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Old 29.06.2016, 18:00
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Re: ADHD and Swiss schools

Dear Rama,
If you need a second opinion about your child's diagnose try to contact Ms Leck, she is a director of Foundations for Learning in Zurich.
They are great professionals and can help a lot.
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  #22  
Old 29.06.2016, 18:06
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Re: ADHD and Swiss schools

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.... you'd just be wasting everyone's time. The special education school might be the best place for him to get the help and assistance he needs.
She is not wasting everyone's time. She is the mother and she is fighting for her son's bright future.
Switzerland, the heart of Europe, the best country ever where money grows on the trees. Where everybody wants to live.
Still, the best solution for the 6 y. o . boy is to be medicated and segregated.
what a shame.

Last edited by Niceyes; 29.06.2016 at 19:43.
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Old 29.06.2016, 18:08
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Re: ADHD and Swiss schools

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No need to take the one extreme right away to make a point about the other extreme. I am just pointing out the limits of education in the real world. Sometimes, keeping trying means keeping failing and that doesn't make anybody happy.


I didn't. The OP's school seems to have. I know well that there are limits - believe me, I've been the bewildered teacher with the ed psych report that basically says "yup, something's up here but we're not sure what so just do your best"; I've also seen the one size fits all in action here, and its consequences.



Are there SENCO/Inclusion equivalents here?

As long as there is a lot of trying before being deemed a fail.




Actually - OP, can't remember if you said (and there's no need to anyway) - but have you considered a dietician/nutritionist? ADHD can - sometimes, occasionally - have some different root causes. Just a thought.
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Old 29.06.2016, 18:12
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Re: ADHD and Swiss schools

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As long as there is a lot of trying before being deemed a fail.
We can agree on that. OP's job is to make sure the school does exactly that in that case. Knowing when to stop at one place and go over to a new school for more tries is an art form. I will not blame anybody for not doing that perfectly right all the time, definitely not.
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Old 29.06.2016, 18:16
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Re: ADHD and Swiss schools

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Actually - OP, can't remember if you said (and there's no need to anyway) - but have you considered a dietician/nutritionist? ADHD can - sometimes, occasionally - have some different root causes. Just a thought.
Yes, you are right.
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Old 29.06.2016, 18:19
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Re: ADHD and Swiss schools

Hi Rama

I feel for you. Our situations are not the same, but my youngest child has Asperger's syndrome and flunked out of Swiss mainstream kindergarten. We are in the canton of Zurich.

She now attends a small special school and it has been really good for her. In time, I hope she will be secure enough within herself to be able to return to the mainstream system. The special school has a class size of six children, and that enables her to receive the extra attention she really needs.

My girl is also very clever and she too has proved difficult to teach because of it. The teachers encourage her to extend herself in all sorts of ways, because they have the time, skills and resources to do so. We have no regrets about the transfer.

I wish you and your boy all the best.
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Old 29.06.2016, 19:21
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Re: ADHD and Swiss schools

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We can agree on that. OP's job is to make sure the school does exactly that in that case. Knowing when to stop at one place and go over to a new school for more tries is an art form. I will not blame anybody for not doing that perfectly right all the time, definitely not.


Yes, but isn't it also the teacher/the school's job to try too? And, seriously, what is the state of SEN in most primary schools: SENCOs etc.
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Old 29.06.2016, 19:47
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Re: ADHD and Swiss schools

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Yes, but isn't it also the teacher/the school's job to try too?
Yep, and the parents can only be there to assure the trying doesn't stop too early. But it doesn't mean that the teachers didn't try enough when they say they don't know further. If parents never accept that there are cases where trying everything doesn't mean success, then it's the point where denial starts. In other words, just because the parents don't get their way doesn't mean necessarily that the teachers didn't try all they could. Again, I do not know if this applies to the OP's situation specifically.

The blaming game in a non-confrontational culture like Switzerland leads to the passive agressive "wall" tactics everybody on EF is familiar with. In Switzerland, if you blame, you loose. It's sad, it's unfair, but it's unavoidable.
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  #29  
Old 29.06.2016, 20:00
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Re: ADHD and Swiss schools

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Yep, and the parents can only be there to assure the trying doesn't stop too early. But it doesn't mean that the teachers didn't try enough when they say they don't know further. If parents never accept that there are cases where trying everything doesn't mean success, then it's the point where denial starts. In other words, just because the parents don't get their way doesn't mean necessarily that the teachers didn't try all they could. Again, I do not know if this applies to the OP's situation specifically.

