A thought-provoking book which provides a framework for understanding the physical, sensory, emotional, social, linguistic and cognitive development of children with special educational needs. It gives practitioners and students a sound grasp of the theoretical ground needed to fully understand cognitive development and will help them track children's developmental progress in order to optimise learning opportunities. The authors handle complex topics in a highly accessible manner, explaining how to put theory into practice. In three lucidly argued sections they present: an overview of the work of key theorists and thinkers, including Vygotsky, Piaget, Freud, Erikson, Bruner and the Korning theorists an evaluation of the educational implications of the work of each theorist, using illustrative case studies a consideration of areas of development in learning and teaching children with special educational needs. This book will be a beacon for teachers, head teachers, educational psychologists and all practitioners involved in special needs education who seek the opportunity to help empower their pupils, and enhance their own understanding.