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ADHD - what responsiblity does school have?(12 Posts)
DS 12 has always suffered with lack of focus, easy distractibility, lack of achievement etc. He's now in year 8, and has been getting into a lot of trouble due to this behaviour. The school are very down on him, he's been in isolation a number of times and they seem to be running out of patience . I have never managed to get much support out of the SENCO, she has now left and has been replaced with someone who doesn't seem that experienced. In parallel with this I have been getting him assessed and it does seem to be that he has ADHD. Private diagnosis
what can I expect of the school now? Should they be putting together an EHP for him? I've no idea what to push for and they're not being forthcoming. Can anyone help?
Yes; the school should be supporting your DS. Some schools don't "accept" private diagnosis, so it's always better to go via the NHS route. But your DS clearly has needs and they should be supporting him!
My first point of call would be to contact SOSSEN or IPSEA. On the SOSSEN website they have many factsheets about applying for an EHP plan. Usually OP; it's the parents that request the EHP plan and the rest follows. I would recommend you set up a meeting with the SENCO and voice your concerns and suggest strategies you think with help your DS...do you have a local parent partnership in your area (it may be called something different), they can come with you to meetings at your child's school, give advice/suggestions to the teachers.
I don;t know much about ADHD, but have you read the Out of Sync child? It gives loads of strategies to help children who have sensory processing, distractibility, lack attention difficulties.
Thanks for this, I will investigate these. Much appreciated.
Ds2 had undiagnosed ADHD for a long time, although he was diagnosed with Asperger's/HFA at 8 and given help on that basis.
These are the things that have helped him, and are on his EHCP (but they could be provided by any school whether a student has an EHCP or not)
Movement breaks (ie give student jobs, like going on errands, stacking books, moving furniture)
Put student where he cannot distract other students by fidgeting
Allow fidget object, or chewy (oral focus increases mental focus)
Very clear instructions for homework, possibly scaffolded
Small group work
Make sure he has understood what he meant to do in class, check he knows where to start
Lots of sport, encourage him with this rather than make it ability or reward based
I found Parent Partnership very helpful.
It is unlikely you will get an EHCP, and you might waste an enormous amount of time organising fighting for this, when the school's SEN budget should allow your child to be supported even without an EHCP. I think the key is to go in, and make sure they look at recommendations from the private report and how they would implement them, and move forward.
ADHD is often comorbid with dyspraxia, dyslexia and ASD, just so you know that the inattention may have followed his difficulty doing the work, rather than his difficulty following the inattention ifysim..ie he is distracted because he doesn't know how to do what they ask, and tunes out.
A lot of ds's symptoms have disappeared the minute he was in a supportive structured setting, with less attrition and detentions. Detentions will not help your son to concentrate, they will just encourage him to think it is not worth bothering.
Low self esteem is a very common problem once a child starts misbehaving in school, what can the school do to make him feel good about himself and think it is worth bothering? Maybe Drama, sport, extra curricular club, drop a subject he is floundering in, focus on core skills? Could he help in the library, see a mentor or a school counsellor (who is not a teacher) just to keep him feeling he is part of the community, and welcomed.
The school should also have some sort of liaison with an OT, to come in and advise strategies. For example an NHS OT visited ds in school and then encouraged ds to go on a 5K Park run every week, getting himself up in the morning with his own alarm, organising his own clothes for the run, finding what time it was etc. In the end I actually did have to wake him and drive him there, and get the barcode sorted but he was the one who did the run and felt he had achieved a personal goal. This was a suggestion from the OT, of course I could have thought of it myself and so could he, but it needed that bit of encouragement from a outside body, and it spurred him on.
Applying for an ECHP could be worth a try knitting. The OP DS is 10 and would be valuable for when he goes to secondary. He may get an ECHP plan, but I think it's worth applying OP. In the meantime, talk to the school and so forth.
The school would have to prove they had already given him lots of intervention for the OP succeed with an EHCP, and they would have to document their interventions. It sounds like they haven't done much intervening, so whatever happens she would need to start with that. [eg: further delays in EHCP process]
OP's son is already in secondary and aged 12 not 8. He is in Year 8.
Thanks for all these suggestions, you are right about him having low self esteem. He has changed in the last year, is miserable, surly and aggressive, and I think much of this is to do with the continual trouble he is getting into at school. He used to be much more upbeat. I have been saying to the school he needs more help, they have been quite determined it was a behavioural issue. So I would be happy if they do start organising some specific strategies to help. I'm feeling very worried and disheartened at the moment. It's a very high achieving school but their SEN does not seem to be very proactive to me.
Not necessarily Kitten, my DS school didn't do a lot of intervening at all and he still was able to get a statement the first time I applied. I think it depends on the child... And yes 12 is still young . Also; the OP may decide that she wants her DS to move to a new school, even a specialist one... which he would defo need a plan for.