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

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Bile et al


Another school session. It’s great, I’m learning basics I should have learnt 30 years ago!

Three things to remember: enzymes, hydrochloric acid and bile.

Hydrochloric acid is a very strong acid produced by the stomach to break down food for digestion. Fat poses a problem though because it doesn’t mix with water, and as the acid is dissolved in water, the fat just floats on top.

So then the food continues down to the small intestine and bile (produced in the liver and stored in the gallbladder) surrounds the fat and enzymes get to work on it. Also as the food is acidic after being in the stomach, the bile neutralises the acidity.

Ramadan moving slowly from summer to spring…

If you or someone close to you practises Ramadan, you’ll notice that the long summer evenings (when you can’t eat) and the short summer nights (when you can eat) have been stretched over ramadans over the past 10 years or so. It’s obviously more comfortable to have ramadan in the winter when it gets dark very early in the evening – I guess you can have a pretty decent meal then and not worry about the sun coming up for ages! There again, fasting in cold weather can’t be nice, I guess you get hungrier trying to preserve energy. Anyway, here’s a chart of how Ramadan has moved by approximately 11 days every year: