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Rama karanth 29.06.2016 11:01

ADHD and Swiss schools
 
Hello,I am a new member,I am dyslexic,so please excuse any spelling mistakes I might make.
My 7 year old boy was diagnosed with adhd when he was in kindergarten,he is now in the first class and the school says it cannot offer him any help.
His teacher is fresh out of college and this is the her first teaching year and she finds him hard to manage ,since he cannot sit still in class,so the school hired an assistant( untrained),that went well for a while .the principle has been very supportive to the teacher .when we spoke to him a few months back he clearly told us without medication he won't be able to remain in the school.now we were asked to go to the school psychologist for an evaluation,she said that he is very bright ,too bright even,so the school can't hire a trained assistant for him,that's only for kids not very bright.
Now she has suggested he go to the sonderschule,because there is nothing the school can do for him.
I find this whole situation unfair,and my son has been put through the so much trauma,that he feels he is not like others.
My son is at the moment so stresses that he told the teacher he wants to die,the teacher promptly reported this to the psychologist ,who now thinks he might not have adhd at all but some other emotional problems.

I want to know what rights I have as a parent and if anyone else has had a similar experience to mine,thanks,Rama.

Sbrinz 29.06.2016 11:30

Re: ADHD and Swiss schools
 
Why can't you work with the school psychologist? My friend's grand child (Canton Bern) was extremely intelligent and he was sent to a special school for 3 mornings each week. Other times he attended the normal school.

Rama karanth 29.06.2016 11:35

Re: ADHD and Swiss schools
 
Hello,the school psychologist says he will have to go to the sonderschule,and that about all she can do here,it seems,there was no other option given to us.thanks for you reply,Rama.

NickGB 29.06.2016 11:45

Re: ADHD and Swiss schools
 
Dear Rama. I'm sorry you find yourself in this situation. Could you tell the group what treatment options are being employed with your son? Did the original diagnosis come with either pharmacological or non pharmacological management options?
You mention that the school wont support him unless he is on medication, which I'm assuming means he isn't on medication? Is there a particular reason for this? (I'm not saying medication should always the 1st line of management, but it would be useful to have your experience in this)

Medea Fleecestealer 29.06.2016 11:49

Re: ADHD and Swiss schools
 
Unfortunately, not many schools here seem to be set up to help with learning dificulties. It may be worth contacting this organisation:

http://allspecialkids.org/

As for what rights you have in what respect? To insist that the school continues to try and teach him? Good luck with that. If they have neither the staff nor knowledge to help him 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.

Switzerland is some way behind other countries in dealing with "special" people of all types, this is something you need to realise and adjust your expectations accordingly. There is help out there, but it may not be easy to find or free.

RTN 29.06.2016 12:28

Re: ADHD and Swiss schools
 
I will PM you some information as we have been through the same situation. In general terms the school/Germainde IS responsible for the education of your child and most of the responsibility for the cost lies with them. We are in Canton Zurich so rules vary from canton to canton. You do have rights but it is hard to find out what they are as there is not much freely available information, most of what we learnt along the way came from word of mouth and a couple of teachers we know.

Maintaining a good relationship with the school is critical but difficult depending on the teachers involved. Do not be afraid to get a second/third/fourth opinion, you need your own "team" who will work and fight for your son. School phycologists are a bit like HR departments, they can assist you but their loyalty is sometimes more with the school than the person with an issue, this is not a criticism as they need to work and work within the system. I strongly recommend finding an independent phycologist locally who specializes in kids with ADHA.

Our son (now 10) received extra help for the first and second class, after having multiple meetings starting at the end of second class he now has a dedicated teacher for one on one lessons five hours a week and a shared assistant in the class for the last year. This has seen a massive improvement in his learning and abilities, it has also lowered his frustration levels so his behavior has improved. The school has said it can no longer supply these services at the level he needs for the fourth class so he will now go to a small private school paid for by the local school, it is really late in the school year to get a place in one of these schools but do not let them rush you into making a choice or decision about moving schools until you are sure it is the correct one. Our son's phycologist was crucial in this process as he fought the first two recommendations from the school as it would not have been the environment where our son would develop. All ADHD kids are so individual on what they need to function in the school system so until this is identified you really can't make an informed decision on which school is best regardless of that school's reputation.

