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Durham University

School of Education

Staff Profile

Publication details for Prof Joe Elliott

Tymms, P. & Elliott, J. (2006). Difficulties and Dilemmas in the Assessment of Special Educational Needs. Educational & Child Psychology 23(3): 25-34.
  • Publication type: Journal Article

Author(s) from Durham


This paper considers conceptual and methodological difficulties concerning the assessment of children's special educational needs. It argues that the resurgence of the medical meodel of diagnosis and categorisation often offers little to those who seek to develop meaningful intervention programmes. Six specific difficulties in assessing special educational needs are identified and discussed. The paper concludes by offering a number of proposals which, it is argued, would add greater scientific rigour to this process.