Through my recent professional life working in various schools as a supply TA, I’ve come across different expressions to describe children’s psychological, mental, social or physical state.
I’m still getting my head around the classification S.E.M.H. – Social Emotional and Mental Health. I’ve seen pupils in both mainstream and Special Needs schools that can be classified in such a way. It obviously covers a broad set of conditions… and sometimes children who might have been expelled from a previous school for bad behaviour could be diagnosed as having SEMH but there is a more specific classification for behavioural issues, that’s SEBD – Social, Emotional and Behavioural Difficulties. When you throw ASD (Autistic Spectrum Disorder) into the mix of possibilities, it’s a confusing pot of ingredients. In a sense, the metaphor works well because it’s like a reverse process, the person is a soup fully formed, consisting of many ingredients. To then guess correctly as to what those ingredients are is a very very difficult task.
By the way, with the overarching term for Special Needs being S.E.N.D (Special Educational Needs and Disabilities – or simply SEN without the latter), here are some other acronyms that might crop up if you go into this line of work:
MLD – Mild Learning Difficulties
SLD – Severe Learning Difficulties
SLCN – Speech, Language and Communication Needs
MSI – Multi-Sensory Impairment
HI – Hearing Impairment
VI – Visual Impairment
OT – Occupational Therapy
GDD – Global Developmental Delay
ADHD – Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder