Do You Think School Parents Should Have The Final Say on Whether Their Child Sees a Doctor for Autistic-Like Behaviour?

A close relative of mine is a primary school teacher. She has been teaching her own class for about 8 years' now across multiple grades at a very large public school. In the past three years' specifically, she has taught children with undiagnosed behaviours, children who display behaviours very similar to that of children with autism, ADHD, ODD amongst other 'on the spectrum' disorders.

How the system currently works is that extra funding comes with children who have been diagnosed with a disorder by a doctor. Meaning, if you teach a child with, say, ADHD, your school will receive extra funding to pay for a second teacher who can work in the classroom one-on-one with the diagnosed child, whilst the main teacher can focus their time evenly across the other 29 students in the class.

However, if the parents of the child do not choose to have their child assessed, then there is no funding can be allocated. Schools cannot force parents to have their children assessed.

This creates various issues in the classroom. For example, the lack of help means she is spending her time trying to deal with the undiagnosed student during their daily outburst at the expense of the other students' learning. Her most recent student will roll around on the carpet, throw stationery, pull work off walls, pushing other children over, cry and scream in the middle of a lesson, defy any instruction, and all round consume the time of the teacher trying to calm them down.

Again, the other 29 students in the class suffer from this, as the teacher is pulled away from their main duties (of teaching the entire class) to trying to ensure that one student doesn't hurt themselves or another child.

The parents, for various reasons, refuse to take their child to see a specialist:

  • a diagnosis can bring shame in certain cultures
  • a diagnosis puts a 'label' on their child
  • a diagnosis can mean your child is perceived as different from the rest of the class and treated differently
  • pure ignorance that they don't think anything is wrong

As someone who doesn't work in child education, it is baffling to me that there isn't some sort of third-party who comes along and watches the child for a week and then assess them, without any input from the parents.

Do you think parents' should continue to have the final say on getting their child assessed (and hence, restrict funding to schools), or do you think we should take this choice out of their hands and have an independent party make this call?

Poll Options

  • 34
    Yes, parents should be able to choose to not have their child assessed
  • 132
    No, a third-party/the school should choose which children need assessing
  • 6
    Other (comment below)

Comments

  • +15

    My 3 1/2 year old is a Level 3 autistic. Diagnosed at 2. Not sure why any parent would not want to get there child diagnosed. We cant even send ours to 3 year old Kinder without supervision and we wouldn't either. Its not fair to the teacher or other kids.

    • +4

      The OP listed some reasons why parents would rather not. Pretty sad and disgusting IMO.

      • +2

        A friend refused diagnosis for their child for years, first through denial of any problem, then because they didn't want their child 'labelled'. Five years and five schools later, they were forced to get a diagnosis, and surprise surprise, the child has aspergers. With additional support at school and counselling for the parents, three years on the child still has difficulties, but is at least able to attend school, progress, and stopped disrupting the whole class.

        • That’s really good to hear. I hope that the delay in help wasn’t detrimental to their development.

          • +1

            @Ghost47: Thanks. They're doing OK, going into Year 12 this year after a bumpy Year 11. Covid certainly didn't help.

            One of the issues was that the parents were convinced that the child was specially gifted, like some sort of rainman, so made excuses all the time. Once they took on board the psychologist's advice to put some clear boundaries in place, the child's behaviour and capacity to participate socially improved significantly.

  • +18

    That is some sort of child abuse for not letting your child seek the right help.

  • +10

    A parent who refuses to seek a medical diagnosis for problem behaviour, needs to accept the consequences of their choice.
    The consequences can range from take home (even if the parent is working) to suspension/exclusion for ongoing disruptive behaviour. The other students have a right to learn, and the teacher the right to a safe workspace. (The sort of behaviour is one of the main sources of teacher stress.)
    A good principal will follow this line if all else fails. A principal who doesn't acknowledge the issue, can be made aware fairly quickly if the child is sent to the office for the disruptive behaviour, on each occassion.

    • -3

      A parent who refuses to seek a medical diagnosis for problem behaviour, needs to accept the consequences of their choice.
      The consequences can range from take home (even if the parent is working) to suspension/exclusion for ongoing disruptive behaviour

      The sort of parent who does this is likely someone who will take out their anger on the poor kid.

      • +1

        There exist other avenues for reporting that sort of reaction, and they become serious very quickly.

        • I wish this were true. Sadly, it's far from true.

          • @brendanm: DOCS and social workers don't exist…?

            • +4

              @Quantumcat: Social workers are extremely restricted in what they can do. Docs is basically useless. My wife works in the sector, and the amount of stuff I hear about is only a tiny bit of it, and it's terrible.

              She had to deal with a woman the other day, she has paranoid schizophrenia, and a young daughter. Just got housing after being in hospital, she doesn't take her meds, pumps music that "talks to her", screams at the kid all day, has no food for her. The poor kid just sits in the corner frightened. Docs do nothing. This is one of so so many. I honestly wish I didn't know all the things that happen, and she doesn't tell me the half of it.

              I can't stand the thought of kids being put through the things they get put through, while government agencies that are meant to protect them do nothing.

              • @brendanm: You said there were no avenues for reporting it, that's what I was responding to. Not the effectiveness or otherwise of the bodies reported to. Sounds like your wife has a tough job.

                • +2

                  @Quantumcat: Sorry, when I said "I wish this were true. Sadly, it's far from true", I was replying to "they become serious very quickly". It wasn't very clear.

                  Sounds like your wife has a tough job.

                  She's a much better person than I, and she makes a hell of a difference in the lives of people who no one else gives a shit about. Just a pity the government doesn't care.

              • @brendanm: Yet majority of times docs takes kids off parents for the littlest reasons n leave other kids with drug addicts ect …my mate got 7 kids removed due to the house being messy yet they paid for a lawn mower guy but no help in the house only removed all the kids

  • +1

    There are plenty of parents who are in denial about their children and will refuse any diagnosis on the basis of the above mentioned reasons, even though it is blatantly obvious . Often the woman is open to it but the male partner will refuse. (Source - my partner is a psychologist)

  • +3

    This is apparently a common issue that school teachers, particularly primary school teachers have to deal with. Teachers Aids see this a lot as they are often made to work with such children who are often diagnosed. It sucks and from what I've heard those reasons you've outlined are the common reasons parents refuse to get their kids diagnosed. Teachers should absolutely be allowed to choose who need assessing if not for the fact that they too have a duty of care towards the child as well.

    • As you mentioned it's difficult when you have a duty of care as an educator but your hands are tied because of inaction on the parent's part.

      My wife had to deal with this last year (childcare educator) with a child with severe developmental delays. All year long my wife tried urging, calling, emailing, instant messaging (and yes the messages were read) and urging the parents to do basic things like going for the regular maternal nurse check ups, going to the GP, getting a referral, sending them resources etc. All met with silence.

      Which is sad because early intervention is extremely effective and there's so much funding, programmes and help available from the government.

      This year they have chosen to move the child on to 4 year old kinder, which is just passing the problem on when the child is clearly not ready. Very sad.

  • +3

    your school will receive extra funding to pay for a second teacher who can work in the classroom one-on-one with the diagnosed child

    Not necessarily true.
    In main stream funding will be dependent on the diagnosis of the child.
    Just because a child is diagnosed it doesn't mean that the school will get extra funding for a 'second teacher' - you mean ES Education Support Staff
    Even if the child gets extra funding depending on their level of assessment they may only get a part-time ES or funds allocated to extra services not necessarily in the form of an ES.

    • +1

      Yes sorry I didn't go into that level of detail in my post but that's correct, the severity/type of diagnosis will determine funding/support. But just having an extra set of eyes in the classroom (be it for an hour a day, or whatever) can still make a huge difference.

  • +11

    Whilst it’s probably better for the children to be assessed and get the support, it still has to be the parents choice unless it’s a case of medical neglect in which case it is up to child protective services to decide. I don’t believe it’s appropriate to take the ability for parents to consent on behalf of their children away, unless they are deemed not to have capacity to do so or are abusive/neglectful.

