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Old 16.08.2018, 17:28
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Re: Notifying school about medication?

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But presumably if the doctor were to answer without first asking us, he would be in breach of patient confidentiality?
No, I don't think it would be seen like that. Not since you signed that information transfer is permitted.

At the very least, your consent would be between the EZB and the school. However, that clause is phrased - deliberately, I think - very, very broadly, so as to mean that the parties involved can obtain, from anywhere, information which is relevant to the case. And that's just about all info to do with your child's life at school: assessments, diagnoses, medication, homework plans, classroom assistants, parental participation, etc., etc..

It really is a mind-set which I believe to be part of this culture. This same team of professionals are typically accustomed to working together because, over years, they have repeated contact with one another about other children, too. Perhaps the data exchange is ongoing because there is a good, old-fashioned basic assumption that the professionals involved are going to work collaboratively to make the child's life better. That is the way it is supposed to work.

Of course, as a parent, it can be highly frustrating and even terrifying if "they" present as a solid block and if it feels as if they are harming the child.

As a newcomer, it's not always easy to find the balance between letting the different-looking system unfurl and work as it usually does (which might turn out to be okay) and standing up courageously even if it is against many others, to insist on what one believes one's own child needs.

If anyone wishes to be the gate-keeper, determining who may and who may not give and get information about the case of one person (your child), then that could be seen as obstructive. I think you run this risk.

Questions will be asked (in their hearts if not spoken): "Why is dragoneiric blocking? Does dragoneiric not want us to work together to help the child have a better school life? What is being held back? Is there a dark secret, or are we just dealing with someone who is basically difficult? Is it the child, or is it the parent, who has issues?"

I hope you know that I'm not, for one moment, judging your situation to be so! I don't know you, nor what is going on with all those teachers, psychologist, doctors, etc., and the child in the midst of the reports. I'm just offering a perspective from having lived here for a long time.

I hope something improves for you, and for your child.

Last edited by doropfiz; 16.08.2018 at 18:49. Reason: typo
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  #22  
Old 16.08.2018, 18:08
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Re: Notifying school about medication?

PS:
The School law of Canton Aargau:
https://gesetzessammlungen.ag.ch/frontend/versions/2598
Public School Ordinance (for parents right see starting at § 21):
https://gesetzessammlungen.ag.ch/frontend/versions/2606
Promotion ordinance
https://gesetzessammlungen.ag.ch/frontend/versions/2413

I did not found anything which says that the grades of Ritalin kids has, must, or even can be lowered. This would be totally bonkers. Au contraire, the regulations says that kids with learning disabilities or language difficulties might be graded individually if they can foreseeable not follow the standard sylabus.

Aargau health law (See specially §28 , and § 19 - 21)
Note the "Schutz des Kindeswohls" clause, which can limit patient-doctor confidentiality.
https://gesetzessammlungen.ag.ch/frontend/versions/2502
Health ordinance
https://gesetzessammlungen.ag.ch/frontend/versions/2591
Patient rights ordiance
https://gesetzessammlungen.ag.ch/frontend/versions/2632

Aargau data privacy law
https://gesetzessammlungen.ag.ch/frontend/versions/2631
Data privacy ordinance
https://gesetzessammlungen.ag.ch/frontend/versions/2607
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Old 16.08.2018, 18:11
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Re: Notifying school about medication?

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But presumably if the doctor were to answer without first asking us, he would be in breach of patient confidentiality?
Normally not.

However, consent to share information in such cases is presumed, and the patient (or in this case, the parents) would have to specify their lack of consent.

Tom
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Old 16.08.2018, 19:26
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Re: Notifying school about medication?

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Normally not.

However, consent to share information in such cases is presumed, and the patient (or in this case, the parents) would have to specify their lack of consent.

Tom
So utterly the opposite of what I'm used to! Thanks, I will discuss it with the KA.

What worries me is that the school are clearly pushing for medication when A) there is no fixed diagnosis because they couldn't draw reliable conclusions from the assessment and B) they resist implementing (to me) simple measures which would help him "because that's not how it's done in Kl 1". I don't want it to be a cop out on their part that they feel they don't have to offer support to him in class because he's on meds so "should be normal now". If we do go with the med route, I want it to be because it's what is best for my son, not what is best for the school.
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Old 17.08.2018, 22:39
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Re: Notifying school about medication?

