Special educational needs and disabilities (SEND) can affect a child or young person’s ability to learn, their behaviour and ability to socialise. Unlike a school we don’t have lawful obligations to accept SEND children into our activities. We aren’t SEND trained or specialists in any way, and we never market ourselves as anything other than mainstream care providers. We don’t provide intense special needs care that would normally be afforded by 1 to 1 teaching assistant in an educational setting.
However, we’re quite happy to accept any child into our Community activities with a mild SEND condition on the basis that our coaches must not be constantly distracted, i.e. safety must not be compromised and the enjoyment of the activity by others must not be affected. Quite often we find that SEND children enjoy the activity in the same way and as much as all the other children, but sometimes when we sense distraction or discomfort we will offer alternavive roles within activities, such as refereeing or supporting the coach, etc. Normally such challenges are excitedly accepted and enjoyed. We also know that some SEND children just like to rest a little more and we can accommodate this too. We find that quite often a SEND child will know what’s best for themselves and take simple actions to avoid over exertion and social stress, and so we accommodate and supervise this.
Sadly we can’t support every SEND child to the level they personally require, but we’re always willing to give a child an opportunity to try out an activity. If it doesn’t work out, the child can stop attending and we’ll give a refund. For holiday clubs tryout’s are normally just for a couple of hours or a half day, to see how we all cope before committing to whole and multiple days. Whatever the activity we ask that parents of SEND children to collect their child if they become distressed in any way. For short sessions this will mean staying and watching, and for longer activities it will mean being on call for immediate attendance if contacted. Of course if this happens, we will then assess the situation going forward.
If you have a SEND child that you’d like to book into an activity, please just contact us first to discuss the points addressed above.