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Old 14.08.2018, 22:50
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Notifying school about medication?

Specifically to treat ADHD. I've been told by someone who has been told by her daughter's psychologist that they legally have to notify the school if the child is on Ritalin. This is to allow them to deduct marks for the exams they take at the end of primary school. I.e. if they get sufficient marks to get into the top level secondary, they will automatically be reduced to medium level because they have been "doped".

I've just spent a while reading the volskschulgesetz and spmv and I can't find any reference to this anywhere. Is it true? Is it canton dependent?

And whilst we're on the topic, the psychologist at the Erziehungsberatung who assessed our son couldnt provide us with a written report because they are now paperless I rejected their offer of psychiatrist (psychologist had already discussed it with one working in the same building) and said I wanted to talk to Kinderarzt. Who refused to discuss unless he had a report... Psychologist sent report to Kinderarzt and in it she asks to "be informed of any medication or treatment undertaken". How come the psychologist can request our child's medical info without asking us? And how come they won't provide parents with a copy of their assessment results? Child is 7 if it makes a difference.
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Old 15.08.2018, 01:15
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Re: Notifying school about medication?

School and medical privacy is cantonal mater.
So the very first question is: Which canton?
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Old 15.08.2018, 01:26
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Re: Notifying school about medication?

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Specifically to treat ADHD. I've been told by someone who has been told by her daughter's psychologist that they legally have to notify the school if the child is on Ritalin. This is to allow them to deduct marks for the exams they take at the end of primary school. I.e. if they get sufficient marks to get into the top level secondary, they will automatically be reduced to medium level because they have been "doped".

I've just spent a while reading the volskschulgesetz and spmv and I can't find any reference to this anywhere. Is it true? Is it canton dependent?

And whilst we're on the topic, the psychologist at the Erziehungsberatung who assessed our son couldnt provide us with a written report because they are now paperless I rejected their offer of psychiatrist (psychologist had already discussed it with one working in the same building) and said I wanted to talk to Kinderarzt. Who refused to discuss unless he had a report... Psychologist sent report to Kinderarzt and in it she asks to "be informed of any medication or treatment undertaken". How come the psychologist can request our child's medical info without asking us? And how come they won't provide parents with a copy of their assessment results? Child is 7 if it makes a difference.
I don't know the answer to the first part of your post.

As to the second: In order for health insurance to pay, a psychologist must work with a psychiatrist. I don't understand why you refused the offer to talk to that psychiatrist?
As to documentation: All health documentation done on you (or in this case your minor child) is yours! You can insist on that! Paperless, ha, ha. Offer to bring a memory stick if they can't afford a printer. (They can't email it - law).

You can ask the Kinderarzt to give you the report (sounds like he already did?). My GP always gives me copies (on paper - he also works paperless in his praxis ) of all specialists who reported back to him.
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Old 15.08.2018, 01:53
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Re: Notifying school about medication?

I don't know about legal stuff, but as a teacher I'm always grateful to be fully informed about medical and psychological matters - including any medication used - relating to a child in my care.
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Old 15.08.2018, 05:29
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Re: Notifying school about medication?

Canton> Bern. Work colleauge with daughter is AG.


My main annoyance is the psychologist discussed the results of the assessment and the possibility of medication with the teaching assistant before she spoke to us, the parents.

I don't remember signing a consent form and pretty sure I don't have anything, but will go back and double check as I scan everything we get.

I have had the teaching assistant hassle me for his medical info on another issue, she was clearly not happy with my explanation of because it was what KA and we had decided. (There is in fact no diagnosis, or explanation because we don't know why, but she was clearly wanting me to give her a diagnosis of some description).

I believe his medical info should be kept out of his school reports. It's private and not ours to give out for anyone to read.

I have heard (from colleague above) of instances when a new teacher will refuse to accept a child in school unless they are on Ritalin simply because they have taken it before, even if KA & psychologist and child have decided to stop for a while. I don't believe the school should have blackmail control over medication.

There is no longer a psychiatrist attached to the Erziehungsberatung. She shut up shop, moved upstairs and opened as a private practice. When we first went, sne was part of EZB and my son saw her. At the latest assessment, when the psychologist went to discuss medication with her, she was practicing "independently".

We were told that either the KA or a psychiatrist can prescribe. As the KA is the one who know my son the best out of all of this, we decided we wanted his opinion before we took any more action. I will also admit to thinking that I would ask him to request a report, purely so we, as parents, get to see a report. As it turns out, he insisted on one, I didn't have to ask him to ask for one. But yes, I'm pissed off I have to go to such lengths to get the report in the first place.

KA offered to refer us to a department of the local hospital for a re-assessment if we want. We have no diagnoisis as such. Just a "he shows signs of.." and "it may benefit him if he takes medication..." but, I don't know. There seem to be a fair few things the school could be doing to help him, that I'd assumed they were doing, but in fact, aren't.

I understand that Ritalin can only be taken in conjunction with therapy by a psychologist and am debating the merits of doing this with a psychologist referred by the KA rather than the EZB. I can only presume, based on how the system seems to work, that anything my son would potentially discuss with the psychologist in the future would be relayed to the school and follow him his whole career. I can't feel that this is fair on him and wonder if we should try to enforce a layer of privacy for him.

I hope I've answered all the questions and there aren't too many mistakes. It's early!
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Old 15.08.2018, 12:05
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Re: Notifying school about medication?

Had a look through my papers. On the registration for EZB for there is this:
Sie sind einverstanden, dass die Schule Uber die für den Schulbetrieb wichtigen Inhalte informiert wird.
but nothing about contacting doctor or anyone else.


I'm particularly interested to know if it's true or if anyone else has heard that you have to declare medication taken during Kl 5 & 6 and if the results of these years will be downgraded if the child has taken medication.
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Old 15.08.2018, 12:07
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Re: Notifying school about medication?