The blaming game in a non-confrontational culture like Switzerland leads to the passive agressive "wall" tactics everybody on EF is familiar with. In Switzerland, if you blame, you loose. It's sad, it's unfair, but it's unavoidable.
HELLO ????? the boy is 6 years old. He is JUST 6 YEARS OLD. The parents can try and try and try until they have money , mental and physical health. And the teachers should do their job.
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Old 29.06.2016, 20:03
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Re: ADHD and Swiss schools

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And the teachers should do their job.
Yes, this is exactly what I said and repeated. However, if you think that teachers have to get it right with everybody all the time, then I am afraid we will not have a long conversation.
Changing teacher, changing school, changing strategies, changing expectations etc. all that must be considered beyond the sole framework of a teaching job description in order to have greater chances of success, which we all wish for that six year old boy like all the other pupils.

Please don't blame me for the non-confrontational Swiss culture, I am neither Swiss nor non-confrontational. Take that topic up with the guilty ones, not me.
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Old 29.06.2016, 20:10
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Re: ADHD and Swiss schools

See it this way: I f your child is seriously ill and the doctors at a local small hospital can't help him because they are not trained enough in this special field - wouldn't you try a specialist? I bet you would.

Segregation can do wonders for special children - especially bright ones or others who suffer from being overwhelmed by mainstream schools.

Many of them return to mainstream schools and do well afterwards, some stay longer and change to a small special school because they can be helped far better in a small class with special ed teachers. This is not a stigma.

Right now I work at a clinic school with such children, only six in one class, the teachers work alongside with a team of doctors, therapists and psychotherapists who figure out what is the right way to treat them - the parents are also fully included in the process and are able to realize better what their child needs.

I've seen really damaged kids bloom, enjoying school again, making friends the first time in their lives, looking forward to go to another, new school again.

Some of them return to their old classes, some get schooling in special schools where teachers have more experience than your normal mainstream teacher who has to teach a full class.This has nothing to do with intelligence, some go to Gymnasium later, some not.

Some of them have parents/families who are so overburdened with their lives and troubles that a boarding school is provided for the child.

A special school does not exclude your child from an academic career or an apprenticeship if the child is fit for it. And many are.

I wish you and your family all the best - try to relax a bit. That's easily said, but stay open. you can always say no if something doesn't work out. But give it a try.
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  #32  
Old 29.06.2016, 20:22
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Re: ADHD and Swiss schools

I still think there's more mileage in going back to the school - OP's son has a new teacher. We all have to learn somewhere, but there should surely be some more experienced support on hand.


Faltrad - I understand what you're saying but I do not think the approach here is necessarily an effective one. It troubles me, I guess. Passive aggression just p's me off. It's counter productive. But that's a different thread I guess!


What are the standard SEN practices here please? In the UK, for example, it's a legal requirement to have a Special Needs Coordinator.
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Old 30.06.2016, 07:28
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Re: ADHD and Swiss schools

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What are the standard SEN practices here please? In the UK, for example, it's a legal requirement to have a Special Needs Coordinator.
Hi Rufus, while I don't know for certain what is legally required, our local primary and secondary schools both have a remedial teacher on staff. They have proved to be vital team members for all of my children. The three of them have not made easy adaptations!

Their involvement has led me to believe (perhaps naively) that such staff members are a normal part of Swiss schooling.

Last edited by MusicChick; 30.06.2016 at 10:01. Reason: fixed quote
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Old 30.06.2016, 09:42
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Re: ADHD and Swiss schools

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What are the standard SEN practices here please? In the UK, for example, it's a legal requirement to have a Special Needs Coordinator.
Hi Rufus, while I don't know for certain what is legally required, our local primary and secondary schools both have a remedial teacher on staff. They have proved to be vital team members for all of my children. The three of them have not made easy adaptations!

Their involvement has led me to believe (perhaps naively) that such staff members are a normal part of Swiss schooling.


Well I'm glad to hear that your experience has been positive, Robbi, truly. Yeah, I naively thought there'd be this set-up everywhere too!


Thank you.


