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I don't trust the educational psychologist - any advice?

(19 Posts)
TheAccidentalExhibitionist Wed 10-Apr-13 21:21:03

My DS (9) attends an international school. He has a diagnosis of ADHD and Dyslexia from the uk and a working diagnosis of PDD-NOS given in this country. He has an assessment in June at a specialist Autism centre.

My DS has been at this school for 15 months. I met with the educational psychologist along with the head when he first started. After a very brief description of my sons SEN the educational psychologist declared that he doesn't have ADHD, he had ASD. I agree, I think he does have ASD but without his Concerta he is hyperactive, has disorganised thinking, is arguementative and unable to concentrate. I think he will probably end up with a co-morbid diagnosis.

She went on to name other children in the school with SEN. As she'd never met my DS, I thought that she was presumptuous and indiscreet, not great for an educational psychologist. Up until recently my DS had never met her.

I've been asked to come in on Monday to hear the results of her assessment of him. I asked my DS about the assessment and he said 'Before we started i told her I have ADHD and she said I don't think you do'.
I'm My DS is confused now and I'm annoyed that she said that to him, without having assessed him.
I don't trust her judgement and I'm concerned that my DS may not get the support that he needs because of her assessment.

Help, what should I do or say on Monday?

TheAccidentalExhibitionist Thu 11-Apr-13 09:40:38


MareeyaDolores Thu 11-Apr-13 09:57:55

Presumably you're paying for this?

zzzzz Thu 11-Apr-13 12:20:17

Phone the school and complain. Explain that any discussion of dx, change in dx will come from home and that you feel her behaviour is totally unprofessional. Ask them what they are going to do about it to ensure it doesn't happen again.

TheAccidentalExhibitionist Thu 11-Apr-13 14:25:47

Unfortunately it's got worse. I've just learned that a little girl in my DS class who has Down Syndrome has been removed, effective from next week.

Apparently mum went to a similar appointment as mine and was handed a letter saying they have changed their policy towards special educational needs and her daughter no long had a place in the school.

Fuck, what bastards.

I suspect they may do a similar thing with us. The school totally has the upper hand.

It's a fee paying school but the fees are paid by my DHs company, who actually own the school but don't get involved in any school politics.

I suspect because its an international school, they can pretty much do as they like.

zzzzz Thu 11-Apr-13 14:34:17

Are you based in UK?

coreny Thu 11-Apr-13 14:34:23

oooh - it does look like they are weeding out children with SEN shock disgusting

surely the ed psych can't dx ASD or ADHD anyway and ed psych can't 'overule' the ADHD dx

I'm disgusted that the edpsych has told your ds that he doesn't have ADHD - that's outrageous shock

coreny Thu 11-Apr-13 14:38:01

perhaps look at world health organisation (WHO) guidelines for ASD and ADHD diagnosis so that you are ready

AttilaTheMeerkat Thu 11-Apr-13 16:40:07

EP cannot make any medical diagnosis; they are not qualified to do so.

TheAccidentalExhibitionist Thu 11-Apr-13 18:10:21

zzzzz no, we live in France. If my DS loses his place we would have to move back to the uk and we are happy in France for the time being.

coreny and * AtillaTheMeerkat* my thoughts exactly that the educational psychologist is not qualified to over rule a diagnosis made by a paediatric psychiatrist both in the UK and rediagnosed in France. She has much sway with the head teacher unfortunately.

If we are able to stay in the school, we will be on rocky ground. I recently wrote to the school asking for a copy of their SEN policy and was refused as they were rewriting it. Probably they are rewriting it so they could justify excluding SEN children. Wankers.

MareeyaDolores Thu 11-Apr-13 19:20:39

This would probably be illegal in the UK and looks like the law in France is similar (and perhaps a bit better).

Worth contacting a French lawyer or pressure group?
Your husband's union might also help, given this company-owned school is a workplace perk. And if he's not in a union, join!