Please remember that whichever course of action you (and the professionals involved) choose, it will only be temporary, a matter of trial and error, and most likely need to be revised and modified, or maybe even changed altogether, six months from now. That's just a natural fact of development.

While this is tedious, as it would be so much nicer if a solution could be found, the One, Right, Just What Your Son Needs solution, the fact is this is a longer-term project.

You want certain "simple measures" taken, while the school thinks those are most unusual. The school (or the doctors or psychologists) want your son to take medication, while you are not sure that that'd be the best for your son.


What would happen if you insisted on the measures?
Best case:
The teachers can be persuaded by you.
They provide those measures, even though they are irregular.
Those measures really do bring about stability and happy participation for your son.
You are right.
The teachers are surprised, but acknowledge that.

Worst case:
You end up in a battle of "measures or no measures" or, if any of them is implemented and does not help, you will be wrong, and the teachers will be proved right. By then they will be upset with you.

The pro-medication route is comparable, just the other way round:
Best case:
The teachers can persuade you.
You get the child medication, even though you have your doubts.
Being on medication really does bring about stability and happy participation for your son.
The teachers are right.
You are surprised, but relieved, and acknowledge that.

Worst case:
You end up in a battle of "medication or no medication" and, if your son does try medication and it does not help, you will be right, and the teachers will be proved wrong. By then you will be upset with them. Or not.


I hope you can manage to steer this so it doesn't become a battle of wills between two fronts. That cannot bode well for your son.

You might gain a lot if you ask them to agree to the measures you have in mind, for a certain trial phase, e.g. one term, or six months, to start with, or alternatively if you and your son's doctor think it wise for your son to try medication for a few weeks, or one term, or so.

You could tell them that you are trying to build a cooperative, constructive relationship with them, that you see yourself and them as in one big interdisciplinary team, all with the common goal of helping your son to cope better and be happier at school and participate more effectively, and learn more. You could say, openly, that while you do want to respect their professional experience, you are afraid to abandon your son to a rigid regime of treatment, in case it does him no good. Say that it takes courage, on your part, to insist on his behalf, just as it does to lean out into an experiment.

Whatever is decided, be it measures, medication or neither, say that you want to support your son, and that you understand that this situation is a challenge for everyone, and that you are very willing to set a date (3 months from now?) to reassess the situation with them.

Remember to say that you'll be asking your son, too, how he feels, as the months go along.

Last edited by doropfiz; 18.08.2018 at 05:23.
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Old 18.08.2018, 12:26
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Re: Notifying school about medication?

That Dorofiz, is a brilliant post. Thank you. I was thinking on the same wavelength- but you explained it perfectly.

The school is also acting in Loco Parentis, and it is essential for them to know about any medication in case of an emergency or an unusual situation.
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Old 18.08.2018, 13:33
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Re: Notifying school about medication?

Reading all these comments bring back a period of time, which I prefer to forget!

After some school issues, we took our son to a Swiss pediatrician who had experience with Attention Deficit Disorder. She tested him for one hour and prescribed Ritalin. I was not convinced, and felt the pressure from everyone around me to medicate him. I agreed to give it a go.

We told his school about this diagnosis and started the medication. Although I was not happy with the glazed over change in his eyes and the problems sleeping, we continued and tried to adjust the dosage. He did become more quiet at school, but he his academic performance did not improve.

It’s a long story, but I felt to lose the authority about my son’s well being. The school, a local international one, started to PHONE ME, to check up on WHETHER I HAD GIVEN HIM HIS MEDICATION....which I found highly annoying.

He is now 26 years old, works as a carpenter, completed a GED ( graduation equivalency diploma in USA) and does NOT have ADD. He is not an academic, but is very talented with his hands and thrives on praise and love. He did not get that here, so he’s moved to Texas where life is more simple for him.