    A way to help the teachers is not to make the additional funding and support attached to the diagnosis and/or specialist assessment, rather to the behaviour and needs. Attaching funding to specific diagnoses has been problematic for a number of reasons and is widely recognised. The school system can better support the students and teachers by making funding and supports available even when the parents don’t want them to have a developmental assessment with a paediatrician. The school system should be backing their teachers who can clearly identify what kind of behaviours they are observing. There will always be parents who disagree with the teacher or don’t like the mainstream medical model whether we like it or not, so the system needs to accommodate for this.

  • If a child is diagnosed with ADHD are the parents forced to give their children the prescribed medication at school or do they still have a choice?

    • They have a choice but if the child's behaviour is too extreme they'll be excluded and the parents will have to send them to a specialist school, which may or may not be very expensive

      • -1

        Mmm yeah I'd be on the fence then. I appreciate that you can't just have kids running wild disrupting their classmates but also having taken Ritalin for a time during my schooling I can tell you it doesn't help them concentrate on their schoolwork any better, I would mostly just hyperfocus on whatever book I was reading at the time, it just made my behavior more manageable. Have compared notes with others and that seems to be pretty universal. I would at least like to try alternative methods for managing their behaviour, but like you've said only an expensive specialist school would have the resources to do that properly.

        As a kid Ritalin would give me cold clammy hands and leave me looking for hidden illustrations in picture books. I wouldn't want to give it to my own child.

        • +1

          I have found my medication has done wonders for me as an adult and am a little resentful my parents never got me checked because of their own selfish reasons. Though the medication works different on each person, and stimulants might not be your best avenue.

          Regarding the illustrations, was this just random behavior or was there a book that prompted you to look originally and you maintained it after that just in case?

      • +2

        Not true.
        The disability discrimination act prevents this. Parents can choose to send their child to a support class or special school, but cannot be forced. Even if a school needs to build brand new elevators and ramps, for example, to cater to a student in a wheelchair. The same applies for autism or mental health conditions, schools must accommodate their needs.

        Also, the support classes/special schools have the same low fees as other mainstream placements.

        Source: me. A school counsellor in NSW.

        • +2

          Yes but if the child is not diagnosed then he or she does not officially have a disability and the school can't get access to extra funding to help them stay in mainstream. Without a diagnosis they're just really really badly behaved.

      • Obviously depends on the state. Doesn’t happen here in WA. Parental choice overrides.

    • +1

      Definitely have a choice my now 21 yr old had adhd and odd and his pead said i only give meds if it helps the child not to keep parents and teachers happy so my son was never medicated

      • Yeah that's cool, good choice. It sounds obvious but as an adult I find maintaining regular exercise helps a lot to regulate that nervous energy - parents didn't really push physical activity when I was a kid unfortunately.

  • +2

    I assume you've had told the principal, had meetings with the parents and they refused assessments. Then unfortunately, the parents chose for your school to treat their kid like other kids with detention, suspension, expulsion, etc.

    I'm sure they'll quickly change their tune.

    • I agree, surely those meetings have been held.

    • -1

      This "strategy" only works if the teacher is comfortable going by the book and punishing someone (they suspect to be unable to follow instructions) for not following instructions, which makes everything worse for everyone - kid has meltdowns, class gets disrupted, angry calls from parents (kids and other kids), supervisors and principals, advocacy groups etc. It's the nuclear option, and as terrible as it sounds.

    • This , the right for assessment should definitely be defended to prevent abuse by schools , and if parents refuse to assess there are already processes in place that protect the other students and their education ( they just need to be enforced ).

  • +2

    There are also teachers that can't cope with anything different from their perceived "norm" and start to put their hand up for extra funding while making the child and parents life hell. Little things like how the child eats their lunch ie taking off the crusts or taking out a particular filling used to have the school calling and wanting a meeting so the parents continually have to leave work risking their jobs to attend meetings. This happened with my family and another 4 families within that class of first time prep year. We weren't asked for a diagnosis from a professional it was just this teachers opinion with 5 boys in her class. When they couldn't get the extra funding they cut the days the boys could attend to 5 days per fortnight (this was the first year of preschool in Queensland before it was available at all schools).

  • On the other side of the coin one of the perks of being a foster carer - The school and ourselves both want our child assessed since she started last year, however from all our dealings with the department over the past 10 years this is like getting water from a stone. Our youngest who has been with us for 3.5 years and it now in pre-primary finally has her appointment coming up in March after a long battle to get to this stage with it taking escalating to the ombudsman to get traction.

