School overstepping boundaries(9 Posts)
I have recently discovered my child school has told an outside agency that my child is autistic. The child is 13 and I have never heard this mentioned by the school in the 9 years they have been at the school. I questioned the school they deny stating autism and say they only said autistic traits. I have asked why and who there is qualified and assessed my child to make such a statement and share it. I have been given no satisfactory answer. Today my child came home n told me they were questioned at school about wether they suffer from mental health issues wether they visit a doctor and dentist. I am very concerned and upset. Do they have the right to question my child in this way without my consent or knowledge and are they allowed to label my child as autistic without assessing them or discussion with myself as well as share that information. Please any opinions useful resources
I used to be a parent governor and also worked for my LEA so I suggest a telephone call to the LEA to speak to whoever knows about their policy on this (SEN or whatever they term it) as schools often are a law unto themselves... When you are clear on what the correct procedure ought to have been you can check whether your school followed it. You should talk to the teacher with responsibility for this area and, I suggest, a parent governor who is there to channel such concerns to the governing body. Do try to keep your cool - I know that is a tall order here but it is the best way to get the best out of people who will be defensive. Good Luck!
I would suggest talking to the school and getting the facts.
Firstly, no, only a medical professional can make the diagnosis - so you are right about that, but it is not unreasonable for an experienced teacher to express their concerns in terms of autistic tendencies, if that is what their professional opinion is. I am presuming they had permission to speak to whoever the outside agency is / that you were aware they may be discussing your dd? If not, then you should pursue that aspect of the issue. How do you know this anyway? Has the 'outside agency' reported back to you, or the school? ??
The second part....
Questioned by whom ? Was this only her? Do you think this was in some way related to your first point? Could it not have been part of PSHE curriculum? Seem like very odd questions to be asking a pupil if they genuinely thought they had mental health issues.
From what you've said, they haven't labelled her as autistic, they have tried to describe the issues they see at school. They have a responsibility and duty to do this, even if there has been some less than perfect wording.
The context of what happened is not clear from your post, so it's hard to judge.
However, if it were me, I'd be not only concerned with what information had been shared and with whom. I'd be trying to understand what behaviours raised school's concerns, and would be talking to specialists to understand how to best help my child.
As to school questioning kids about mental health issues - I am sure it wasn't worded like that - but rather had to do with kids feeling sad, unhappy, scared, etc. I see nothing wrong with the school doing that - teenagers may be a lot less open with their families than with other people.
I would take seriously comments about autistic traits and get this looked into as more of a priority to be honest.
It sounds like the sort of thing that's going to be happening in Scotland with the "Named Person" legislation.
A diagnosis of Autism is usually carried out by the SCAT team (a group of professionals which will include medical, educational, social, SaLT CAMHs etc).
Describing a child as displaying autistic traits is not at all the same as saying they are autistic.
You need to be clear exactly what had been said and to whom and the circumstances.
I agree that you need to discuss this further with the school. It really isn't clear from your posts who said what to whom. If it was the SENCo talking to SALT with your permission, that's fine. If it was the secretary talking to a parent governor, whole different story. So the context here is very important.
It sounds like that the school do have concerns about your dc. Do you have similar concerns?
Agree with pp that you really need to speak to the school first. If you jump straight in with a complaint to the LEA, as suggested unthread, you could end up looking foolish if the school then say you never discussed your concerns with them.
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