SEND cognition and learning needs

Find out more information about cognition and learning needs for children and young people with SEND.

Cognition and learning difficulties encompass a wide range of needs, including moderate learning difficulties (MLD) and severe learning difficulties (SLD).

A child or young person may need support in all areas of the curriculum as well as having associated difficulties with mobility and communication.

Profound and multiple learning difficulties (PMLD) refer to severe and complex learning difficulties as well as a significant physical disability or sensory impairment.

This area of SEND also includes specific learning difficulties and differences (SpLD). Specific learning difficulties and differences (SpLD) can affect one or more specific aspects of learning and encompasses a range of conditions. These could include

  • dyslexia
  • dyscalculia
  • dyspraxia (known as Developmental Coordination Disorder)

Neurodiversity is a term increasingly being used to describe the differences in learning such young people experience.

If you are concerned because your child doesn’t seem to be learning as well as you would expect, it’s a good idea to talk to your health visitor, nursery or schoolteacher. They will be able to talk to you about how your child seems to learn in different environments, and whether they share your concerns. If they agree that your child is learning at a slower pace or in a different way than others, they will know how to access extra support and advice.