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PostPosted: Sat Dec 06, 2014 9:26 am 
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Joined: Tue Sep 24, 2013 8:15 am
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Hi, I am interested to hear if anyone else has been in the situation we have just found ourselves in. My daughter has just started grammar school this year, and mentioned this week that she has been given a "pupil passport", which states in black and white "I have Aspergers". This has followed an incident in which my daughter had to deal with some bullying by older children, so had close contact with the pastoral manager. This person mentioned that they noticed she was "different".

My daughter has never been diagnosed. We as a family recognise we all have aspects of Aspergers, however, my daughter has been reading an in-depth book on Aspergers recently, and seems to have convinced herself that she has Aspergers syndrome. She can be a little uncertain with adults she does not know, and hand flaps when anxious - that's about it really. My dd's godmother, who works with Aspergers children in a school in another area was shocked when I told her about the situation - she feels my daughter, although she does have occasional anxiety issues (what 11 year old doesn't?), is barely touching the spectrum. I am concerned that my dd might use this as an excuse not to push herself forward in class - the passport states that the should not be pushed to provide answers in class. She is not one to raise her hand to answer as she says she "doesn't want to show off" - this used to frustrate her primary school teachers who were well aware that she knew the answers. I am also very concerned that we parents have not been consulted at all by the school.

My daughter is happy with the situation and does not want me to approach the school, however I am concerned that this might affect her future options if she is "labelled". Has anyone else come across this?


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PostPosted: Sat Dec 06, 2014 9:47 am 
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That sounds outrageous! I would contact the school ask what training whoever diagnosed this has .

TBH they hardly know her and there is bound to some be increased anxiety (hormones / new school / bullying) - just maybe she because acts slightly differently they should not make a diagnosis like this!


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PostPosted: Sat Dec 06, 2014 9:49 am 
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Joined: Thu Sep 24, 2009 10:59 am
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Ooh I don't like the sound of this one bit. I share your concerns and more besides and I would be up at that school like a hare out of a trap on Monday. Anyone who had seen me in a state of total meltdown over a missing passport this week could have had a field day with the diagnoses, and yesterday the feeling that I was almost missing a train led to more than hand-flapping - even though I ended up with half an hour to spare. Anxiety does weird things to even the most rational people ( 8) ) and 11 and just having started a new school is not necessarily the best time to judge such things.

Either way, if anyone is going to issue labels, let it at least be someone very well qualified to do so ('pastoral manager'? Think clinical psychologist -if there is a need), and in response to a longstanding series of concerns from you and/or the school.

I would go in and kick up a fuss, whether or not your daughter wants you to (she doesn't even have to know, if you are careful). This is nothing short of outrageous in my view and it is important that it doesn't take hold as part of your daughter's identity and sense of self while she is still so young.


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PostPosted: Sat Dec 06, 2014 10:05 am 
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Joined: Mon May 16, 2011 1:05 pm
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Location: Reading
From what you have said, you could be describing my DD. Won't put her hand up much, doesn't like it be pushed etc.

I'd never consider it to be Aspergers though. In her case it's shyness, and she is trying to deal with it.

Talk to the school, find out what's going on.


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PostPosted: Sat Dec 06, 2014 10:25 am 
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Just another thought- if this is some kind of attempt by the school to excuse the bullying, that needs stamping on too. Being 'different', while often the outward reason for being picked on, is absolutely not an excuse for accepting bullying, which always is the fault of the bullies and always needs to be treated as such. Your daughter must not be made to feel that she 'deserves' to be bullied, no matter what her idiosyncrasies.


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PostPosted: Sat Dec 06, 2014 11:37 am 
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Joined: Wed Jan 11, 2006 7:10 pm
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Location: Buckinghamshire
This is one of the most shocking threads I've ever read on here, and I've read a few horrors in my time.

The only people qualified to make a proper diagnosis of Aspergers are a Clinical Psychologist, a Paediatrician or an Educational Psychologist with experience of diagnosing the disorder.

Even a school SENCo would normally only have sufficient experience to make a preliminary diagnosis of the possibility of Aspergers, leading to a full referral in consultation with you.

The likelihood of a Pastoral Care Manager having appropriate qualifications to do that is minute, and for her to have allowed your daughter to "self diagnose", as she appears to have done, is simply disgraceful.

Let's move the goalposts a little just to demonstrate how appalling this is: imagine if your daughter had come home with a Pupil Passport that read "I am dyslexic ..."? Or even "I am anorexic ..."? All without your knowledge or consent, and without any apparent support plan in place?

As your daughter doesn't want you to approach the school, I suggest that you discreetly take a copy of the "pupil passport" when she isn't around. Call the school on Monday and ask for an urgent appointment with the SENCo. Obviously it is important to establish the facts of what has happened, but I can't see any way at all that this should have arisen without you being consulted.

In the meantime, see if the school has a published SEN Policy on their website. Even if the Policy isn't published on the website, it should exist, so ask for a copy of it.

Quote:
my daughter has been reading an in-depth book on Aspergers recently, and seems to have convinced herself that she has Aspergers syndrome.

I wonder if this was her way of coping with the bullying? And whether the school has in fact led her to research this in depth?

If so, it is even worse than at first sight ...

Please let us know how you get on.


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PostPosted: Sat Dec 06, 2014 11:43 am 
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Joined: Wed Nov 21, 2007 4:20 pm
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Words fail me, quite literally.

Personally I'd be suing their a*ses off (sorry, but I'm just so furious about this).

HOW DARE THEY,

How dare they not ask your permission to have her assessed. How dare they label her. Why do they think it's ok to add extra stress on your poor child. Her self esteem must be through the floor. Is the person who so airily stated your daughter's 'condition' even qualified?

This is soooooooooo wrong. They do not have the authority to do this. Get yourself a good lawyer, they have abused your parental rights, your daughter's well-being and a million other things, but I'm so ranty right now I can't think of them, but I bet the lawyer could! :evil:

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PostPosted: Sat Dec 06, 2014 11:49 am 
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Joined: Mon Feb 12, 2007 1:21 pm
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Great post Sally-Anne.

As a former SENCO I cannot comprehend what has gone on here .... it's totally outrageous.


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PostPosted: Sat Dec 06, 2014 12:38 pm 
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Joined: Wed Jan 11, 2006 7:10 pm
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Location: Buckinghamshire
Guest55 wrote:
Great post Sally-Anne.

Thank you. Sadly it is informed by personal experience.

Many moons ago a teacher with absolutely no known qualifications in SEN spouted a whole load of cod-psychology/physiology at me in an attempt to pass off the school's shortcomings on to DS1.

There's absolutely nothing wrong with him, and never was. (Well, nothing that a bit of common sense wouldn't cure ... :roll: )


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PostPosted: Sat Dec 06, 2014 12:46 pm 
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Joined: Tue Sep 24, 2013 8:15 am
Posts: 29
Thank you all so much for your replies. To be fair, my daughter has pushed this by labelling herself, and I have now removed the book from easy access (!!). I will be contacting the school - I am sure it has been done with the best of intentions and I have been impressed by the school so far, I just need to have the "labelling" concerns allayed really - thanks again everyone.

(The bullying issue was sorted out very quickly and efficiently, no worries on that score).


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