Behavioural, Emotional and Social Difficulties

social and emotional

As SEN provision has evolved, social attitudes and the descriptive language used to describe conditions has likewise been adjusted and updated. Unfortunately, this is rarely a linear process and as the 2013 BMA Board of Science1 report ‘Growing up in the UK’ acknowledges, different agencies will explain the difficulties of children with SEN in markedly different ways:

Psychiatrists … distinguish between normal and abnormal groups of children, and think of the abnormal group as having disorders … produced by an interaction of biology and environment.

Teachers … tend to use an undifferentiated category of ‘emotional and behavioural problems’… primarily caused by adverse environmental factors, in particular problems in the family context, (and) essentially amenable to improvement through education.

Social workers … regard labelling children as a stigmatising process which is best avoided, and prefer to explain children’s problems in social terms.’

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