Assessment, Identification, and Support of special educational needs and disabilities in early years settings


  • Caitlin Slater Liverpool John Moores University



The primary focus of this research was to explore the assessment, identification and support of special educational needs and disabilities in early years settings, and how educational settings treat and support children going through this process and post-diagnosis. This research was conducted in Liverpool, England with data being gathered through speaking to parents of children with confirmed ASD, reflecting on their experiences of the process of obtaining the diagnosis for their children. The methods for this research include online one-to-one interviews with myself and the parents of the children, where they confided in me their personal experiences and how they themselves and their children were supported in this process. The key findings of this research include a lack in levels of support for the most part from the professionals including during the process and post-diagnosis process for children and their families. Equally as important, support networks have been found to have been a significant support for parents especially, where they can gain advice and recommendations from other parents experiencing similar processes. This research concludes that higher levels of support must be provided for parents and their children during and after the diagnosis process of ASD, including treatment options like early intervention and therapies being offered due to its proven success. More importantly, professionals must acquire deeper knowledge and understanding of ASD and how to support those with the diagnosis and through this process. The recommendations for further research include using a bigger sample size of participants worldwide to gain a more accurate contextual analysis along with investigating professionals to establish their perspectives to find gaps in knowledge to fill this with additional training to solidify this knowledge.