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 Post subject: Neurodivergence
PostPosted: Sun Mar 28, 2021 11:22 am 
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Joined: Mon Oct 14, 2019 9:04 am
Posts: 168
DS is currently in year 3. He's been flagged as being different from nursery. He's very bright (teachers view, not just proud mum!) but doesn't interact with others as most other kids do. We've now been advised to get him assessed by a specialist, but also it's been suggested that it can be hard to get an assessment. Does anyone have any experience or advice as to what we can do to help move the process forward or make things run more smoothly?

Sorry, this isn't yet to do with the 11+, but I suspect (from what his teachers are saying) when he's in year 5 it will be!
TIA


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 Post subject: Re: Neurodivergence
PostPosted: Sun Mar 28, 2021 11:39 am 
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Joined: Mon May 16, 2011 2:05 pm
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Location: Reading
If you can afford to get it done privately, then do so. Currently it may need to be done remotely via zoom or some such. The difficulty lies in waiting lists for this to be done.

I’ll PM you.


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 Post subject: Re: Neurodivergence
PostPosted: Sun Mar 28, 2021 12:20 pm 
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Joined: Mon Oct 14, 2019 9:04 am
Posts: 168
Tinkers wrote:
If you can afford to get it done privately, then do so. Currently it may need to be done remotely via zoom or some such. The difficulty lies in waiting lists for this to be done.

I’ll PM you.


Thank you, we will have a look at finances and get him on a waiting list ASAP. We're hoping that as we have the support of teachers it will be easier to navigate the system!


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 Post subject: Re: Neurodivergence
PostPosted: Sun Mar 28, 2021 1:43 pm 
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Joined: Tue Sep 27, 2016 10:52 am
Posts: 232
Hi 2Socks,

I had to get DD assessed (for SEN) by an Educational Psychologist last year in June. It was doable as 50% over zoom and 50% outside in a garden setting. DD had to be seen in person so behaviour could be observed directly. The certifying bodies had just agreed that this approach was acceptable. As lockdown eases the garden visit should be easier to achieve. I was surprised how quickly the EP was able to see DD but I think lockdown had seriously affected how many people were making appointments.

Note, our EP was very concerned about getting DD’s school to recognise the validity of the assessment from the outset as private assessments, especially through EPs the school doesn’t usually use, may not be considered official. Can the school SENCo recommend someone if you’re going for a private assessment?

Getting a private assessment is probably the fastest and easiest way to get this done but a GP would also do a referral for a formal diagnosis (which usually requires the input of several specialists). We went this route for a dyspraxia assessment. DD was also assessed along the way for ASD but this was discounted well before dyspraxia was confirmed.

Alternatively, I wonder about whether it’s worth looking into something like Potential Plus in the meantime as being much brighter than playmates can also make social interaction more strained. Sometimes this just looks like neurodivergence and sometimes it is neurodivergence on top of everything else as well.

HTH
PS

Edited to add a description of process for assessment of ASD neurodivergence and to be clear I doubt EP would do a formal diagnosis on their own but would be able to help with cognitive profile especially if high IQ might be a factor.

https://www.autism.org.uk/advice-and-gu ... and-carers


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 Post subject: Re: Neurodivergence
PostPosted: Mon Mar 29, 2021 3:16 pm 
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Joined: Mon Oct 14, 2019 9:04 am
Posts: 168
PerpetualStudent wrote:
Hi 2Socks,

I had to get DD assessed (for SEN) by an Educational Psychologist last year in June. It was doable as 50% over zoom and 50% outside in a garden setting. DD had to be seen in person so behaviour could be observed directly. The certifying bodies had just agreed that this approach was acceptable. As lockdown eases the garden visit should be easier to achieve. I was surprised how quickly the EP was able to see DD but I think lockdown had seriously affected how many people were making appointments.

Note, our EP was very concerned about getting DD’s school to recognise the validity of the assessment from the outset as private assessments, especially through EPs the school doesn’t usually use, may not be considered official. Can the school SENCo recommend someone if you’re going for a private assessment?

Getting a private assessment is probably the fastest and easiest way to get this done but a GP would also do a referral for a formal diagnosis (which usually requires the input of several specialists). We went this route for a dyspraxia assessment. DD was also assessed along the way for ASD but this was discounted well before dyspraxia was confirmed.

Alternatively, I wonder about whether it’s worth looking into something like Potential Plus in the meantime as being much brighter than playmates can also make social interaction more strained. Sometimes this just looks like neurodivergence and sometimes it is neurodivergence on top of everything else as well.

HTH
PS

Edited to add a description of process for assessment of ASD neurodivergence and to be clear I doubt EP would do a formal diagnosis on their own but would be able to help with cognitive profile especially if high IQ might be a factor.

https://www.autism.org.uk/advice-and-gu ... and-carers


Thank you for this, really helpful. I'm no ed psych, but I think there's a little bit of both higher achievement (he finds the maths and science basic and boring) and some condition affecting his social development. Fortunately we're both scientifically educated so he's getting stretched at home with the maths and science. English is a different kettle of fish; he really struggles with emotions and so, although his reading is excellent, he struggles with comprehension tasks when it's not a literal answer. Questions about how a character feels or why they acted the way they did almost frighten him. As do loud noises (particularly a bustling lunch hall, etc) and some textures/touch sensations.
The garden visit sounds like it would work well. Whatever it is, it's affecting him, but not too badly...yet!