I guess I only want to say I symphatize with the poster, do not agree with the school’s distribution of information and encourage the family to focus on his ABILITIES and not DISABILITIES. Children are all different, deserve to be educated for their enhancement and generally don’t profit from internal school/ parent battles.
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Old 19.08.2018, 07:39
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Re: Notifying school about medication?

Had a similiar experience to Susan 57. Was not impressed with Ritalin feeling it to be for the convenience of the teachers. Also agree on the lack of support, unwillingness to try simple measures such as touching the child on the shoulder and repeating instructions indivually to get the message home and lack of "love", kindness and simple good-will.
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Old 19.08.2018, 12:08
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Re: Notifying school about medication?

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What worries me is that the school are clearly pushing for medication when A) there is no fixed diagnosis because they couldn't draw reliable conclusions from the assessment and B) they resist implementing (to me) simple measures which would help him "because that's not how it's done in Kl 1". I don't want it to be a cop out on their part that they feel they don't have to offer support to him in class because he's on meds so "should be normal now". If we do go with the med route, I want it to be because it's what is best for my son, not what is best for the school.
But the reality is that your child is not the only child in the class having difficulties and the teacher and the school must act in the best interests of all. In my experience the vast majority of people in the school system have the best interests of the children as their priority, but their resources are limited. So you cannot expect them to be able to do everything thing your way.

You also need to realize that you may never get the diagnosis you are seeking. It is an art not a science and if you ask five people to do the assessment you will be luck if three of them come up with the same answer! Likewise you will not know if their suggestions are going to work unless you actually try them and that includes meds.

I would also be very careful about closing down options based on what you read or hear, these are generalizations and they may or may not work for your child. You have to give things ago to find out.

I would strongly suggest you try to work with the system and see how it goes. It cannot be any worse for the child than having no support at all.

I’m saying this based my experience of helping my son through the system over the past 20 years.
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Old 19.08.2018, 16:31
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Re: Notifying school about medication?

But the reality is that your child is not the only child in the class having difficulties No but he is assigned an assistant for 6 hours a week, so I don't think it too much that when she is there she is concentrating on my son.

The school, a local international one, started to PHONE ME, to check up on WHETHER I HAD GIVEN HIM HIS MEDICATION I want the decision about medication to be divorced from the will of the teachers. If we do medicate, I want it to be for the benefit of my son and to be able to start/stop on the advice of the doctors who know him, not the school.

You want certain "simple measures" taken, while the school thinks those are most unusual.
I do.
I asked that he be sat facing the teacher (because if you want him to understand you, then you need to speak to him face to face) rather than sideways on. --> eyeroll, I've decided how to seat the class, this way he can see what the others are doing.
In fairness, after a week she had moved him.

When I saw that all the kids were issued with standard pencils/colouring pencils, I asked if I could provide one with a special grip and provide some triangular colouring pencils. (He has fine motor issues meaning holding a pencil does not come naturally) --> No, the school issues the pencils, parents aren't allowed to provide. After the first parents evening, when they commented on his lack of pencil skills, I ended up having to get a letter from the physio before they let him have a special grip.

Maths - he has huge difficulty, because he doesn't have the coordination to e.g count on his hands or if he does and you give him 8+4 he will tell you the answer is 7. We taught him to count on a number line. I asked if I could provide a ruler. --> No, first class children don't have rulers.

After a year and couple of months (in which he was repeating the first year, the decision we were informed about, not consulted on) we finally got them to agree to let him use a number line for all maths. So far so good.

They asked me to go in after Easter this year because he had completely refused to do his maths tests and they wanted to know how come he will do the work at home but not at school. After something the TA said, I asked if he was using the number line for his test --> No, he's only allowed it in class

I asked if he could have a blank piece of paper so he could write his own at the beginning of the test if it was a question of them not wanting it to seem like he had aids the other children didn't. --> No, not possible. Me: Why not, even at uni you are allowed to show working in maths --> Fr. D, this is Kl1, not university.

Complaints that they always have to punish him when he plays with the blocks, balls etc she give him to help him to count on. Utter bemusement when I ask why she gives them to him when she knows he will play with them and suggest it's maybe not the best to put him in a situation in which she knows he will fail. And to just give him a piece of paper so he can write out a number line.

