Vygotsky, a world-renowned psychologist hypothesized that “a child whose development is impeded by a defect is not simply a child less developed than his peers but is a child who has developed differently” (Vygotsky, 1993, p.67). He further emphasized that “what made development different for those with mind and body differences was the intellectual and social compensatory processes in which they were powerfully motivated to engage in order to be part of their social milieu.” (in McPhail & Freeman, 2005).
Vygotsky claims: “In the final analysis, what decides the fate of a personality is not the defect itself, but its social consequences, its socio-psychological realization” (Vygotsky, 1993, p. 68). This prompts parents and teachers suspecting children of having special education needs to go for professional diagnosis for that particular child. This is an important step towards optimal development. A very recent BBC news report claims that “early intervention will improve the lives of vulnerable children and help break the cycle of "dysfunction and under-achievement". (Sellgren, 2011, para.1). To determine if a child has special education needs, it should first be evaluated if he has a developmental disability: A broad definition of a developmental disability is a condition or disorder—physical, cognitive, or emotional—that has the potential to significantly affect the typical progress of a child’s growth and development or substantially limits three or more major life activities including self-care, language, learning, mobility, self-direction, capacity for independent living, and/or economic self-sufficiency (Federal Developmental Disabilities Act of 1984). Collating observations the child, teachers and parents may be reviewed by a special education needs coordinator or SENCO. This is the person responsible for implementing the SEN Code of Practice. He or She is primarily responsible for assessing, planning, monitoring and reviewing child’s provision and progress (Teaching Expertise B, 2010). As such, the SENCO will be able to support the child’s teachers in the provision of special education needs for him by way of providing in-service staff training, setting effective targets for the child and creating an Individualized Educational Plan (IEP) with the school teachers and key staff to suit his needs (Teaching Expertise B, 2010). The SENCO can design interventions that take a graduated approach. He/She may come up with a team of specialists to work together to meet the child’s special needs. “Multi-agency working is essentially about bringing together practitioners with a range of skills to work across their traditional service boundaries” (Every Child Mattters: Changes for Children). A multi-disciplinary team of special needs educators, therapists, psychologists, speech pathologists, physicians, social workers and even government officials may join hands in the care and education of children with special needs to ensure their optimum growth and development (Teaching Expertise A, 2010). Coordinating with a SENCO is in compliance with the Children’s Act 2004, the legislative support of Every Child Matters programme. This act aims to “improve and integrate children's services, promote early intervention, provide strong leadership and bring together different professionals in multi-disciplinary teams in order achieve positive outcomes for children and young people and their families” (DfEs Children Act and Reports, 2004). The five key outcomes set out in Every