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Cognition refers to the thinking skills and thought processes that a child or young person has acquired through their prior experience. Learning needs are on a continuum and can vary across subjects and situations. Children with learning needs may learn at a slower pace than their peers despite appropriate differentiation. Learning difficulties can be general or specific and related to one or more areas of the curriculum. Difficulties may be short-term in one or more areas or severe and long term.

Whilst children and young people with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) are sometimes considered to have difficulties with social, emotional, and mental health, many of the causes of their ‘behaviour’ or ’emotional’ needs are a result of attention, listening and learning difficulties.


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SEND Code of Practice 

'Support for learning difficulties may be required when children and young people learn at a slower pace than their peers, even with appropriate differentiation. Learning difficulties cover a wide range of needs, including MLD, SLD, where children are likely to need support in all areas of the curriculum and associated difficulties with mobility and communication, through to PMLD, where children are likely to have severe and complex learning difficulties as well as a physical disability or sensory impairment.'


Literacy difficulties and dyslexia guidance is below.