He is an Aspie, so out of routine stuff panics him. I asked if we can be notified in advance of maths tests so we can warn him. i.e he goes expecting a lesson, is faced with a test and panics. Then once he's panicking they expect him to complete the test. It is never going to happen. --> No, we don't want parents coaching children for the tests. Me: I don't want to coach him, I want to warn him so he knows to expect it. They eventually agreed to this and sent me a message (after 9pm!) the night before the test. The first one he passed!

His reading is not good and he panics when he sees long words and blocks. Me: I see you've typed that list of words out, would it be possible to colour the syllables so he can see where to split the words. --> No, he's Kl 1 and we only do that in Kl2. Me: But he is the same age as the children in Kl2. --> Yes, Fr. D. but he is in Kl1.

Complaints that he can't follow a long list of instructions and that TA has to repeat instructions to him. Well no, he can't and the psychologist has told you why. So why is it such a big deal that she recaps the instructions and recalls him to his work when he starts to get distracted?

I call those simple measures. Maybe they are not, I'm happy to be corrected. We are talking about medication that affects my child's brain, and is shown to be less effective for the type of ADHD that he has. So yes I am reluctant at this stage.

The pro-medication route is comparable, just the other way round:
Best case:
The teachers can persuade you.

Why should it be the teachers. This is out of their remit. It should be the doctors or psychologists who persuade us.
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Old 19.08.2018, 16:45
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Re: Notifying school about medication?

Wow, dragoneiric, it sounds like an uphill slog!

As to the very last line… I think that goes back to the cultural sense of everyone-talking-to-everyone. Yes, the doctors, yes, the psychologists, and yes, the teachers, too. Of course, the set-up in your son's school may be different, but as I observe it all those professionals tend to be seen as a team, which ideally includes you, so if there is persuasion it will come from any or all of the directions.


I'm interested to know: what does your son say? Does he identify any factors that are better or worse for him? I don't for a moment mean it is his job to figure it all out, nor to take sides or argue a case. That obviously wouldn't be a reasonable expectation. I do wonder, though, whether he can predict, on any particular day, that school is likely to be good, bad, indifferent or okay, or afterwards say how it was and, if so, why. Does he know how does he feel inside, and can he articulate what helps him to have a better day? In other places, both at home and outside of the home with other children and other adults, can he identify what helps him to enjoy more and to participate more effectively?
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Old 19.08.2018, 16:58
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Re: Notifying school about medication?

Oh and at the beginning of the repeated Kl1, I discovered after about 2 weeks (and seeing his workbook) that he hadn't been given the pencil grips so I had to make an official request that he be given them again.

See, I don't think they are too complicated measures that we're asking for (oh the consternation and kerfuffle when I asked to be informed of the topics they were covering in class and what he had to do to get a Genügend at the end of the year --> Fr D, we don't think you've understood and we don't think your German is good enough to have a parents meeting without your husband present...) Yes, they talk to everyone except us!!

It's hard, he doesn't tell us what goes on in school, or if he does it's a while after the event. If something has gone wrong, then the first we know is when he is aggressive either to me or my daughter. (Despite me asking several times, including in writing, for them to notify me in the communication book or email if easier if there's an incident). So whereas at home I can pre-empt situations, I'm completely in the dark when it's a school day.

He can't tell us what will help him. I've tried the usual "What would school be like if you were the teacher" and "What would you change at school if you could" and he generally just says that I would be there too. We have finally ascertained that he finds maths "boring". We have tried to explain that we will stop giving and asking him maths when he shows us and his teacher he can do it. At the moment it seems to be working.
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Old 19.08.2018, 19:28
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Re: Notifying school about medication?

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The school, a local international one....
Well our experience with the local public school was the complete opposite:
- there was a team made up of medical, school, education authority and ourselves that met regularly to assess progress
- He had an assistant in class when needed
- he had special pens and pencils
- He was allowed to do math his way, so long as the final answer was correct
- He was given early warnings of exams and extra time is necessary
- He had a school supplied laptop for all his work in the matura including the exams
- and so on...