    The department always agreed it should happen, but we were not 'approved' to fund it ourselves privately as with everything they feel the need to remind us who is really in control. Unfortunately being familiar with a couple of other carers around the place of children in simimlar cases this is not uncommon and quite often due to late diagnoses it is very hard for these kids to adjust correctly to a school environment.

  • +12

    Former teacher here. Not primary though (I'd never be able to stand them).

    Yes, some students may have undiagnosed mental illnesses, but let's not deny the fact that some kids are just pests/assholes/spoiled…etc. and simply need to be taught that certain behaviours are not okay. The issue is that, as a society, we have this really weird system where schools/teachers (particularly at public schools) are only responsible for the academic aspects of education and not the behavioural/social aspects, which are often left to the parents. For various reasons (including the fact that some parents are just completely ignorant), many kids do not get taught what is good and proper behaviour by their parents and this bleeds over to the school system.

    The problem is that because the school does not have the capability to teach children how to behave, any child who misbehaves is categorised as needing additional help or having a mental illness (of course, many do, but many also don't), and there becomes a consistent push for extra funding which oftentimes never addresses the original issue in the first place.

    I understand that my experience teaching teenagers would be completely different to teaching little kids. But in my time, I've seen so many misbehaving teens who just need pastoral care, guidance and someone to care about them and understand their issues, and sometimes even sometimes just some punishment (isolation, detention…etc.) to get them back on the straight and narrow.

    Many times I've taught kids who everyone else has labelled a problem. Often I'll just invite them round to my office for a chat during lunchtime and just try to understand what's going on. A lot of these kids aren't really "problematic", but are just lost and have little direction. Often they have bad relationships with their parents, don't have an adult who can guide them and helping to provide that goes a long way to resolving many of their problematic behaviours.

    Basically what I'm trying to say is that I don't doubt what you're highlighting is an issue, but the way we approach education is broken (one of the reasons I left teaching). Problems are always passed around, there seems to always be experts for everything, but at the end of the day, I feel that the educational system almost numbs the enthusiasm of many teachers who genuinely want to help make a difference in the lives of their students.

    • Totally agree with this. Teachers have really lost the classroom these days and have no option but to call the parents for the most trivial of things. "Disobedience" - Im calling your parents.

      • +3

        Completely agree, and I think that it becomes a cycle. This is what I've seen (all anecdotal of course, but corroborated with others' experiences):

        1) Oftentimes, the parents are the problem. Some kids already have a bad relationship with their parents and calling their parents for all sorts of minor infractions only makes that relationship worse which, of course, will make their behaviour worse.

        2) Then on the other end of the spectrum, there are parents who simply will defend their kid at all costs, again, meaning that if their parents are called, the parents will just stick up for the kid and this validates the kid's behaviour. This makes the teacher/school the common enemy and the kid will just act with more impunity.

        3) The current system of escalation from "go to the principal's office" to detention, call the parents, suspension, to call the parents again, to more suspension, to expulsion generally does nothing to address the fundamental causes of bad behaviour and only further alienates already struggling students.

        4) This is my own opinion, obviously, but there's a lot of selection bias as to who becomes teachers. Generally speaking, people who become teachers have had a good experience with the educational system themselves, so they rarely have personal experience with some of the situations that the "bad kids" go through. Very few "bad kids" who've had a bad experience with the educational system want to come back as teachers. It's actually a similar issue to why policing is often quite broken.

        I still remember when I completely had it with teaching was when a student of mine (who had been facing some issues at home) lost the plot in class after another student provoked him. He was yelling and screaming and kicked over a table. The episode lasted a few minutes, nobody was harmed in any way and after the kid calmed down, he understood what he did was wrong.

        After the kid calmed down, I asked to speak with him after class (it was recess time) and we had a chat about why that happened and how he can try and manage his anger in the future. I was hauled in front of a coordinator later that day asking why I didn't "report" the incident. I said it's my classroom, I have control, the kids respect me and trust me to deal with these issues in their best interest (as is my responsibility and role). I was basically told that this is a "serious incident" and parents need to be called and the kid suspended. Despite my insistence that I was working on it with the kid, it all fell on deaf ears. Parents were called, kid was suspended and safe to say, I lost all rapport with the kid and things just got worse. I realised the problem was "the system" and know-it-all's at the top who think they know what's going on despite being nowhere near the classroom.