Rufus

Last edited by MusicChick; 30.06.2016 at 10:02. Reason: fixed quoted quote
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Old 30.06.2016, 10:59
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Re: ADHD and Swiss schools

Hello everyone,I did start on a diet plan for Lucas a few months back and also homeopathy,and informed the the school about it ,and I also said to them that these things need time,there is no quick fix here,and they said I could have as much time as I needed,and all that nonsense.
Lucas was doing a tiny bit better(that's during the smiley sticker time), and he had calmed down ,but there will be ups and downs with a high energy boy,if you expect him to be magically transformed into a regular boy,it's asking too much,that's what the school wants.
As to if I think my boy is fine and it's all the schools fault,I always said Lucas was not an easy kid,and I have done all I could to help the teacher to make her life easier in dealing with Lucas.as far as I can see all the teacher has done upto now was tolerate Lucas as much as possible and left all the heavy work to me instead of reading up about ADHD and finding ways to help him too.
I see now that there was never any need for her to help Lucas because she knew all along that the school was on her side all along,so,there was really no pressure to make the best of the situation,because if it ever came to a show down,the was only one solution ,the kid would have to go.

Thanks again to everyone,Rama.
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Old 30.06.2016, 12:49
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Re: ADHD and Swiss schools

It was not always easy and it was often hard to be positive, RufusB. I note another response mentioned that parents do better if they stay out of the Blame Game. I tend to avoid blame as much as possible and concentrate on the facts. That really did help smooth what was otherwise a difficult and distressing process.

Rama, I sense how frustrated and disappointed you are that the teacher does not seem to be extending herself. I went through this too. But I learned that most mainstream teachers here have no training in remedial interventions. Those skills can only be acquired after graduation. My daughter's special school does its own in-house training and thus selects its staff based on whether they have the right temperament to acquire those skills. Sadly, not all teachers are suitable for this training.

Someone who is not suited to it can still be trained as a remedial educator, but there is more risk of them causing long term harm to the students' learning capacities, and it is almost always inadvertent.
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Old 30.06.2016, 14:09
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Re: ADHD and Swiss schools

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It was not always easy and it was often hard to be positive, RufusB. I note another response mentioned that parents do better if they stay out of the Blame Game. I tend to avoid blame as much as possible and concentrate on the facts. That really did help smooth what was otherwise a difficult and distressing process.

Rama, I sense how frustrated and disappointed you are that the teacher does not seem to be extending herself. I went through this too. But I learned that most mainstream teachers here have no training in remedial interventions. Those skills can only be acquired after graduation. My daughter's special school does its own in-house training and thus selects its staff based on whether they have the right temperament to acquire those skills. Sadly, not all teachers are suitable for this training.

Someone who is not suited to it can still be trained as a remedial educator, but there is more risk of them causing long term harm to the students' learning capacities, and it is almost always inadvertent.
Blaming isn't good, agreed, but neither is shirking. The main responsibility should lie with the educational professionals or why else have trained teachers? This situation you describe is just so far outside of my experience... I'm used to teachers and schools stepping up and working with parents, and external agencies if need be, to figure a situation out. And getting "remedial" training should surely be part of every practitioner's own education. Obviously you get a lot more "on the job" training when each brand new scenario presents itself but... is my understanding correct from your post, special needs teachers are entirely separate entities?

BTW, am speaking as a teacher with a lot of varied SEN experience.
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Old 30.06.2016, 15:10
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Re: ADHD and Swiss schools

RufusB, it may differ from canton to canton? In the canton of Zurich, it seems that the SEN schools are entirely different entities.

A child with learning issues can stay at the Zurich mainstream schools, but only if they get on socially and are not disruptive. They can work with the remedial teacher on a regular basis. That is what happened with my oldest child. He is now 15, had adjustment problems and difficulties learning German but was otherwise well behaved. He was mentored by the remedial specialist, who also happened to be the deputy principal. The DaZ teacher took him under her wing for extra lessons, and he has settled in much better with their help.
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Old 30.06.2016, 20:17
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Re: ADHD and Swiss schools

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Blaming isn't good, agreed, but neither is shirking. The main responsibility should lie with the educational professionals or why else have trained teachers? This situation you describe is just so far outside of my experience... I'm used to teachers and schools stepping up and working with parents, and external agencies if need be, to figure a situation out. And getting "remedial" training should surely be part of every practitioner's own education. Obviously you get a lot more "on the job" training when each brand new scenario presents itself but... is my understanding correct from your post, special needs teachers are entirely separate entities?

