

Additional Learning Support

Learning Difficulty / Disability

Severe Learning Difficulty / Disability

Moderate Learning Difficulty

General Learning Difficulty

Hearing Impairment

Visual Impairment

A disability relating to the way that visual signals are carried from the eye to the brain. It can result in special educational needs.

British Sign Language

Sign Language is a visual means of communicating using gestures, facial expression, and body language. Sign Language is used mainly by people who are Deaf or have hearing impairments.
 

Picture Exchange Communication System®️

PECS teaches functional communication using pictures and symbols as communication prompts, helping people with barriers to verbal communication to express their thoughts, feelings and choices.
 

Speech and Language Therapy

Speech and Language Therapists, SALT or SLT assess and treat speech, language and communication problems in people of all ages to help them better communicate. They also work with people who have eating and swallowing problems. SLTs can be important in assessing children and young people with special educational needs and providing them with additional support.
 

Occupational Therapist

An occupational therapist or OT is a medical professional who practices occupational therapy. Occupational therapy is the assessment and treatment of physical and psychiatric conditions using activities to limit the impact of the disability and promote independence. OTs can be important in assessing and supporting children and young people with additional learning needs.

Educational Psychologist

An educational psychologist or EP is a medical professional trained to assess and diagnose learning difficulties, social and emotional problems and developmental disorders. They are typically central to assessing special educational needs, recommending support and differentiation of the curriculum.
 

Learning and Skills Plan.

Behavioural, Emotional and/or Social Difficulties.

English for Speakers of Other Languages.

Annual Review

The review should take place once a year, although reviews can be called early if significant changes occur. The review should be person-centred and should consider whether the provision, placement and outcomes are still appropriate. 

Individual Development Plan.

Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services

The Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service or CAMHS is a specialist part of the NHS which provides assessment and treatment when children and young people have emotional, behavioural or mental health difficulties. GPs often refer children to CAMHS for assessment of special educational needs and disabilities. CAMHS can often be important in securing support for special educational needs and disabilities.

Further Education Institution

Further education or FE is the period of education above school age, but in most cases, below degree level. 

Higher Education

Higher education or HE is the period of education at university or education which results in a degree-equivalent qualification. The Additional Learning Needs and Education Tribunal Act (ALNET) does not cover young people at university.
 

Local Education Authority

The local authority or LA is the body responsible for public services such as libraries, schools, parks and child protection. Local authorities are required to ensure that all children receive a suitable education. This means that all children with special educational needs must be identified and supported properly.
 

Local Authority

The local authority or LA is the body responsible for public services such as libraries, schools, parks and child protection. Local authorities are required to ensure that all children receive a suitable education. This means that all children with special educational needs must be identified and supported properly.
 

Obsessive Compulsive Disorder.

Oppositional Defiant Disorder.

Pathological Demand Avoidance.

Profound and Multiple Learning Difficulty.

Pupil Referral Unit.

Additional Learning Needs Coordinator

A named member of staff in school or college who is responsible for co-ordinating additional support for pupils with special educational needs and disabilities. The ALNCo will liaise with young people, parents/carers, teachers and other professionals.

Personal Education Plan.

Teaching Assistant

A learning support assistant (LSA), teaching assistant (TA) or classroom support worker (CSW) is a member of staff in a school or college that supports the class and/or teacher. Young people with an additional learning need (ALN) and/or disabilities may have their own LSA to help them access learning.
 

Learning Support Assistant

A learning support assistant (LSA), teaching assistant (TA) or classroom support worker (CSW) is a member of staff in a school or college that supports the class and/or teacher. Young people with an additional learning need (ALN) and/or disabilities may have their own LSA to help them access learning.

Classroom Support Worker

A learning support assistant (LSA), teaching assistant (TA) or classroom support worker (CSW) is a member of staff in a school or college that supports the class and/or teacher. Young people with an additional learning need (ALN) and/or disabilities may have their own LSA to help them access learning.
 

Looked After Child

A child is looked after by a local authority if he or she—

(a)is not over compulsory school age and is looked after by a local authority for the purposes of Part 6 of the Social Services and Well-being (Wales) Act 2014 (anaw 4) (“the 2014 Act”), and

(b)is not a detained person.
 

Speach, Language and Communication Needs.

English as an additional language.

Physiotherapist

Physiotherapists support people affected by injury, illness or disability through movement, exercise, manual therapy, education and advice. Children and young people who have special educational needs relating to motor skills may well need physiotherapy in order to access education.