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Help late diagnosis of ADHD! Advice needed urgently please

(13 Posts)
HendricksandTonic Thu 18-Aug-16 05:04:52

My 15 yr old son was diagnosed with ADHD (inattentive type) in late Feb 2016. Actually, I suddenly realised I might have it (at 48 🤔!) and the trail led to his having it too. Three months before the onslaught on GSCEs!

Bloody nightmare but we were over a barrel and had to give medication a try. The diagnosis is what it is and we are helping him all we can, in order to move on. The dilemma...

His school (fee paying) is taking no responsibility for non-diagnosis and have been virtually no help in supporting him. Why keep him there you might ask?! However, the meds have meant that he is finally settled there - after a lot of tears (on my part) about him not settling (for five years - always told he was just a typical teen!) and many visits to the school to ask for their help and advice.

The major problem - if he does not gets As in his four chosen A level subjects (and a total of 48 points in his GCSEs), he will be turfed out! After nine years in the school. Make me feel sick just writing this!

He is a smart boy but, despite our best efforts, he did not do enough work towards the exams and I am having sleepless nights about this. If the 💩 hits the fan on 25th August (which I hope it doesn't), I need an armoury of stuff to throw at the Head, to keep him in!

Does anyone have any ideas? Do we have any grounds to threaten to sue the school for non-diagnosis (as a last resort)?

Any advice/support on this would be amazing i.e. other points I can use in our favour. I haven't slept well for weeks, panicking about it. Thank you, thank you!

TheSilverChair Thu 18-Aug-16 06:48:24

As a general rule fee paying schools are not that good at supporting DCs with SNs. There is no legal obligation for them to do so. State schools are obliged to provide support. I don't understand why you want to keep him in a school that has failed him so spectacularly.

Is there a state sixth form college you could move him to? They vary widely but do have an obligation to provide support if you have a diagnosis.

I can't see that you have any grounds to sue. ADHD needs to be diagnosed by professionals and teachers have no training in diagnosis. They can often identify that there is a problem, though. And, I'm afraid, state schools are far better at doing this.

TwoLeftSocks Thu 18-Aug-16 07:06:37

I tend to agree that, unless the school has started somewhere that they have some expertise in the area, they aren't responsible in his diagnosis. I tend to think too that the inattentive bit of ADHD is less recognised than the physical, obvious, hyperactivity unless someone has knowledge of it, which teachers aren't trained in. So I don't think you'd have grounds to sue.

It might be that the legislation (DDA) could apply if they're failing to provide help but I don't know the private sector so well to know how.

I would suggest that your best bet might be to collate any evidence, including anecdotal from teachers, about how his work has improved lately, and ask that he be considered on that. Or look for a good state placement and use the school fees on tutoring. Could he do resits at all?

TwoLeftSocks Thu 18-Aug-16 07:11:40

And also, just wait and see how things go with his results, you might be able to use his actual results vs his predicted results as indication of improved work.

Either way, things will work out somehow. However good the school is, maybe this would be a good opportunity to weigh up whether it's the best one for him as an individual.

HendricksandTonic Thu 18-Aug-16 12:43:18

I hear what you are both saying. I know that, on the face of it, the school sounds like it might not be right for him.

The main reason for wanting to stay is that he is now settled in a nice friendship group - this has been a massive struggle and has really only come about due to meds and just knowledge of his diagnosis really. I hate the idea of upsetting the applecart, just as it has settled 😶

To be honest, I have no intention of suing - whether it was possible or not - I just wondered what our rights actually were. Just in case I needed that for the meeting.

He has been predicted A*s and As across the board, from before diagnosis and since diagnosis, so I may be panicking over nothing...though he absolutely killed his mocks - in a bad way!

You are right, it is hard to diagnose. The reason he has gone undiagnosed for so long is that the school ignored the signs (though we were asking for their help over years) and he has been smart enough to glide under the parapet.

I feel there are two reasons to keep him if he doesn't reach the required levels: 1) they failed to diagnose and we weren't able to get help in time and/or 2) he's clearly smart enough to go to the school if he was smart enough to fox them? I just don't know if that is enough for them to empathise with our predicament...

Sorry, I know this isn't exactly a well put-together train of thought, but I feel super stressed about it.

The good news is that he is totally immune to the stress of it 😊🙄🤔

And finally, you are totally right about the state sector!!!

HendricksandTonic Thu 18-Aug-16 15:42:18

And, by the way, thank you very much indeed for your thoughts. It's great to help crystallise things and very much appreciated. 😊 xxx

TwoLeftSocks Thu 18-Aug-16 15:50:33

To be fair, being settled and having friends are really important, I can totally understand those reasons for wanting to stay on.

Sounds like he might do well with his grades anyway, it sounds like you're among the multitude of parents who care immensely and for whom this is a very stressful time. Glad to hear it washed over him though!

HendricksandTonic Fri 19-Aug-16 00:15:23

Thank you. I just hope that we're all still smiling this time next week! Nothing we can do now and, frankly, he is fit and well - there are many terrible things happening out there. We are very, very lucky :-)

TwoLeftSocks Thu 25-Aug-16 14:52:38

Hope did he do?

TwoLeftSocks Thu 25-Aug-16 14:53:05


Greenicicle Thu 29-Sep-16 13:19:48

Oh Hendricks we could almost have written the same thread. My dd was diagnosed early this year following 2 years of crisis meetings and teeth gnashing on the part of the school and us. She was 17. She scraped gcse grades to stay in 6th form, just, but totally flunked the L6 AS year to the point where we withdrew her before she could take her AS levels. The school knew she was diagnosed (privately, no NHS help available) and said we could discuss her retaking the year after the summer.
Over the summer she decided that she needed a fresh start so enrolled in a local 6th form college with a good reputation. She has had more support in the last month than she had in 6 years at her old school. They have tailored a package of support that has astounded me and it was the best thing we could have done. The school she was at previously never contacted us about a discussion and Im not sure they have noticed she has left. Not a fee paying school but a very over subscribed Anglican high school with very high education standards. FYI dd is on Concerta 18mg and she is a different person. Good luck and don't hang on to a school thst puts its own interests before that if your ds.

Whatnext123 Sat 22-Oct-16 17:51:05

Hi Green what strategies have been put in place. Currently wondering if ds has ADHD. Struggling with sixth form big time despite ok gcse,s

Greenicicle Sat 29-Oct-16 18:27:25

Hi sorry I missed this, been away. They have asked us what her adhd looks like and how it affects her functioning. They have liaised with her subject teachers so that they know what the red flags are. They don't rely on her to write her tasks in a homework diary, they write them on small cards for her to show us. They know NOT to ignore poor or uncompleted work but to report back straight away. The teachers have personally built a close relationship with her so that she CARES what they think of her. They have personal tutors that don't teach, they JUST provide pastoral support to their tutor groups. Also they have an Additional Learning Support Tutor assigned who co ordinates her needs and progress. Hope that helps

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