  • -1

    Yes the parent can choose.

    If they choose not to diagnose the child then label and kick the disruptive child out of school (suspend then expel).

    Make the issue the parents' and the child's so that the other 29 don't have to suffer.

  • +2

    I agree with other views expressed here, that while it should only ever be the parents' who can refer their children for any form of medical assessment (obviously outside the normal accident and emergency situations that may crop up from time to time), the school has the responsibility to provide an appropriate learning environment for all children.

    People forget that responsibility and consequence must (or at least should) go hand in hand.

    Parents should be responsible for ensuring their children are in an appropriate learning environment consistent with (amongst other things) the issues raised here … the consequence being that an inappropriate environment will not benefit the child and/or them being informed they will need to seek an alternative environment.

    Schools should be responsible for ensuring that all children are learning according to their abilities (noting not only that while some may need extra help, many will need more advanced challenges) … the consequence being that they should be subject to appropriate assessments of their performance at individual and group levels and made appropriately accountable for that performance.

    • +4

      it should only ever be the parents' who can refer their children for any form of medical assessment

      The only issue I have with this is that it is inherently discriminatory against mental illnesses.

      Would you be okay with a parent who refuses to take their child to the hospital when they have a broken leg, for instance? I guess not, that you would probably say this is abuse and society should get involved. The issue is that many behavioural or mental illnesses have far more serious consequences than even many physical injuries or illnesses. So why the double standard?

      Children are not slaves owned by their parents, they have rights and it is society's responsibility to make sure those rights are upheld. There is significant evidence to suggest that early intervention is highly effective for certain behavioural issues and by denying their children this treatment, it could lead to a worse outcome.

      • +1

        Only crackpots would disagree that a child with a broken leg should be treated immediately and without delay, regardless of whether a parent can be immediately reached for consent.

        I think we're fundamentally on the same page, but rather than the "broken leg" analogy it's more the "strange spot" analogy.

        As a parent I would be very welcoming of a teacher saying to me words to the effect of I've noticed a strange spot on your child, it might be worth your while checking it out.

        I would be far less welcoming of that same teacher informing me that they've arranged a medical assessment and it's been diagnosed as "x".

        I agree with your statement that mental illness can often be far more debilitating that physical illness, but also contend that mental illness is rarely something that requires literally immediate attention and rather needs to be appropriately and expediently dealt with a la the "strange spot" analogy.

        • As a parent I would be very welcoming of a teacher saying to me words to the effect of I've noticed a strange spot on your child, it might be worth your while checking it out. I would be far less welcoming of that same teacher informing me that they've arranged a medical assessment and it's been diagnosed as "x".

          I think we're on the same page, but the issue is that even after some teachers have suggested to a parent that they should get something checked out, they refuse to do so. The question is when it becomes appropriate for the school/teacher to take further action on behalf of the child?

          • @p1 ama: That's an interesting question and I'm sure there are protocols in this respect. I would assume they would follow a similar protocol that that for suspected physical abuse/DV, but that's purely speculative.

            • @Seraphin7: No they don’t follow the same protocol and it can be frustrating for a teacher. Reporting of physical, mental and sexual abuse is mandated by law for teachers and the medical field but not a lack of diagnosis for autism. When saying this, autism is a spectrum and has a range of what it looks like from the quirky and social difficulties (the old Aspergers) to quirky, OCD, loud lack of filter behaviours to nonverbal and comorbidity with other diagnoses. Anxiety often goes hand in hand and difficulty forming friendships.

  • +3

    Her most recent student will roll around on the carpet, throw stationery, pull work off walls, pushing other children over, cry and scream in the middle of a lesson.

    Sounds like they missed out on the latest PS5 drop..

  • +1

    There should be a list of behaviours that aren't acceptable, and when one goes on too long the parents are called to collect the child. Resulting in suspension/expulsion if it happens too many times.

