Are additional needs and special educational needs the same?


Some children face extra challenges in life that mean they have additional needs. These are usually different special educational needs.

It’s quite easy to confuse the two because they sound quite similar. Either way, being the mum of children with additional or special educational can be exhausting. And that is why Smell the Roses was founded.

We’ll look more closely at that later, but in the meantime let’s outline the difference between additional needs and special educational needs.


What are additional needs?

Children or young people with health or developmental conditions that impact on their everyday life are often considered as having additional needs. From birth, such children may face extra challenges, which is more obvious as they get older.

Additional needs could be developmental, sensory, learning, physical or behaviourall. These additional needs may continue throughout their life, and there might be times where you and your family need support.

Additional needs include:

  • Autism Spectrum Disorder

  • Anxiety/mental health

  • Attachment difficulties.

There are more examples on this page.


Special educational needs

The term ‘special educational needs’ (SEN) is a legal definition. Children and young people with such needs have disabilities or learning problems. This makes it more difficult for them to learn than most children of their age.

If you’re unsure whether your child has SEN ask yourself whether:

  • They have a learning difficulty or disability, and;

  • Does that difficulty or disability call for special educational provisions to be made?


If you answer ‘yes’ to both questions then your child or young person has SEN. As a result, they are entitled to extra support with learning at nursery, school or college. For more information, check out the government’s website.


Help for mums

Mums in the North East who have children with additional or special educational needs have the opportunity to have ‘me’ time with Smell the Roses.

The additional pressures and commitment required to care for children with these needs mean getting ‘down time’ is more difficult. Whether your child is of school age or an adult, our mums have a closer understanding of your difficulties compared to other parents. This really helps share the difficulties you’re facing.

If you’d like to know more about what Smell the Roses offers, check it out here. You can also contact us for more details.

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