For the above reasons I would not accept changing schools at this stage but look if he can change teachers in the same to get a fresh start. It is easier and sometime cheaper for the school to send these kids away but you do not have to agree to this, polite but firm is the way to go.

snapsterone 29.06.2016 12:56

Re: ADHD and Swiss schools
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Medea Fleecestealer (Post 2615639)
Unfortunately, not many schools here seem to be set up to help with learning dificulties. It may be worth contacting this organisation:

http://allspecialkids.org/

As for what rights you have in what respect? To insist that the school continues to try and teach him? Good luck with that. If they have neither the staff nor knowledge to help him 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.

Switzerland is some way behind other countries in dealing with "special" people of all types, this is something you need to realise and adjust your expectations accordingly. There is help out there, but it may not be easy to find or free.

This doesn`t apply to Basel-Stadt where the schools (and Kindergärten) go out of their way to give each child the care and attention that they need. Even to the extent of providing the "Migrants" supplementary classes in their original culture, language etc.
Bei der Integrativen Schulungsform werden die Schülerinnen und Schüler anstatt in einer Kleinklasse im Kindergarten, an der Primarschule und den Anforderungsniveaus A und E der Sekundarschule heilpädagogisch oder sozialpädagogisch gefördert.
"Kurse in Heimatlicher Sprache und Kultur HSK gibt es in Basel-Stadt in bereits 35 Sprachen."

RTN 29.06.2016 13:07

Re: ADHD and Swiss schools
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Medea Fleecestealer (Post 2615639)
Unfortunately, not many schools here seem to be set up to help with learning dificulties. It may be worth contacting this organisation:

http://allspecialkids.org/

As for what rights you have in what respect? To insist that the school continues to try and teach him? Good luck with that. If they have neither the staff nor knowledge to help him 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.

Switzerland is some way behind other countries in dealing with "special" people of all types, this is something you need to realise and adjust your expectations accordingly. There is help out there, but it may not be easy to find or free.

I somewhat agree with you about different schools having different facilities/resources to deal with special kids. This varies from town to town and canton to canton but the responsibility lies with the school to find solutions you both agree with. You are best placed to exhaust those possibilities before being sent away, out of sight - out of mind, at the very least it gives you more negotiating power to get assistance while your child is still attending there.

Rama karanth 29.06.2016 14:14

Re: ADHD and Swiss schools
 
Hello,we were not given the option of a psychologist by the school,.the main problem is,I think,the teacher is too inexperienced to handle a high energy child,she would always weite me little notes saying"what can the parents do to make sure Lucas behaves in class",and she would complain to the principle about every little thing he did.we tried with the smiley stickers at home,for about a month and a half he was totally amazing in school,he's be quiet ,listen,the teacher was very pleased,then he went back to his jumpy self,that's when her complaints got worse,.the principle is not a approachable man.

Lucas was diagnosed with adhd by a psychiatrist who said he would need medication ,without recommending any other therapy before that,since he was 6 at the time ,I thought he should try other things first ,the other reason I am not still convinced he should be medicated is that he is a happy kid,extremely social,self confident(most of the time),has lots of friends and can sit hours quietly when he draws,which he loves to do.
If feel just because the school pushes me to medicate him ,is no reason to do so.

He has been going to an occupational therapist for the past 2 years,that was our decision ,not recommended by the school.
Other than hiring a class assistant ( who is as clueless about adhd as the teacher is ,hence of no use) the school has done nothing,and even hiring an assistant is according to the school a huge favour that we have to be thankful about,.
My husband and I ,agreed to go and take a look at the sonderschule,if we think it not for our son,we thought we could put him in the Rudolph Steiner school,because remaining here is going to be a problem,since the teacher will be with him for 2 more years,and the principle ,for god knows how much longer.
Thanks all of you for helping me and hearing me out,Rama.