The most important factor for him was his classmates and by extension the parents. They were make fully aware of his condition and how they could help him. As a result he was able to attend every social activity and trip away that the class did. His classmates made sure he did not wander off, took his meds, had found everything he needed in his bag when staying overnight and even doing his shoe laces on bowling trips when there were no slip on shoes available.

Perhaps the local public school might be an option?
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Old 19.08.2018, 19:34
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Re: Notifying school about medication?

Jim, I had understood that it was Susan's son (who is now an adult) had been in an international School way back then. Up till now, I'd thought that dragoneiric's son was in the local, government school. Did I get that bit wrong?
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Old 19.08.2018, 19:54
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Re: Notifying school about medication?

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But the reality is that your child is not the only child in the class having difficulties No but he is assigned an assistant for 6 hours a week, so I don't think it too much that when she is there she is concentrating on my son.

The school, a local international one, started to PHONE ME, to check up on WHETHER I HAD GIVEN HIM HIS MEDICATION I want the decision about medication to be divorced from the will of the teachers. If we do medicate, I want it to be for the benefit of my son and to be able to start/stop on the advice of the doctors who know him, not the school.

You want certain "simple measures" taken, while the school thinks those are most unusual.
I do.
I asked that he be sat facing the teacher (because if you want him to understand you, then you need to speak to him face to face) rather than sideways on. --> eyeroll, I've decided how to seat the class, this way he can see what the others are doing.
In fairness, after a week she had moved him.

When I saw that all the kids were issued with standard pencils/colouring pencils, I asked if I could provide one with a special grip and provide some triangular colouring pencils. (He has fine motor issues meaning holding a pencil does not come naturally) --> No, the school issues the pencils, parents aren't allowed to provide. After the first parents evening, when they commented on his lack of pencil skills, I ended up having to get a letter from the physio before they let him have a special grip.

Maths - he has huge difficulty, because he doesn't have the coordination to e.g count on his hands or if he does and you give him 8+4 he will tell you the answer is 7. We taught him to count on a number line. I asked if I could provide a ruler. --> No, first class children don't have rulers.

After a year and couple of months (in which he was repeating the first year, the decision we were informed about, not consulted on) we finally got them to agree to let him use a number line for all maths. So far so good.

They asked me to go in after Easter this year because he had completely refused to do his maths tests and they wanted to know how come he will do the work at home but not at school. After something the TA said, I asked if he was using the number line for his test --> No, he's only allowed it in class

I asked if he could have a blank piece of paper so he could write his own at the beginning of the test if it was a question of them not wanting it to seem like he had aids the other children didn't. --> No, not possible. Me: Why not, even at uni you are allowed to show working in maths --> Fr. D, this is Kl1, not university.

Complaints that they always have to punish him when he plays with the blocks, balls etc she give him to help him to count on. Utter bemusement when I ask why she gives them to him when she knows he will play with them and suggest it's maybe not the best to put him in a situation in which she knows he will fail. And to just give him a piece of paper so he can write out a number line.

He is an Aspie, so out of routine stuff panics him. I asked if we can be notified in advance of maths tests so we can warn him. i.e he goes expecting a lesson, is faced with a test and panics. Then once he's panicking they expect him to complete the test. It is never going to happen. --> No, we don't want parents coaching children for the tests. Me: I don't want to coach him, I want to warn him so he knows to expect it. They eventually agreed to this and sent me a message (after 9pm!) the night before the test. The first one he passed!

His reading is not good and he panics when he sees long words and blocks. Me: I see you've typed that list of words out, would it be possible to colour the syllables so he can see where to split the words. --> No, he's Kl 1 and we only do that in Kl2. Me: But he is the same age as the children in Kl2. --> Yes, Fr. D. but he is in Kl1.

Complaints that he can't follow a long list of instructions and that TA has to repeat instructions to him. Well no, he can't and the psychologist has told you why. So why is it such a big deal that she recaps the instructions and recalls him to his work when he starts to get distracted?

I call those simple measures. Maybe they are not, I'm happy to be corrected. We are talking about medication that affects my child's brain, and is shown to be less effective for the type of ADHD that he has. So yes I am reluctant at this stage.