BTW, am speaking as a teacher with a lot of varied SEN experience.
Thank the lord the OP is not in the UK. You make the system sound like nirvana and it's anything but. It's based on a politically correct notion that it's wrong to separate children who may need specialist help of one sort or another from the mainstream. That the child may benefit from it is of no consequence. The result is classrooms where no one thrives - the bright become bored and disruptive, the slow learners are left to sink. A situation as Marischi describes above is self-evidently better for a child who needs help; they receive specialist tuition from properly trained people, rather than a teacher who has had a bit of remedial training. As you say, teachers are trained to teach, not to deal with social and psychological issues that are well outside their expertise.
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Old 30.06.2016, 22:14
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Re: ADHD and Swiss schools

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Thank the lord the OP is not in the UK. You make the system sound like nirvana and it's anything but. It's based on a politically correct notion that it's wrong to separate children who may need specialist help of one sort or another from the mainstream. That the child may benefit from it is of no consequence. The result is classrooms where no one thrives - the bright become bored and disruptive, the slow learners are left to sink. A situation as Marischi describes above is self-evidently better for a child who needs help; they receive specialist tuition from properly trained people, rather than a teacher who has had a bit of remedial training. As you say, teachers are trained to teach, not to deal with social and psychological issues that are well outside their expertise.




Nirvana? Really? From my description you get Nirvana? We must have very different views of bliss.


You've not spent a lot of time in front of a class, have you? Teaching is mostly dealing with social and psychological issues, especially when you're working with teenagers.


If every student who didn't "fit" into the mainstream - the ones with ADHD, ADD, Aspergers, autism, ODD, hearing/vision impairment, physical disabilities, three generations of illiteracy in one family, severe brain damage, Tourettes, epilepsy, dyslexia, the fact that they arrived in the country the week before and don't speak the language, the violent ones, the traumatised ones, the apathetic ones, the ones suffering all manner of abuse, the ones who are just having a bloody awful time of it and are acting up because someone they love is dying or recently dead - were removed to make life easier, then a lot of classrooms would be pretty empty. Mind you, by your reasoning, the "normal" ones would have a jolly time of it and their teachers could bugger off home at half-past three.


The slower ones, as you put it, don't sink, that's what differentiation is for. The G&T ones are stretched too. Lots of schools stream their brightest and ones most in need of support. Some schools stream all classes. Some schools choose to teach only mixed classes. There are fiercely debated arguments for all approaches.


There aren't many special schools - because that's what you mean, right? - in the UK anymore because funding was slashed. And slashed again and many minds, brighter than me, decided it's beneficial for kids not to feel excluded and somehow "less" than others, because they're not.


So we're trained on a fairly ad-hoc basis because we often we don’t know what we’ll need to know next; the memo about little Janie’s anxiety disorder takes a while to arrive and you only find out about Frankie’s violent tendencies when you unwittingly get between him and the door. Similarly, after three terms, no-one quite knows how exactly to get Jamie to sit down and work independently so you deal with him sort of satellite-ing his way around the room and are very pleased when he writes with a biro and not a green Sharpie. And we do the very best we can with the hand we are dealt and we are not allowed to refuse to teach any child. It’s not Nirvana. Or Hogwarts. Or Mallory Towers. And our TAs are priceless.


In my home town of around 110000 people there are easily 15 secondary schools that are within the broader catchment area, not to mention all the feeder primaries. There is precisely one "Special" school and a handful of PRU's. The school is oversubscribed and underfunded. The staff are amazing and the waiting list is ridiculous. The schools geographically closest were then tasked with taking the over flow - with retraining, recruiting and training more staff to cope with the demands. And we adapt and liaise and read reports and try various strategies and different ones again and meet with parents and colleagues and support workers and, and, and. It’s a miracle we get any “real” teaching done at all. You know, the stuff we’re “trained” to do.


Some days the facts and the skills of it have to take a back seat. Some days, that isn’t the most important part of the job by any stretch of the imagination.


Teaching is not just about standing in front of a class and telling them things they need to remember for an exam. Teachers have to be experts at spotting the kids who can’t cope for whatever reason and then helping them to find a way. We have to “work” a crowd, every day. That seems fairly socio-and psycho-logical to me. But then again, what do I know? I’m just a teacher.



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