Faltrad 29.06.2016 14:44

Re: ADHD and Swiss schools
 
If you don't think the school and the teacher is competent, there is nothing that will make them competent just because you ask for it. Think alternative, really. I mean that nicely.

I don't know if you are right or not, but I assume that you have been putting a lot of thoughts into the situation as a parent, so go all the way: If the school is not a help, it's an obstacle. Jump it.

RTN 29.06.2016 14:46

Re: ADHD and Swiss schools
 
This almost mirrors what happened to us at the beginning. Good on you for pushing back and not accepting meds straight up.

I would not say teachers in general are lazy here but they have a lot of "get out of jail free" cards they can use, so they can delegate responsibility when it gets hard, a few do this and are supported by the principal who has a budget to meet. This is different to what we know (or have grown up with) as foreigners but it is what it is. You have to work to get the system to work for you, as I said having a good psychologist who knows your son and the system is of great help. Finding one who will consider alternative therapies (diet, behavior ect) as well as medication is not easy.

RTN 29.06.2016 14:48

Re: ADHD and Swiss schools
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Faltrad (Post 2615821)
If you don't think the school and the teacher is competent, there is nothing that will make them competent just because you ask for it. Think alternative, really. I mean that nicely.

I don't know if you are right or not, but I assume that you have been putting a lot of thoughts into the situation as a parent, so go all the way: If the school is not a help, it's an obstacle. Jump it.

Last resort should be moving to another village but is should also be considered.

ADHD in kids is kept secret here (no one wants to admit their kid has an issue) so not much sharing between suffering parents. So if you are moving here and you think it might be an issue talk to the school how they will manage it before agreeing on a place to live. 3kms can make a world of difference to how schools manage this. We are quite open about it and but with 'smile and wave' here not everyone is but once you do people open up and are very helpful.

Guest 29.06.2016 15:31

Re: ADHD and Swiss schools
 
OP, is there no other more experienced teacher within the school? They can't all be clueless with regards to special educational needs. Can they? I hope you get this resolved.

Quote:

Originally Posted by Medea Fleecestealer (Post 2615639)
Unfortunately, not many schools here seem to be set up to help with learning dificulties. It may be worth contacting this organisation:

http://allspecialkids.org/

As for what rights you have in what respect? To insist that the school continues to try and teach him? Good luck with that. If they have neither the staff nor knowledge to help him 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.

Switzerland is some way behind other countries in dealing with "special" people of all types, this is something you need to realise and adjust your expectations accordingly. There is help out there, but it may not be easy to find or free.

Medea, this micro rant is not aimed at you but the situation.

They should have the resources and the expertise, that's the problem. Picking and choosing should not be allowed. If parents have no say where their child is educated then the teachers should expect to teach,with the appropriate experience and support, every child in front of them.

Attempting to pass the buck in this way or to suggest medication as the only "good" option is outrageous.

Faltrad 29.06.2016 15:44

Re: ADHD and Swiss schools
 
Quote:

They can't all be clueless with regards to special educational needs. Can they?
It depends... there are children with whom strategies work for a while and then not anymore. It seems to be the case in the OP's description of the child's situation. Success can be non-linear. One can have success with some children and not with others. So yes, you might end up in some cases with teachers who are at the end of what they can do. It's frustrating for everybody, blaming the teachers for not getting it right with every child all the time does not help anybody.

Newer studies I've been given to read at school seem to show that ADHD is a big box with very unclear and varied behavioral and cognitive criteria so that hardly two ADHD cases are alike. The categorization will probably change and be refined in the near future, but in the meantime, it's a try and fail situation. Logically, there are cases where there is so much fail that there is nothing more to try without changing the learning environment all together.

