In 2008, the Team of Experts on Special Educational Needs, appointed by the Minister of National Education, developed two definitions concerning special development needs (SPR) and educational needs (SEN), which read as follows:
Children and adolescents with special developmental and educational needs are those with a spectrum of symptoms that make functioning difficult or impossible: motor, sensory, cognitive, communication, emotional-social and / or psychological, affecting the quality of life and fulfilling social roles now and / or in the future.
Children and adolescents with special developmental and educational needs are those who are at risk of disability, any dysfunctions, disharmony or disabilities that may have a negative impact on their further development.
Children with special developmental needs are children from birth to school.
Children and adolescents from the moment they start school until their graduation are referred to as children and adolescents with special educational needs orChildren with special developmental needs are children from birth to 3 years of age.
Children from 3 years of age and adolescents to school completion are referred to as children and adolescents with special educational needs (both the criterion and the definition are currently in force in many European Union countries).
In response to the perceived difficulties in the school and life functioning of children and adolescents – due to barriers, e.g. linguistic or environmental, limitations resulting from their deficits or dysfunctions, as well as chronic disease, that cannot be assigned to a specific type of disability – children and adolescents are provided with psychological and pedagogical help.
Appropriate to the identified various development and educational needs
Education must also be appropriate and adapted to the special needs of the group of children and adolescents with high intellectual potential, cognitively gifted or in the field of specialization, who also constitute a group of children and students with special educational needs and fall within this broadly understood definition.
The Minister of National Education in the regulation of 30 April 2013 on the principles of providing and organizing psychological and pedagogical assistance in public kindergartens, schools and institutions (Journal of Laws of 2013, item 532), in paragraph 3, section 1.
determined that psychological and pedagogical assistance provided to a student in a kindergarten, school and institution consists in the recognition and satisfaction of the individual development and educational needs of the student and the recognition of individual psychophysical abilities of the student, resulting in particular from:
- with disability;
- from social maladjustment;
- from the risk of social maladjustment;
- with special giftedness;
- from specific learning difficulties;
- with language communication disorders;
- from a chronic disease;
- from crisis or traumatic situations;
- from educational failures;
- from environmental neglect related to the living situation of the student and his family, the wayspending free time and social contacts;
- from adaptation difficulties related to cultural differences, with the change of the educational environment, including those related to prior education abroad.
A student with a disability is a student who has a special education certificate issued due to a disability. The law stipulates that special education is organized for children and adolescents:
- hard of hearing;
- the blind;
- visually impaired;
- with motor disabilities, including aphasia;
- with mild mental retardation;
- with moderate or severe mental retardation;
- with autism, including Asperger’s syndrome;
- with multiple disabilities (if the student has at least two of the disabilities listed above).