  • In the SA education system at least, it is possible to get funding for the type of kids you describe (significant disruptive behaviour but no diagnosis). It is much harder to obtain however, requires significant documentation by the school.

  • +6

    I currently work in a Primary School as a teachers aid while I am finishing my Masters in education.

    Which means, I currently go into classrooms with students who are undiagnosed because their parents believe that their child is fine or that the teacher is being lazy.

    In my current role, I get called to various classrooms where I find a student screeching in the corner of a trashed room, chairs thrown, resources destroyed, the whole class evacuated, and a terrified and exhausted teacher desperately searching for any semblance of support.

    Or in the most recent case, I am currently supporting a boy who IS diagnosed and received a unit placement but whose parents didn't want their child to go to a specialised school because they want their student to have a 'normal' experience.

    Let me tell you, despite the other comments that I have read- these students are NOT merely pedantic about their crusts or a bit disobedient, of course there is a spectrum of behaviour and many teachers are happy to (and do) cope with many of these low level autistic students. What gets difficult is the few students that are violent, aggressive and dangerous. They injure other students, they injure themselves, they abscond from the school.

    Yesterday I got pee'd on twice. I am regularly beaten, attacked, punched, spat on. My clothes/phone/bag/hat destroyed, ripped, cut, smashed etc. This morning my shirt was used as a tissue. This afternoon my room and resources that I paid for with my own income were destroyed. Crayons snapped, wall displays ripped. A 4-year-old girl was beaten with a broom and a 5 year old boy had a plastic toy pegged in his face.

    Now, all 3 children I work with don't have funding and thus, aren't supposed to have an aid helping their teacher. The school has gone into debt to hire me and help support 3 classroom teachers. They are using funds that are allocated for other things.

    Even for those students whose parents ARE on board with getting them tested and diagnosed, the funding often doesn't come in for over a year after application.

    I still have a year to study; I am going into 60k+ of debt to do more of this work (I really feel for kids with additional needs). Please, please, please: support the testing of your children or those you know when such discussions arise. It isn't to label your child, but to help their public schools get the best and most suitable funding/resources/teachers that they can to support your child's wellbeing.

    • Yesterday I got pee'd on twice. I am regularly beaten, attacked, punched, spat on. My clothes/phone/bag/hat destroyed, ripped, cut, smashed etc. This morning my shirt was used as a tissue. This afternoon my room and resources that I paid for with my own income were destroyed. Crayons snapped, wall displays ripped. A 4-year-old girl was beaten with a broom and a 5 year old boy had a plastic toy pegged in his face.

      This genuinely sounds really extreme…

      As a fellow teacher, I'm really interested to hear your opinion on this, but how much of this behaviour is just due to a lack of discipline and kids being brats as opposed to actual behavioural disorders?

      I remember back when I was in primary school, there was a teacher who used to be in the army, just a real tough guy who a lot of the kids looked up to and respected. He was a real disciplinarian and was tough with the kids. They wouldn't dare misbehave with him around otherwise they'd get a real dressing down. Everything we learn seems to suggest that this is bad, but the kids really respected him and saw him as a leader as opposed to someone weak that they can push around and manipulate. I can't help but feel that he helped put a lot of kids back on the straight and narrow, even if this wouldn't fly today.

      It also doesn't surprise me that many misbehaving kids are boys. As a male teacher, I do feel that the underrepresentation of males in teaching is actually really bad for boys in particular as they sometimes lack role models. Some have even expressed to me that they rebel against female teachers because they don't respect them or don't feel they understand them…etc. But this is a whole other topic.

      • +2

        but how much of this behaviour is just due to a lack of discipline and kids being brats as opposed to actual behavioural disorders?

        I can only speak on the few schools I have worked at, but I have witnessed that the most extreme behaviours are about 99% of the time performed by the few students who are either diagnosed or clearly evident to have additional needs and (for whatever reason) have been undiagnosed. When your average student does act out for behavioural reasons you can see on their face immediately that they have some comprehension that what they are doing is wrong, but with the 1%, they honestly don't know they are doing the wrong thing.

        just a real tough guy who a lot of the kids looked up to and respected

        I had a teacher like this when I was a kid, but those days are over. There are codes of conduct that abolish drill sargeant-like disciplinary approaches including the Australian Professional Teaching Standards, and Australian Child Protection Legislation. Accomplishing your teaching accreditation is literally contingent of evidencing varying strategies toward behavioural management beyond being fearsome.