MareeyaDolores Thu 11-Apr-13 19:33:18

The paediatric psych can probably recommend an independent psychologist (and in the French NHS, you might get reimbursed if you can find one that's a dual registered ed psych and clinical psych)

Your friend might want a word with trisomie 21. And I think the Lejeune institute sometimes kick school backsides quite hard.

TheAccidentalExhibitionist Thu 11-Apr-13 20:18:03

Thanks for the links Mareeya I'll investigate those and pass on the link. The union sounds lie a really good idea. They have so much weight over here.
I'm going to wait and see what they say to us on Monday and go from there.

TheAccidentalExhibitionist Mon 15-Apr-13 15:31:58

Umm, still digesting the meeting but my DH and I decided to sit and listen to what the ed psych had to say and not react or make immediate decisions or judgements. In light of his friend with Down Syndrome having just been chucked out of the school we felt it as best to not be too demanding.

The ed psych said that my DS had average intelligence but that his behaviour prevents him from achieving. These were a lack of concentration and attention, rigid thinking, brusqueness, lack of empathy, I could go on...

She described him as a difficult and unlikeable child. She said that plenty of parents with children like ours couldn't love their children and he was lucky that we did hmm
She said that unless my DS learned to break through his ADHD symptoms he wouldn't be able to achieve in the school. We pointed out that he would find it hard to change his behaviours because he had ADHD and ASD.

She said that ADHD was massively over diagnosed in America (but thats not where we live, or where he was diagnosed) and she didn't believe in ADHD but nevertheless he wasn't ready to come off his Concerta medication.

We were just going round in circles where they were saying he's got to stop being him.
I'm glad he's still got a place in the school but honestly she was beyond ignorant.
<sigh> it doesn't get any easier does it?

DoubleLifeIsALifeHalved Mon 15-Apr-13 15:42:46

Oh my goodness, what a dislikeable woman! I am outraged for you and think you were both amazing to be so determined and strategic and not to have reacted when she said your ds was unlike able! Words fail me...

I don't have any useful practical advice but wanted to post to give emotional support. Sounds such a rough situation and my heart goes out to you and your lovely and no doubt LIKEABLE ds.

TheAccidentalExhibitionist Mon 15-Apr-13 16:01:15

Throughly horrible woman.
She spouted on about how much experience she had then I has to explain what ASD stood for! She said that years ago children with ADHD didn't get a label and that they were just referred to as restless.
She also discussed and named other 'problem' children the school to the head, in front of us.
I have a feeling if my DS doesn't improve his ADHD and ASD symptoms they will refuse to enter him in for GCSEs. It's what they were hinting at.

Thanks DoubleLife my son displays typical symptoms of ADHD and ASD. The school see them as his failings.
He can be difficult but she'd not met him before. From her description she approached him for the first time very aggressively. That would have frightened my DS who still hides behind me or under tables when meeting someone new. There is a non challenging way to approach him that doesn't frighten him and then he is a loving and delightful child, who would do anything for anyone if he could.

higherhill Mon 15-Apr-13 18:07:07

Has to learn how to break through his symptoms???? That's like asking a person with epilepsy not to have a fit. Years ago kids were'nt diagnosed with ADHD?? That's right, they were written off, caned and treated like crap. do your child a favour and find him a school where the staff actually operate in the 21st century. I am appalled and feel so sorry that you are in this position.

MareeyaDolores Mon 15-Apr-13 19:30:33

worth a read?

TheAccidentalExhibitionist Mon 15-Apr-13 19:45:39

I can't higherhill we live in France. It's an international school and he is not picking up French so couldn't go into the French system.
The only other option is to home school him. It's worth persevering with the school as his teachers have been consistently open to learning and finding ways to help him, there are only 15 in each class and he has been totally accepted by the other children. Unfortunately it's a balancing act, the good with the bad.

I'm very reluctant to home school him because social skills are so important and he's an only child, he'd hardly ever see other children and I know he would hate that.

You're right though, they are so far behind its ridiculous. France is massively behind in their understanding of children with SEN. The school is in fact quite progressive compared to some shock

Thanks for the link Mareeya I'll have a look now.

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