The pro-medication route is comparable, just the other way round:
Best case:
The teachers can persuade you.

Why should it be the teachers. This is out of their remit. It should be the doctors or psychologists who persuade us.
Not much help, but maybe some reassurance: as a 1st grade teacher I wouldn't consider any of your requests to be at all unreasonable. Indeed, a few things on your list ought to be standard practice anyway (number lines, being able to colour syllables, advance notice of (most) tests...).

Quite frankly, your son's teachers sound a bit incompetent to me. No chance you could change schools?
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  #36  
Old 19.08.2018, 20:42
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Re: Notifying school about medication?

I am a grade 5/6 teacher in the canton of Berne. Whether a child takes any sort of medication has absolutely no bearing on the decision whether to place the child in Sek or Real. Downgrading marks??? Never heard of it.
Often a child that takes medication can only show their true capabilities because he/she takes medication, why would a teacher then downgrade this child because of it? Does not make any sense. The whole idea is to place the child where it can best develop.
Sometimes a child with ADD or ADHD might need the aid of a special education teacher in order to cope with school not with cognitive but with social/behavioural demands. In that case Real might be the better place, because Sek classrooms have very limited special education asisstance, if at all.
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Old 19.08.2018, 21:14
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Re: Notifying school about medication?

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Jim, I had understood that it was Susan's son (who is now an adult) had been in an international School way back then. Up till now, I'd thought that dragoneiric's son was in the local, government school. Did I get that bit wrong?
No, you didn't. My son is in the local government school.

Not much help, but maybe some reassurance: as a 1st grade teacher I wouldn't consider any of your requests to be at all unreasonable.
That is indeed reassuring. Thank you. Unfortunately we are in a one school kind of town (village?).
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Old 20.08.2018, 23:15
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Re: Notifying school about medication?

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Quite frankly, your son's teachers sound a bit incompetent to me. No chance you could change schools?
This. I cannot offer anything but sympathy. My jaw has been dropping as I read this thread. I cannot understand why teachers have anything at all to do with medication (other than in certain instances perhaps reminding a child to take some) and it utterly baffles me why your son's school is being so bloody minded. Is there a Swiss equivalent of a SENCO ( special educational needs co-ordinator) on site?
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Old 21.08.2018, 00:01
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Re: Notifying school about medication?

Quote:
Quite frankly, your son's teachers sound a bit incompetent to me. No chance you could change schools?
Quote:
This. I cannot offer anything but sympathy. My jaw has been dropping as I read this thread. I cannot understand why teachers have anything at all to do with medication (other than in certain instances perhaps reminding a child to take some) and it utterly baffles me why your son's school is being so bloody minded. Is there a Swiss equivalent of a SENCO ( special educational needs co-ordinator) on site?
Same here.
I also can't help but think that the teacher will burn themselves out with that level of determined micro-managing.

When I read things like this, I can't help but be grateful that there was always that one teacher who stuck up for me despite me not fitting any of the neat little boxes. It makes such a difference. I hope you find someone who will fight your corner within the system too and that you are able to convey to your kid that he is not "broken", if anything, he will probably outperform many others in the areas that he is good at.
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Old 21.08.2018, 00:24
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Re: Notifying school about medication?

I have just stumbled onto this thread.. been travelling all day so not read every post.

Call a meeting with head teacher, the gemeinde educational official(s) and the teachers of your son, set this up ASAP. Get your doctor to back you up on the rules re: medication authority and go into that meeting armed to the teeth with info. Find out who the Ed Psych's boss is and write to ask him/her the rules re patient confidentiality etc. Ask for minutes to be taken of the meeting to ensure there is an official record of your of all questions and proposals related to the educational support of your son.

For starters, you'll find numpty teacher and assistant will treat you & your son very differently once they hear through official channels you have called for a meeting with the head of school and his/her boss.

Follow this meeting with another meeting in say 6 weeks to measure progress. I also suggest to ask in the meeting for a daily or weekly parent/school diary to be set up immediately so your kept informed of any changes with your son's schedule.

I would drag the lot of 'em over hot coals.. I kid you not.
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