Friday, 24 April 2015

No diagnosis? What's the Big Deal?

Today is Undiagnosed Children's Day. And yes, every day is a particular awareness day now it seems, and yes, it's Allergy Awareness Week too and I already blogged about that on my Recipe Blog.... but this one, this day, really REALLY matters.

You would be forgiven for thinking a diagnosis is an expected and usually almost inevitable end point when you or your child is referred for consideration of a collection of symptoms, often present since birth.  Indeed when you are first sent to hospital with your baby you have high expectations of enlightenment from the medical profession, and although no one seeks a "label" to define their child, it's a commonly accepted fact that a diagnosis in the UK is a passport to services, support, understanding and a pathway to appropriate supportive - and preventative care.

So you might be shocked to learn that  it is not given similar status by Consultants and health professionals. Indeed, there is a culture in this country of diagnosis avoidance, a pretence that by hiding from the logical, avoiding the obvious or avoiding searching for the unexpected they are in some way leaving doors open to you or your child.

Friday, 17 April 2015

I'm hoping for an ASD, ADHD, Down's and Spina Bifida Baby......

Because all parents-to-be, when starting trying for a baby, hope their offspring will be as healthy and happy as possible. Because we are human, because we associate good health and happiness with wellbeing and they are surely two of the most important gifts to bestow on anyone. Surely that can't be controversial?

And equally, once that tiny bundle arrives in your arms, you love it unconditionally, and want the very best for your child. It doesn't matter what peaks and troughs there are ahead on the roller coaster of life, you're in it for the long haul and are your child's fiercest advocate. Irrespective of anything. And that shouldn't be controversial either.

Wednesday, 8 April 2015

SATS - a sandwich, not a hot potato.

Yesterday Nicky Morgan announced that the Conservative Party would introduce SATS re-sits for children who perform badly in their Year 6 primary school tests. In the short time since many have already written of their strong anti-SATS feelings, compounded by anger and frustration that children will be seen to fail in this way. Having written myself against Gove's extreme passion for measuring and testing previously, you would be forgiven for thinking that I would be equally against this new suggestion. However, I don't think the situation is as simple as that, and - as ever, we are missing the elephant in the room.

The question is not "Should we have SATS, and are they good for our children?"
"What is it about them that upsets parents, teachers and possibly children?"

Wednesday, 1 April 2015

Light it up Blue

A sobering thought, don't you think?

But what if the word "excluded" didn't mean only once?

I still have a stack of fixed term exclusion notices for H, from when he was younger. Forty six of them to be precise. And ALL of them given before he was six and a half.

A full year and a half after he was diagnosed with Autism.

So what on earth is going on in our schools? Why are children with diagnosed developmental conditions being excluded for what is actually classed as ASD behaviour?

The short answer, is that despite the sterling work of the National Autistic Society, local groups and numerous parents, teachers are woefully underprepared for the children on the Autism Spectrum that they will teach. My PGCE year offered a full HALF DAY on teaching children with SEN, or "Special Educational Needs". Not enough to even go through the physical, emotional, behavioural and medical disabilities I might encounter even by name alone, let alone prepare me for supporting and teaching children with any one of them. And beyond that salient point, there is the unavoidable fact that for many, many children with Autism, mainstream school is just not appropriate. Trying to ram that square peg into the round hole was never, ever going to work.
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...