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 Post subject: Re: Neurodivergence
PostPosted: Tue Mar 30, 2021 8:49 am 
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Joined: Tue Sep 27, 2016 10:52 am
Posts: 232
Well done getting the ball rolling now before your DS is too seriously affected.

Our DD was year 4 before we started looking into SEN but by then she was obviously having a hard time. The combination of being very bright and having SEN can mean they mask each other until the challenge to compensate becomes too much. We would have started sooner getting DD formally assessed had we realised. It was a bit of a long and winding road but even the first assessment made a big difference to DD’s well-being, as school had something to work with to understand how to help her.

Glad to be able to help.
Good luck,
PS


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 Post subject: Re: Neurodivergence
PostPosted: Tue Mar 30, 2021 9:37 am 
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Joined: Sun Aug 19, 2018 4:57 pm
Posts: 169
Hi 2socks! Our DS has dyslexia and has ASD characteristics although not formally diagnosed. We didn't get an assessment for him until after the 11+. DH wasn't keen to 'label him' but I insisted at that point that he needed some sort of report to make transition easier.
We used the Dyscovery centre in Cardiff for his dyslexia diagnosis. They also included a report on his asd characteristics, but you had to do a separate assessment to have a formal diagnosis. DS said he didn't want to do that assessment. I think he felt that one diagnosis was plenty. I think the earlier you do it the better in some ways, so they don't have quite as much insight into things.
DS is at STR and they have been great at supporting him. A lot of the boys there seem to have something or other divergent about them, I think it is often part of the package for boys with a high IQ. The boys are therefore v accepting of kids that are a bit different.
STR were a lot more interested in the ASD bit of his report than his dyslexia bit, and the sen teacher arranged to have a chat with me before starting year 7, which made transition v smooth. There hasn't been any need to have a more formal diagnosis, so if for any reason you have problems getting an assessment, as long as you have some sort of Ed Psych report, it will be fine for secondary purposes.
Good luck!


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 Post subject: Re: Neurodivergence
PostPosted: Tue Mar 30, 2021 10:08 am 
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Joined: Thu Mar 05, 2009 10:24 pm
Posts: 437
The transition to secondary school is often the crumbling point for neurodivergent children. As your child is still in the smaller more nuturing environment of primary school there is plenty of time to pursue the diagnosis that will secure support at that time. In our area the assessment waiting list is around 12 - 16 months long currently.


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 Post subject: Re: Neurodivergence
PostPosted: Wed Mar 31, 2021 9:52 am 
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Joined: Mon Oct 14, 2019 9:04 am
Posts: 168
Thanks all. We've been advised that we need to get a letter from the school which his current teacher doesn't support... previous teachers do, but not current. We will look at going down the private route, but may well have to wait. I'm rather downhearted at the moment... doesn't help that DH doesn't recognise the issue really...'DS is just like me, he doesn't need any help'. I can't seem to get across that DH may have found things easier with a bit of help too :roll:
Tommy's would be great for DS... it's our closest boys secondary and I think the walk to school helps to calm/focus him, so obviously it would be great if he qualifies. That's a long way away at the moment though, so I'm not worrying about that yet. That said, I can see that the transition will be tricky... it's not been great from infants to juniors, so I would rather get it looked into sooner rather than later.


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 Post subject: Re: Neurodivergence
PostPosted: Wed Mar 31, 2021 1:20 pm 
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Joined: Tue Sep 27, 2016 10:52 am
Posts: 232
Hi 2Socks,
So sorry to hear that your effort to help your DS is being made much harder than it needs to be. This is often what happens when DC are twice exceptional aka 2e or DME in Potential Plus terminology.

https://potentialplusuk.org/wp-content/ ... 191121.pdf

Your DS will have had only a brief time with the current teacher given the move to junior school and with lockdowns. This means they haven’t have had enough time to observe him in a wide range of activities. Is it possible to get a letter from his previous teachers that would be considered?

Would your DH support getting involved in Potential Plus or another group that supports high iq kids? The reason I suggest this is that I believe these organisations have plenty of expertise in spotting neurodivergence as well as supporting very bright kids. As the leaflet above explains these traits often go hand in hand. With the support of others in such an organisation you may find it easier to persuade your DH of the advantages of an assessment.

Thinking ahead, with English being a key component of 11+ and group work an increasing part of school assessment, it really is worth figuring out what your DS is trying to manage before things get more stressful.

If it helps, my DD used to become agitated (still does a bit) when asked to answer questions for which there is no clear cut yes/no answer. Part of this is the possibility she might be wrong in her inference. When facts come so easily in other situations perfectionism adds to the angst of trying to work with something less clear cut. DD also struggles with lots of noise and crowded situations and has a couple of texture/touch foibles. But DD is not considered to be ASD in general.

There are a few other resources I’ve encountered along the way as I tried to figure out how to help DD. Doing background reading around the problem has never been a waste of time in my experience so do let me know if I can help with anything else.

PS


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