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Doctor and school disagree over SEN assessment? Advice needed.

(16 Posts)
anotherglass Wed 13-Jul-11 21:20:04

DS1 (8) has always been an active,fidgetty restless type who finds it difficult to sit still. In spite of this, he has managed to do very well at school and up until the end of Year 2 was above average in his class for many subjects and has achieved in other areas, including second language and dance. However, this year his progress has stalled, largely due to concentration and behavioural problems which have worsened in class. He often does not finish his work, and we often get told he cannot sustain his concentration. This is not just at school, but we also hear similar from swimming teachers and after school club. But alongside this, he has had sleep issues, with coughing and sneezing at night. Sometimes he wakes up with dark circles under his eyes, even when he does not have obvious allergy symptoms. We have recently begun allergy medication which seems to be helping but the issues with poor concentration continue. The local GP has suggested a Special Needs Assessment, based on the poor concentration. But the school SENCO and his teachers who have known him for 4 years don't think it is special needs, but the reasons for poor concentration are behavioural. He was assessed by SENCO for dyslexia which he does not have. They don't think it is AHDH/ADD as the overall picture is not consistents; when he is interested in something he is perfectly capable of sitting down and focussing beautifully for very long periods of time, for example to play chess or do puzzles. I am not sure whether to follow the doctors advice or the schools. The doctor made the SEN referral after a 2 minute consultation were I was asked three questions about his behaviour in school. The school says this is inadequate. Any input gratefully appreciated.

AmberLeaf Wed 13-Jul-11 21:22:39

What do you think?

Do you know that the school dont have to agree to a statutory assesment for it to happen? YOU can apply to the LA your self. if you think its needed you can do that?

Starchart Wed 13-Jul-11 21:22:40

Oh don't worry about the school. Ask them where they went to medical school and if they fail to answer laugh at them.

AmberLeaf Wed 13-Jul-11 21:24:21

Sorry that didnt make a lot of sense!
I mean do you think theres something in what the doctor says?

If you do think your DS may have a special need then if school not in agreeance i suggest you formally request a statutory ass yourself.

AmberLeaf Wed 13-Jul-11 21:27:15

Also, I know several children with ADHD and/or Autism that are able to concentrate when something interests them especially puzzles!

anotherglass Wed 13-Jul-11 21:28:09

It is complicated as I don't feel the doctor was thorough in her assessment. She literally asked me 3 questions before telling me to go back to the school for the SEN assessment. First question was how old was he, then what did he do at school and then had I thought about SEN? This didn't feel good enough. I am perfectly willing to go through this process to get the support he needs but the concentration issues have really cropped up this year Is this normal pattern for SEN? I really don't have much knowledge about this area so input welcomed. I don't want to rush down this route without considering all factors which might be influencing his behaviour, including the sleep issues.

ASByatt Wed 13-Jul-11 21:29:49

Hmm, or you could ask your GP where and when he did his teacher training, then Starchart????

OK. I have seen GPs make some pretty dodgy assumptions about children's learning on the basis of a concerned parent going to to talk for 10 minutes. OP points out that school staff have known him for 4 years.

Obviously some schools are great but not all are, unfortunately.

So it really does come down to how you feel about it all, OP.
As Amberleaf says, you are perfectly within your rights to request Stat Assessment youself, it does not have to be done by the school.

anotherglass Wed 13-Jul-11 21:35:43

The Dr has referred him to the Community Paediatrician for the SEN assessment. Will this doctor ask the school for report?

cece Wed 13-Jul-11 21:36:00

Behavioural problems are special needs.

Marne Wed 13-Jul-11 21:36:12

I would keep going back to the GP until they agree to an assesment with local pead. My dd1 was diagnosed with Aspergers (on the mild side) when she was 4, like your ds she does well at school (well above the expected level for her age), she finds it hard to concentrate unless its a subject she enjoys and if its something thats not challanging (too easy) then she's not interested. If he's not sleeping then this could be effecting his concentration, i would reccomend keeping a diary to see if theres a link (if he had a bad night is his concentration much worse than after a good nights sleep), also diet can effect concentration.

anotherglass Wed 13-Jul-11 21:43:59

If we are given an assessment by the comm pae, will the school abide by it even though they do not agree?

Marne Thu 14-Jul-11 16:08:37

yep, i think they have too.

AmberLeaf Thu 14-Jul-11 16:53:47

Yes they do have to.

School will be asked to send a report to comm paed. The comm paed will not just go by that though[obviously] they will ask you lots of questions about your son going back to the pregnancy up until now.

dolfrog Thu 14-Jul-11 18:57:05

Another issue which could be a contributing factor is Auditory Processing Disorder (APD) which is a listening disability.
Many who have APD loose the plot rather than have a lack of concentration.

catsareevil Thu 14-Jul-11 19:01:37

If the school are right then the assessment will conclude that he doesnt have an special educational needs. Your DS wont be harmed by having the assessment and could benefit if it does identify any additional needs.

Children with ADHD often can concentrate on things that interest them.

anotherglass Thu 14-Jul-11 20:41:57

Thanks for all input. Marne, your DD is similar to my son. However, the behavioural issues only really became an issue this year between age 7 and 8. Is onset later in boys? Seems like I don't have anything to lose out of this process. It will give me peace of mind. Will take up suggestion to start daily diary. My GP sent me the referral form to complete and send back. Is this not something which should have been done and signed off during GP appointment or does this not matter? I probably need guidance with the evidence.

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