Please remember that ADHD is only a vague descriptions of symptoms, is largely unexplained, unknown and unclearly defined. Teachers can do only that much. I don't know if the teachers of OP's child did all they could, but I do know that sometimes, nothing works and nobody knows why.

swisscanmom 29.06.2016 16:18

Re: ADHD and Swiss schools
 
Sonderschule may just present a solution. I have seen a few ADHD as well as Asperger kids that simply cannot cope with the noise and bustle of the regular classroom. Integration into a regular classroom, even with assistance, is not the best solution for all children, it works for some, but not others. My sister's daughter has been going to a Kleinklasse (which is part of a Sonderschule) because she could not cope with the regular classroom for a few years, she is now returning to a regular class for Grade 7. Her issues are purely psychological, she is as bright as any kid, but the time away with extra attention has allowed her to really grow. So don't dismiss Sonderschule as a negative thing, it may just turn out to be a solution that works. Good Luck with your visit! Do contact your Family Dr. for a referral to a Psychologist, so you can get a 2nd opinion independent from the school system. I agree with you on the medication aspect, if at all possible I, as a mom, would also want to try to go without and explore every other alternative.

Medea Fleecestealer 29.06.2016 16:23

Re: ADHD and Swiss schools
 
Quote:

OP, is there no other more experienced teacher within the school? They can't all be clueless with regards to special educational needs. Can they? I hope you get this resolved.



Medea, this micro rant is not aimed at you but the situation.

They should have the resources and the expertise, that's the problem. Picking and choosing should not be allowed. If parents have no say where their child is educated then the teachers should expect to teach,with the appropriate experience and support, every child in front of them.

Attempting to pass the buck in this way or to suggest medication as the only "good" option is outrageous.
I agree RufusB. But if you look around you'll see that in many ways Switzerland is still some 20-30 years behind how it deals with "special" people, be they those with learning difficulties, handicaps, etc. For example, many physically/mentally handicapped people live/work in their own enclaves - special housing and work areas all in one place - and don't live at home as would be the case for many in the UK for example. Segragation is still the norm in a lot of places here. We have such a home here in our village for physically and mentally disabled people to live in. It's recently been expanded and they have a new application in for another 7 room building. I suspect attitudes are similar for other disabilities that aren't so obvious. Rama needs to understand this and that they may have to fight harder than they would in other countries to get the help they need for their son.

DUTCH 29.06.2016 17:42

Re: ADHD and Swiss schools
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Rama karanth (Post 2615792)
Lucas was diagnosed with adhd by a psychiatrist who said he would need medication ..... I thought he should try other things first

Hi Rama, I know medication is not preferred choice for such age children, but have you had any (2nd, 3rd) medical opinions to support your personal choice of not medicating?

This may affect other issues than just schooling if medical advice is not followed. Please seek independent professional opinions as self-diagnosis may be wrong course.

Niceyes 29.06.2016 17:49

Re: ADHD and Swiss schools
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by swisscanmom (Post 2615910)
I agree with you on the medication aspect, if at all possible I, as a mom, would also want to try to go without and explore every other alternative.

Dear Rama, Try BIOMED. It is not as easy as medication with Ritalin, but surely it could help a lot. :msnnerd:
If you want to know some extra info, feel free to PM me ;)

Guest 29.06.2016 17:51

Re: ADHD and Swiss schools
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Faltrad (Post 2615882)
It depends... there are children with whom strategies work for a while and then not anymore. It seems to be the case in the OP's description of the child's situation. Success can be non-linear. One can have success with some children and not with others. So yes, you might end up in some cases with teachers who are at the end of what they can do. It's frustrating for everybody, blaming the teachers for not getting it right with every child all the time does not help anybody.

Newer studies I've been given to read at school seem to show that ADHD is a big box with very unclear and varied behavioral and cognitive criteria so that hardly two ADHD cases are alike. The categorization will probably change and be refined in the near future, but in the meantime, it's a try and fail situation. Logically, there are cases where there is so much fail that there is nothing more to try without changing the learning environment all together.

Please remember that ADHD is only a vague descriptions of symptoms, is largely unexplained, unknown and unclearly defined. Teachers can do only that much. I don't know if the teachers of OP's child did all they could, but I do know that sometimes, nothing works and nobody knows why.




I understand how difficult it is to teach children with varied requirements - but if we take the SEN off the table, all kids have varied requirements. Yes, it's hard, yes it's frustrating, and absolutely there is not "one" handy strategy for each situation, be it ADHD, Aspergers, dyspraxia etc and I would agree that teacher's have a difficult time of it in these and many other situations, but throwing in the towel? It goes against the grain for me. Are there not SENCOs here (Special Educational Needs Coordinators)? Inclusion units where kids can still belong to "mainstream" education without feeling like pariahs?


