I have a learner who needs support because…
Each child and young person is unique. Support that works for one child may not work for another child who has the same diagnosis or is in a similar circumstance.
However, there is a wealth of information, advice, training, learning resources and support services out there to help you support children and young people with specific additional support needs.
In this section we’ve collated a list of some of helpful places to get you started when you’re looking for ideas, information or resources to support a child or young person with a specific support need.
We’ve selected these support needs based on the most commonly mentioned support needs in enquiries to our helpline.
- Autism Toolbox – a free online resource developed to support the inclusion of autistic learners in Scottish early learning and child care settings, primary and secondary school.
- Scottish Autism advice line (01259 222 022) is open to professionals and can offer you advice and information, and discuss partnership approaches to providing more specific direct support to children, young people and their families.
- National Autistic Society is a UK-wide charity which offers a range of advice and information for professionals as well as training and professional development opportunities.
- National Autism Implementation Team (NAIT)is a multi-disciplinary team of professionals experienced in working with autistic individuals. They draw experience from education, speech and language therapy, occupational therapy and psychiatry. NAIT provide education resources as well as practitioner to practitioner advice.
- Meeting the needs of autistic learners is a GTC Scotland guide for professionals that was written in partnership with Children in Scotland, Scottish Autism, National Autistic Society and NAIT.
- Reach.scot has lots of advice for autistic young people about getting support with their learning. You can signpost your learner to this, or look at it together with them.
Anxiety and mental health
- Young Minds is a UK wide charity supporting young people’s mental health by offering them, their families and the professionals who work with them support. They offer resources, training and courses specifically for professionals.
- What do we need to know about the mental health and wellbeing of children? Is an online recording of a session that was run by Education Scotland as part of the Scottish Learning Festival in 2021. The presentation and discussions start at the 31:23 mark.
- Reach.scot has lots of advice for young people about mental health and getting support when they feel down, stressed or anxious about school. You can signpost your learners to this, or look at it together with them.
- Childline offer children and young people the chance to talk confidentially one-to-one with a trained counsellor. Sometimes you can help a child or young person by helping them find someone safe they can talk to about how they’re feeling
- Scottish ADHD coalition supports local voluntary support groups for parents and people with ADHD across Scotland. You can learn more about ADHD on their website, and see if there is a local support group you can signpost your learner’s family to.
- Salvesen Mindroom Centre have been supporting children with learning difficulties and who are neurodiverse (including ADHD/ADD) for over 21 years. They offer a range of help, support, training and resources for professionals.
- Reach.scot has a blog by a pupil about My experience of living with ADHD. You can read about their experiences of going through school with ADHD.
- Addressing Dyslexia Toolkit is a free comprehensive online resource for all professionals involved in the identification and support of learners showing signs of literacy difficulties. It was produced by Dyslexia Scotland.
- Dyslexia Scotland’s helpline (0344 800 84 84) is open to professionals and offers you the chance to get expert advice and guidance about dyslexia and supporting dyslexic learners.
- Meeting the needs of dyslexic learners is a GTC Scotland guide for professionals that was written in partnership with Dyslexia Scotland.
- Dyslexia Action offer specialist dyslexia training, courses and qualifications for professionals.
- Dyslexia Unwrapped is an online hub for dyslexic children and young people that you can look at together with your learner.
Children and young people from a refugee or asylum seeking family
- Education resources to support work with refugee and migrant families provides information, advice and support for teachers who have a child from a refugee or asylum-seeking family in their classroom. Hosted by Education Scotland, it includes information and resources for teaching to refugee or asylum seeking children and their families, as well as teaching resources to improve awareness amongst learners.
- The Educational Institute of Scotland have created a series of Welcome Packs for new Scots. The Welcome Packs are specific to three age ranges (P1-P4, P5-S3 and S4-S6) They have been created to inform children, young people and their parents of their rights as pupils in the Scottish education system, give a quick background about Scotland and to convey a positive and welcoming message. Copies can be downloaded from the EIS Welcome to Scotland webpage.
English as an additional language
- Education Scotland’s Learning in 2+ Languages provides advice for education practitioners on how best to support bilingual learners and help ensure all learners achieve their potential. Designed as an interactive PDF, each of the six main sections can be viewed independently or as part of a whole.
- Scottish Association for Teaching English as an Additional Language is the national body for teaching EAL in Scotland. Their website provides a host of useful links and practical resources.
- Scottish EAL Co-ordinating Council is a network for education professionals coordinating the support for learners with English as an Additional Language (EAL) in schools and early years settings, and for teachers supporting bi-lingual children and young people.
More like this
We’ll continue to add further ASN factors to this page. In the meantime, if you’re not sure where to start for supporting a learner, remember you can always contact our helpline. Our advisers can answer your questions about additional support for learning and signpost you to specialist resources and services.