AIBU to be incredibly miffed with school obstructing DS ADHD diagnosis?(24 Posts)
To cut v long story short have thought DS has ADHD for a number of years. Have battled with school to refer him to Ed Psych and Community Paediatrician who he has now seen. Community Paediatrician has now called to say both she and psychiatrist think he has ADHD especially considering the history but that the questionnaires the school submitted have some discrepancies with the info we have submitted. The problem is, the school didn't get any of his teachers to fill in the questionnaires - only his head of year who doesn't teach him and someone he sees on a one to one basis. This is now getting in the way of a formal diagnosis and without that we cannot access any help or get medicine for my DS. Surely this is an outrage. If the school think his behaviour is bad enough to exclude him from school, then surely they could get his teachers to state this on the questionnaires! All I want is to get him the help he is desperate for, and now don't know what to do!
How old is he? How often has he been excluded (& for how long)?
He's 15 and has been excluded since beginning of June having been suspended several times before. They will not give a formal diagnosis which would enable us to get medicine etc without evidence of his symptoms in more than one setting and the info the school have provided is not enough 'evidence'. How can the school be justified in submitting info on him that has not even come from the teachers?
This is an outrage.
Ring parent partnership. They can help you discuss this with the school.
Ring the SENCO.
Does he go to scouts or swimming or anywhere else that could provide evidence of his symptoms?
Sorry if this is naive, but isn't it in a school's interest to support an ap for statement? I mean, it means more money for the school in the end, right?
Ragged - this isn't about a statement (which for some bizarre reason they frequently don't support ) - this is about his behaviour in school which the paed needs to know about so he can confidently diagnose ADHD.
A dx would not bring any extra money or support.
I agree with finding out the parent partnership in your area, get them to help you. Your LEA should be able to put you in touch with them.
My ds1's school resisted all the attempts to fully assess him They lied and covered up his behaviour and I couldn't understand it either. He's almost 13 now and still hasn't recieved the help he deserves. We just manage it ourself and he's managing thanks to enjoying school and being bright, but we've struggled for years and years and his primary school were absolutely rubbish.
Put your outrage in writing to the school, and advise that you would expect them to deal with your son professionally so he can get the help he needs, to exclude him when he needs all the schooling he can get is also an outrage. I hope he is getting some work for home, these are trying times for children taking GCSE's.
I got the parent partnership people involved before he was excluded, they seem to help in a minimal way but seem to think that a part time 3 week long vocational course at college is the best bet instead of school in September and knew fully that the only people at the school submitting the questionnaires to the community paed were the two members of staff who have not taught my son in a classroom setting. I have had strong words with the in school support officer today and demanded that actual teachers submit the required information. I can only hope. I refuse to give up on my son just yet!
The other setting doesn't need to be school, it's the most usual one, but anything he does regularly counts. So supervised activities are a different setting as well.
Thank you so much for all your responses. It means so much to me that complete strangers are prepared to offer support and advice. I am going to my feelings in writing to the school.
I wouldn't write to the school, i would contact them for a meeting, to be attended by the head of year, if not the head, any other pastoral support person for his year and the senco, the LA education officer can also be in attendance. Writing will be fobbed off as you not seeing the situation as urgent and they can easily make excuses why they have not connacted you immediatley, you need to be very pro active on this.
Is CAMH's involved?
Just to say as well, don't write off different education routes instead of school, this gives the child work experience, an education tailored to their needs without the pressure of school. These sort of schemes can really set a child with additional needs off in the right direction, in a way that school couldn't have.
But of course you know what is best for your son and what is available in your area.
My son was diagnosed at 6 having had huge problems in school since he was 3. It's complicated by the fact that he's adopted and also has an attachment disorder but by that point school were struggling to cope with him. He'd seen an Ed Psych twice already by then, had only just managed full time schooling, had run away more than once and school were on the phone to me regularly to go pick him up.
Even after all that the Connors questionnaire that they completed (this is what has to be completed in order to diagnose ADHD) was something of a whitewash and didn't accurately describe his behaviour in school at all.
On the basis of that our CAMHS (here it has to be CAMHS who diagnose rather than a paed or Ed Psyc) was ambivalent about diagnosing and medicating. Until we pointed out other correspondence on file that the Psychiatrist hadn't read and which contradicted the school's questionnaire.
Parent Partnership are okay for giving advice but really I would contact IPSEA or SOS!SEN - they're far better at getting things sorted out, although not alwasy easy to get hold of.
Velveteen's right - they don't want him back. If he gets a diagnosis of ADHD then they'll have to take him back or be in breach of DDA legislation. And they don't want him back because they see him, rightly or wrongly, as badly behaved rather than as having special needs. And schools don't want that in year 11. They are focussed on GCSEs and results and tables at that point. Basically they don't want your child to come under the "special needs" umbrella because then it's harder to get rid of him. Under the " bad behaviour" umbrella they are hoping he becomes the LA's problem and gets offered alternative education.
Shouldn't happen, but does. You can fight it, yes, but it takes a lot of energy. Sometimes people take a more pragmatic route - really, it depends what setting you want him to end up in for year 11. Do you think he would be happier / more successful back at that school, or in the alternative placement? Is he academic? Or would a more collegey environment suit him? Don't get me wrong, it's not right if that's what they are doing. At the same time, a win for your son is the most important thing.
Bugger. I didn't mean to imply that college wasn't academic. I should have said "more vocational" cos that's what I meant. Brain not working veyr well today, sorry. No offence intended.
No offence taken. DS is very bright, and it has been suggested that this is why he has got so far before being recognised as potentially having ADHD. All I want is for him to be able to get the right kind of support and medication to help him get some formal qualifications, as I know that with this he would be able to achieve and then maybe go on to do something at college. I just feel that the school have unecessarily written him off academically as it is easier for them to deal with him as a trouble maker than someone with special needs and that is wholly unjust. You all seem to really understand! My friends think that the school are right and that I just don't discipline him enough (even though we do parent him as best we can and always have done, including sanctions for bad behaviour, although compromise seems to be the most effective way of dealing with him) but then they only have children who are early primary ages and just don't get it.
Thank you Walesblackbird IPSEA and SOS!SEN look like really useful people to contact - I shall call them and run all this past them and see if they can help. I'm really grateful for you pointing me in their direction. Tried to call the ACE all day yesterday but couldn't get through so this is a great alternative.
What an outrage! If your DS has been excluded/suspended from school then all of the relevent information should be in his school file which you are entitled to a copy of within 15 days of sending them a written request. Maybe the information in this would be enough to satisfy the requirements for diagnosis.
Great idea nolembit! thanks I'll give that a try too.
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