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Isn't there just less room for difference?

(9 Posts)
solidgoldbrass Tue 13-Sep-11 23:55:40

Was having a chat with a mate tonight about her DD's problems at school. I am not in any way wanting to have a go at anyone whose DC have issues and this is NOT a thread saying that autism doesn't exist/is just bad parenting.
What bothers me is that my friend's DD seems to be about to be labelled as having something 'wrong' with her when she is a bit like my DS ie very clever but a bit impractical. My DS' school are wonderfully 'oh well, we'll just give a little help here', my mate's DD's school seem to be being a bit pissy about it. I've met the DD, she makes eye contact, holds a conversation, is very intelligent and wants her own way a lot. I just don't like the idea that bright kids who are not interested in conforming should be either made to obey and be compliant or labelled 'defective'.

saintlyjimjams Wed 14-Sep-11 00:09:53

Underdiagnosis is far more of problem than overdx in the UK.

I don't think bright kids get diagnosed just for being different. Hardly ever. anyway. I know many many children with a dx, I can't think of any that I didn't think should be dxed (can think of many who could do with a dx, or who have had to spend years getting one).

(Nor do I think a dx = 'defective' )

Some children with diagnosable conditions are bright. Hopefully a dx aids them in getting the support they need (which can be harder to access if there are no LD's).

Avinalarf Wed 14-Sep-11 00:17:47

If she has an issue, it should be diagnosed and supported. If there is no diagnosis, there is usually no support. The reality of the situation is that teachers with responsibility for 25 or 30 kids don't have the time (or expertise) to support children with complex needs, so those children need the assessment and diagnosis - and yes, the 'labelling' - in order to access the support they need.

My DS has Asperger's Syndrome, btw. He has good eye contact, had no developmental delays at all and is exceptionally bright, funny and to all intents and purposes appears 'normal'. Yet he copes badly with school and needs a lot of extra support in class and input from professionals outside of school in order to operate in a socially acceptable way in group situations. I dont see his SN as a defect or problem, but I do recognise that his needs are very different from most of his peers, and those needs only started being met when he was diagnosed and received a Statement.

solidgoldbrass Wed 14-Sep-11 00:34:02

OK I think maybe what I am pissed off with is the narrowing of the window and the awful conformism whereby a bright kid with 'different' behaviour patterns is treated as abnormal and in need of being 'cured' ie rendered just as stupid and compliant as the mainstream. I think sometimes the schools might be wrong, and might just not want to address bullying.

tabulahrasa Wed 14-Sep-11 08:32:06

Well of course schools can be wrong - but given that they can't diagnose anything other than dyslexia, it's just an opinion.

Yes it's an opinion that can end up with children being referred to the appropriate medical specialist, but it is those specialists that assess and diagnose.

saintlyjimjams Wed 14-Sep-11 08:46:34

It's not about cure is it though? Usually schools refer when they can't cope and often rather late in the day. It's about support for the child to allow them to function not cure (in fact parents who set out to cure are usually treated as in denial/loons by the various professionals)

wasuup3000 Wed 14-Sep-11 10:08:37

abnormal shock

verybusyspider Wed 14-Sep-11 10:13:40

I wonder this, I wonder if there is a scaling factor for school depending on their size and catchment area ie what might be an issue in one area, in another area might be overshadowed by children with greater needs and the allocating funds go to the 'worst' 5% of children?? does it just depend on luck of the intake that year?
which leads onto are some teachers and schools better able to 'cope' with SN than others, where one will be able to work with SA+ and IEP others need to call in every professional going, and how on earth do you find that out when selecting schools?!? especially when you don't know if your dc has needs or not, ours seem to be confined to needs at School and not at home, it didn't occur to me to ask about SN policy (well not in as much detail as I'm having to learn) when selecting a school for reception - totally luck of the draw I think

mumeeee Wed 14-Sep-11 19:17:32

It's not about a cure it's about helping a child to cope. DD3 is 19 us Dyspraxic and had other learning difficulties. She has had different types of support from the age if 7 some good some not helpful at all.

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