East Lothian Council

Top Inclusion Tips by FLIP (Family Led Information Point)

These tips are based on parents own personal experiences. We believe that these tips will help create an inclusive environment, not just for children with additional support needs, but for everyone.

Learn more about additional support needs (ASN)

Teachers and ASN support staff will feel more confident if they learn about the range of additional support needs that a child may have. Advanced planning around the learning and development needs of staff would be ideal. This would equip teachers and support staff with the knowledge and skills to support the children in their class effectively at the start of each year.

Establish home communication

You should meet with the child’s parents/carers and agree on the best method of home-school communication. Diaries are helpful. Make sure you share good news stories with the parents and arrange meetings with parents to discuss difficult issues.

Prepare the environment

Think about the layout and design of the classroom ensuring the space is not too noisy and cluttered. Too much furniture or colour can be too stimulating. A quiet area is often helpful for children who need more personal space.

Listen to the young person and their parents/carers

Take the time to talk with parents about the child’s interests and preferred activities, toys and habits. What are their strengths? What are their areas of particular difficulty? What are the kinds of things that they have enjoyed at school in the past? What has worked well? Attaining and listening to the views of all children and young people with additional support needs is just as important.

Educate the whole class about disability and additional support needs

Peer awareness of disability and different reasons why children and young people may have additional support needs can really help everyone. It is important to ask parents/carers about how they would like information about their child to be shared.

Understand and respond to the unique learning style of each child

For the majority of children and young people with additional support needs, the visual learning style is most effective. The use of pictures, diagrams, charts are helpful. Verbal communication should be short and simple and check in with children to make sure they understood what you said.

Support young people to make friends

Some children and young people with additional support needs often struggle to make and keep friends. Maybe set up a buddy system and set up a circle of friends that can look out for children and young people with additional support needs. Having and sustaining friends is really important for child’s young person’s mental wellbeing.

Plan well for transitions

Transitions during a session need to be timely planned. Visuals are welcomed in supporting transitions e.g. pictures of the session ahead. It will reduce anxiety and will let them know that the immediate future is not an unknown void.

About FLIP (Family Led Information Point)

FLIP (Family Led Information Point) is an East Lothian group for parents and carers who have a child with additional support needs.

You can also become a friend of "FLIP East Lothian" on Facebook.

East Lothian Council, John Muir House Brewery Park Haddington East Lothian EH41 3HA.