Learning difficulties are usually described as moderate, severe, profound and multiple or specific.
MODERATE LEARNING DIFFICULTIES
This includes children who have difficulties in all areas of learning. Their rate of progress is very slow. They attend mainstream schools unless they also have additional significant difficulties when they may be placed in a special school.
SEVERE LEARNING DIFFICULTIES
This describes children who show a global delay in all areas of physical, intellectual and social development. Their rate of progress is less than half the rate of other children of the same age.
These children will have statements of special educational needs. They will attend mainstream schools whenever possible with support from advisory teachers. If they have additional needs, they are more likely to be placed in a special school.
PROFOUND AND MULTIPLE DIFFICULTIES
These difficulties describe pupils whose combination of physical, sensory and intellectual impairment is profound. They are usually identified soon after birth. They will have a special provision from an early age and are most likely to attend a special school.
SPECIFIC LEARNING DIFFICULTIES
This describes children who despite normal teaching experiences, fail to make the expected progress in reading writing, spelling or manipulating numbers. These children attend mainstream schools.
Most children with hearing difficulties go to their local mainstream school. The Advisory Service for Deaf and Hearing Impaired children will give the school advice.
Children with a significant hearing loss may have a statement of special educational needs. Those with the most severe hearing difficulties may be placed in a special resource for impaired children. Oral/aural and signing methods of teaching are both used according to the needs of the individual pupils.