Special Educational Needs and Learning Difficulties

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1. To critically analyze the cultural, political, social and educational reasons underlying different educational responses to special educational needs (SEN) and to learning disabilities (LD);
2. To know different approaches to the characterization and/ or to the etiologic condition of SEN of L;
3. To reflect on the importance of multidisciplinary strategies of educational intervention in the context of differentiated instruction;
4. To become familiar with models and strategies that promote parental involvement in the education of pupils with SEN and LD.


1. Diversity of perspectives on SEN and DA:
1.1. Paradigms of Special Education: segregation, integration and inclusion.
1.2. Perspectives on the classification of SEN and DA: conceptual convergence points.
2. Approaches to the etiology and diagnostic variables of educational needs arising from different conditions:
- low vision, blindness;
- deafness, congenital deafblindness;
- multiple disabilities, mental retardation;
- hyperactive disorder, attention deficit disorder;
- autism spectrum disorders;
- learning disabilities;
- giftedness;
- differences between students (rhythms and learning styles; personalities, interests, motivations and experiences;
ethnic, cultural, social or gender factors).
3. Models for multidisciplinary intervention with remediative and/ or promotional purposes.
4. Models and factors of effectiveness in promoting parental involvement in the education of students with SEN and with learning disabilities.

Teaching Methodologies

Classes include expository sessions, mediated by audiovisual resources and interaction with students through questioning. The preparation and presentation of small group tasks (on topics selected from the syllabus) will occur, involving observation and analysis of inclusive educational settings, interviews with teachers, psychologists or parents of children with SEN and with LD. The moodle platform is used to share teaching and bibliographic resources, as well as to promote debate. Diagnostic and formative assessment will be systematic and continuous, based on interaction (questioning, discussion/debate) in the classroom. The final grade includes two elements: a) a written test (70%) and the submission of the (written or oral) product of a small group task that will determine 30% of the final grade of the CU. Students' communicative skills will be taken into account.


Ainscow, M. Porter, G. & Wang, M. (1998). Caminhos para as escolas inclusivas.Lisboa: IIE;
Cadina, A. et. al. (1997). Diferenciação pedagógica no ensino básico:Alguns itinerários. Lisboa: IIE;
Correia, L. M. (2004). Problematização das dificuldades de aprendizagem nas necessidades educativas especiais.
Análise Psicológica, 2,369-376.
Cruz, V. (2009). Dificuldades de Aprendizagem Específicas. Porto: Lidel.
Gonçalves, A. et al. (2008). Unidades de ensino estruturado para alunos comperturbações do espectro do autismo:
Normas orientadoras. Lisboa: DGDCI;
Senos,J., & Diniz, T. (1998). Crianças e Jovens sobredotados: Intervenção educativa. Lisboa:ME. Serrano, A. M., & Correia, L. M. (2002). Parcerias pais-professores na educaçãode crianças com NEE. In L. M. Correia & A. P. L.
Martins (Eds.), Um guia para educadores e professores (pp.73-86). Braga: Quadrado Azul Editora



ECTS Credits



  • Orientação Tutorial - 3 hours
  • Teóricas - 15 hours
  • Teórico-Práticas - 15 hours