  • If the child can be given additional resources at no cost to the parent as a result of the diagnosis, then it needs to be done - regardless of who initiates it.

  • +1

    I can only speak on NSW as all the states differ but…

    Are you aware that all public schools in NSW have access to school counsellors/psychologists? Does that meet your criteria of "third-party who comes along and watches the child for a week and then assess them"? We are unable to make formal diagnoses other than intellectual disability, despite most of us being registered psychologists, as this may be perceived as a conflict of interest. We can complete most of the assessments (always at no cost to the parents) and then refer out to someone external for diagnosis.

    If you're saying that external paediatricians and psychologists should come into schools without parents consent and diagnose their children, not only is that highly unethical, but the costs would be astronomical. If you think it's expensive paying for a teachers aide to help a kid, try getting a paediatrician to come and watch that kid at school for an entire week.

    The system is not perfect, and it can be extremely challenging when a parent is not on board. The solution is to work towards getting the parents on board. There are carrot and stick approaches of motivating parents to see the benefits of diagnosis and accessing additional support.

    I don't think your proposed solution is plausible at all.

  • I was going to say "Yes, the parents should choose" but after reading your post, I changed my mind. You're right, it affects other kids, there should be a third party.

    But reading:

    Her most recent student will roll around on the carpet, throw stationery, pull work off walls, pushing other children over, cry and scream in the middle of a lesson, defy any instruction, and all round consume the time of the teacher trying to calm them down.

    Just made me think, man, in my day that kid would be suspended and sent home. The other kids in class shouldn't suffer that.

    In my parents day, the teacher straight up wouldn't put up with that and they'd get the cane or something.

  • +1

    I have a 13 year old level 3 asd and low iq and has been in mainstream school but in support class since year 3 and i had been trying to get a formal diagnosis for him since he was 3 as i knew he had signs since he was 11 months old but the pead said oh dont be stupid you can’t diagnose asd till about 2 but he was my 4th child n i knew something wasnt right but FINALLY got official diagnosis last year after many years of trying so its not always the parent

  • +1

    Reading this makes me sad as the mum of a toddler. I would do anything to help my son if the need arises and have him assessed.

    I know growing up I faced many difficulties and never had the opportunity to be assessed for any sort of mental illness, had I been maybe school and life would’ve been somewhat easier?

    I have a friend who is a step mum to a boy the same age as mine and clearly has many difficulties with coping in the world, unfortunately both the mother and father just chose to write it off as bad behavior and not have him assessed. My heart breaks for this little boy who simply needs someone to help guide him and give him the coping mechanisms needed for day to day life.

    So yes I feel for all the other students who deserve the proper education but more so for the poor kid who is being a shit go by parents who chose to turn a blind eye or simply don’t care enough…. third parties should be able to instigate assessments, not just for the classes benefit but to help the poor child that is clearly struggling… in my eyes it is abuse by the parents because health care in whatever form is a basic need and adults are meant to provide it as a basic aren’t they.

  • There strikes and then call the CPA.

  • -1

    Given the education system (NSW) attaches funding for a child to a school and then the money does NOT have to be allocated to the child and in fact just goes into the school slush fund, I can't see any point in any parent disclosing a disability.

    The other flip coin of this is that assessment is not under Medicare and costs thousands of dollars and many parents don't have access to that money to seek a diagnosis.

    And then the next problem is like the school psychologists, they are employed by the Dept of education not the school, they test your children without authority and then refuse to hand over any reports or findings to the parents.

    Then we can talk about the discrimination towards these children with or without diagnosis. They do know they are different and they do know they are treated differently.

    Most education settings are toxic for children with disabilities. Until we recognise the level of inequity and level the playing field by actually helping them and stop saying "we can't give them an unfair advantage", and address all of the points above, generations of children will continue to suffer

  • So not only do they want to carry out a medical assessment of children without parental consent - but they also have a financial incentive to do this.

    No, not ethical.