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Exclusions guidance for children with special needs

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An extract from the book:

Exclusions guidance from the government suggests that as an early measure, moving a child to a different class can be a solution to problems. In Daniel’s case I believe a lot of his problems stemmed from the inability of the Year 1 teacher to get a firm hold on his behaviour, and I’d stressed my opinion to the head teacher on many occasions, to no avail. To think that a simple change of class teacher could have made a difference really upset me. But the guidance goes further.

There are a host of external agencies that schools can and should involve in the care plan of a child with special needs, and there doesn’t have to be a Statement in place to access this support. For example, every local authority has an Educational Psychologist who is experienced in dealing with issues including ADHD and autistic spectrum disorders, who can be called on for advice. Every county also has a Child and Adult Mental Health Service (CAMHS) which is equipped to provide a range of support tools including anger management and counselling, and schools can refer children to CAMHS or request that a member of the team comes into school to help with individual care plans.

I’d strongly recommend that if you find yourself in a situation where your child could be heading for an exclusion, you do your research and arm yourself to the teeth with all the information you can find.

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4 comments on “Exclusions guidance for children with special needs”

  1. Julia Marsh Reply

    Unfortunately in my experience the external agencies were not much help. The Educational Psychologist was very vague and didn’t even seem to think it was important to seek an official diagnosis as it was ‘just a label’. She did offer my son some CBT sessions at school but then ceased to turn up halfway through the programme, don’t think they made any difference anyway. CAMHS was contacted on several occasions but said my son did not fall within their remit as they said he did not have mental health issues, and anger management issues alone apparently did not qualify him to access their services. They were eventually persuaded to give him a few sessions of anger management counselling, despite still maintaining that strictly speaking he wasn’t eligible, but again although the doctor was nice and well meaning I don’t think these sessions had any lasting effect. My son was moved to different classes a few times, he had good class teachers and bad class teachers over the years – in Year 4 he was made to sit apart from the rest of the class at a table on his own, staring at the wall so that he didn’t disrupt the rest of the class! I complained several times but to no avail. That was the worst I think. In all honesty not much has helped in the way of interventions and I no longer have any expectations so then I can’t be disappointed, one thing I quickly learned as an ADHD parent is that you are on your own, sink or swim and I have never experienced anything to make me revise that opinion. Friends and family are sympathetic up to a point but noone who isn’t actually in this situation themselves can truly understand and you have a constant feeling that you are being judged, whether you actually are or not. The only true support and comfort has come from other parents in the same position, who have been more helpful than all the official agencies put together. My son is now about to enter the 6th form and I am still tearing my hair out with worry over him, as the older he gets the less control I have over him and his behaviour is certainly not becoming any more sensible – far from it. I truly fear for what the future holds, he could become somebody truly amazing or he could go down, and at the moment there is absolutely no predicting which way the pendulum will swing.

    • Alison Thompson Reply

      Sorry to hear you’ve had such difficult experiences. In my book I talk about our own story and it certainly hasn’t been plain sailing. My son was let down completely by his first school,. who failed to even mention him to the ed psych even though he was close to being permanently excluded. Fortunately his second school were more effective and while he still suffered a second exclusion, they did do everything properly and tried their best. Unfortunately getting a diagnosis – a “label”, if you like – and letting things get absolutely as bad as they can is often the only way to get children the help they need ….. it’s so sad but that’s often how it seems to be.

  2. Jackie Reply

    Getting the diagnoses has enabled me to put it in writing to what ways I think the school can help my child, they have now put some things in place which I hope will benefit him. Getting the ‘ADHD’ was great because it has replaced the ‘bold child’ one that he has had for the last 5 years, it’s such a positive step for him.

    • Alison Thompson Reply

      Agree completely – some people see labels as a bad thing but actually, knowing exactly what you’re dealing with can make such a positive difference. Hope your child continues to get the help he deserves.

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