What about the kids who need support because they're so bright they're bored? A one-size-fits-all approach may be "easier" from a pedagogical point of view but it's bloody badly done. OP said she was denied a TA because her son is "too bright". I just don't understand how this can be a justifiable position. If this, of all countries, cannot fund this level of support in its state schools then the rest of them are royally screwed.


Of course sometimes you can try everything you know, every tactic, strategy, trick in the book and it's still not working, but that doesn't happen very often.


I'm not blaming teachers, I'm blaming a system that lets this happen - and one that, variously and indiscriminately, seems to perpetuate it.




Quote:

Originally Posted by Medea Fleecestealer (Post 2615913)
I agree RufusB. But if you look around you'll see that in many ways Switzerland is still some 20-30 years behind how it deals with "special" people, be they those with learning difficulties, handicaps, etc. For example, many physically/mentally handicapped people live/work in their own enclaves - special housing and work areas all in one place - and don't live at home as would be the case for many in the UK for example. Segragation is still the norm in a lot of places here. We have such a home here in our village for physically and mentally disabled people to live in. It's recently been expanded and they have a new application in for another 7 room building. I suspect attitudes are similar for other disabilities that aren't so obvious. Rama needs to understand this and that they may have to fight harder than they would in other countries to get the help they need for their son.


I don't have the words.


Supported housing/assisted living is a good thing, but segregation from the age of 6 when, as Faltrad quite rightly says, his diagnosis may alter... it makes me uncomfortable. It's like saying you're not "right", therefore you can't participate in what everyone else has.


He's 7 years old and someone, who sounds like they basically think he's too much work, has washed their hands of him.


Rama, I'm writing this and I could weep tears of frustration for you, I really could.

Faltrad 29.06.2016 17:58

Re: ADHD and Swiss schools
 
Quote:

A one-size-fits-all approach may be "easier" from a pedagogical point of view but it's bloody badly done.
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.

Niceyes 29.06.2016 18:00

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.

Niceyes 29.06.2016 18:06

Re: ADHD and Swiss schools
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Medea Fleecestealer (Post 2615639)
.... 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.

Guest 29.06.2016 18:08

Re: ADHD and Swiss schools
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Faltrad (Post 2615993)
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.

Faltrad 29.06.2016 18:12

Re: ADHD and Swiss schools
 
Quote:

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. :)

Niceyes 29.06.2016 18:16

Re: ADHD and Swiss schools
 
Quote:

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. :thumbup:

Robbi64 29.06.2016 18:19

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.

Guest 29.06.2016 19:21

Re: ADHD and Swiss schools
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Faltrad (Post 2616012)
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.

Faltrad 29.06.2016 19:47

Re: ADHD and Swiss schools
 
Quote:

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.

Niceyes 29.06.2016 20:00

Re: ADHD and Swiss schools
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Faltrad (Post 2616095)
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.

Faltrad 29.06.2016 20:03

Re: ADHD and Swiss schools
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Niceyes (Post 2616106)
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.

marischi 29.06.2016 20:10

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.

Guest 29.06.2016 20:22

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.

Robbi64 30.06.2016 07:28

Re: ADHD and Swiss schools
 
Quote:

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.

Guest 30.06.2016 09:42

Re: ADHD and Swiss schools
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Robbi64 (Post 2616258)
Quote:

Originally Posted by RufusB
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

Rama karanth 30.06.2016 10:59

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.

Robbi64 30.06.2016 12:49

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.

Guest 30.06.2016 14:09

Re: ADHD and Swiss schools
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Robbi64 (Post 2616447)
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.

Robbi64 30.06.2016 15:10

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.

chrissie7 30.06.2016 20:17

Re: ADHD and Swiss schools
 
Quote:

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.

Guest 30.06.2016 22:14

Re: ADHD and Swiss schools
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by chrissie7 (Post 2616844)
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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