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Duties & Responsibilities of an LSA-SEN

Updated April 17, 2017

Learning Support Assistants (LSAs) assist kids with special educational needs (SENs) in classrooms. There are about 500,000 special education teachers, including LSAs, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics and the field is expected to keep growing for the foreseeable future. LSAs are in high demand in schools because more kids are being diagnosed with learning disabilities and other issues.

Assist with Lesson Planning

When teachers plan lessons, LSAs provide input to ensure that the needs of all students are met. According to the community resources site of Essex County in England, LSAs don't write lesson plans but provide details on ways to make lessons more inclusive. Providing input lets LSAs educate teachers about students with special needs while still keeping the teacher in control of the class.

Develop Children's Social Skills

Children with special needs work with LSAs to improve their social skills. LSAs provide tips and feedback to kids who are having a difficult time making friends or experiencing bullying. Because LSAs spend time assisting students in the classroom, they often recognise problems that special needs children experience. In addition, LSAs know when to let kids try to work out problems on their own to help the kids grow. A child who constantly depends on an LSA won't gain enough experience to handle social issues alone. The Riverbend Down Syndrome Parent Support Group recommends having multiple LSAs in a classroom to reduce special needs kids' social dependency on one person.

Pursue Specialized Training

LSAs can improve their job performance and prospects by taking specialised training courses. According to Teachernet, schools should support specialised training for LSAs because it helps children who need speech therapy and other unique services. The site also states that despite increasing numbers of kids being classified as special needs students, schools don't provide enough training programs for LSAs.

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About the Author

Joe Kelly has been writing since 2003, specializing in media, education, design and business issues. She has worked for magazines and other media. Kelly received a Master of Business Administration from St. Edward's University.