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I'm particularly interested to know if it's true or if anyone else has heard that you have to declare medication taken during Kl 5 & 6 and if the results of these years will be downgraded if the child has taken medication.
Again, I can't claim to be a lawyer, but it sounds a bit implausible to me. Why on earth would Ritalin be used as a reason to downgrade a kid?
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Old 15.08.2018, 13:46
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Re: Notifying school about medication?

I’ve glanced at (but not read thoroughly) your other posts on this forum, and it seems that you’ve been having a hard time of it, about your children’s schooling, for several years now. I commend you for being a parent who really cares about how your child is coping. It’s sad that things don’t seem to have moved ahead, for the better.

Could part of it be a cultural clash? A friend in the UK had to fight for the psychologist to speak to the teacher, and for the teacher to read the doctor’s report, etc., in other words, her struggle was in the opposite direction to yours.

Here in Switzerland, there is more likelihood than perhaps elsewhere that those in authority in any kind of government organisation (not just the school system), will exchange data with one another. This is not automatically considered deception, nor negligence, nor a breach of trust, but is seen as an efficient collaboration, so that several views can be taken into account, to try to build a solution together.

If you are perceived as the one trying to block that flow, you may well be labelled as the “difficult” person. Please know that I am not criticising you, for I have not walked in your moccasins, and you may feel you have very good reasons for wanting to protect your child’s (or your own) privacy. I mention this danger because, if once you have the label, you run the risk of being the one they prefer to leave out of the information loop, whenever possible. If that happens to you, then you are likely to complain more (which I understand, from your perspective) which may lead, unfortunately, to both sides feeling that the conflicts are escalating.

Of course, I am not in your situation, and I don’t know the staff involved. I wonder whether there is one person to whom you feel you have a better contact than the others, whom you could approach, just one-on-one, and ask him/her whether they (the other adults) think that it would be nice if you changed some aspect. It might be that you are doing something that is perfectly ordinary and normal where you come from, such as, for example, writing them mails, but which here is taken in a different way from your intention. Or perhaps not absorbing what that “consent” sentence meant when you signed it. Sometimes fixing this kind of thing can lead to building a form of interaction which is less stressful for all concerned, even when one doesn’t yet see eye to eye. And that seems to me would be worth it, since you’re in for the long haul.
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Old 15.08.2018, 14:39
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Re: Notifying school about medication?

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Again, I can't claim to be a lawyer, but it sounds a bit implausible to me. Why on earth would Ritalin be used as a reason to downgrade a kid?
I’m finding that a bit hard to believe too.
One if the reasons for prescribing Ritalin is to help with concentration and stuff and improve grades so why would they then want to downgrade them? It makes no sense at all.
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Old 15.08.2018, 15:15
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Re: Notifying school about medication?

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I’m finding that a bit hard to believe too.
One if the reasons for prescribing Ritalin is to help with concentration and stuff and improve grades so why would they then want to downgrade them? It makes no sense at all.
If at all, it seems to be the other way around: Tages Anzeiger 2013 (German)
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Old 15.08.2018, 15:19
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Re: Notifying school about medication?

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Again, I can't claim to be a lawyer, but it sounds a bit implausible to me. Why on earth would Ritalin be used as a reason to downgrade a kid?
I found it a bit unbelievable too, that's why I've been looking into it. I don't want to unwittingly do something that could have negative effects on my son in the future. My colleague is adamant that it is the case though. Her daughter has just started Kl 5. I've told her she needs to query it. She was told because it is classed as doping because children aren't allowed to take brain enhancing drugs to improve their school performance.

doropfiz - thanks for your post. Will answer later, have guests arriving!
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Old 15.08.2018, 15:33
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Re: Notifying school about medication?

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I found it a bit unbelievable too, that's why I've been looking into it. I don't want to unwittingly do something that could have negative effects on my son in the future. My colleague is adamant that it is the case though. Her daughter has just started Kl 5. I've told her she needs to query it. She was told because it is classed as doping because children aren't allowed to take brain enhancing drugs to improve their school performance.

doropfiz - thanks for your post. Will answer later, have guests arriving!
I have just checked and it is definitely not the case in Neuchâtel so it would be surprising if it was the case elsewhere. However this is Switzerland and schooling is a cantonal affair so it is entirely possible that it is different in other cantons.
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Old 15.08.2018, 17:42
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Re: Notifying school about medication?

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I have just checked and it is definitely not the case in Neuchâtel so it would be surprising if it was the case elsewhere. However this is Switzerland and schooling is a cantonal affair so it is entirely possible that it is different in other cantons.
Who did you check with or where did you check? Just so I know I'm looking in the right places!

My younger child has started at school now as well so I hope things will improve. It certainly did when started KG as we were no longer the idiot parents who produced my son but we had a child who ticked all the boxes too. It could well be a culture clash (and they do seem to try to write me off as the foreign stay at home sponger who can't possibly understand anything) which is why I want to know if anyone else has similar, given similar info and how things are done here. Obviously I have no first hand experience of the Swiss school system and my husband has only of the French-swiss school system.

The consent we gave seems to me to be a consent of information exchange between the EZB and the school (which I understand), not between the EZB and the Kinderarzt which seems a step too far to me.
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Old 15.08.2018, 17:54
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Re: Notifying school about medication?

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Specifically to treat ADHD. I've been told by someone who has been told by her daughter's psychologist that they legally have to notify the school if the child is on Ritalin. This is to allow them to deduct marks for the exams they take at the end of primary school. I.e. if they get sufficient marks to get into the top level secondary, they will automatically be reduced to medium level because they have been "doped".
If you were to transplant this scenario to adults, i.e. an adult with ADHD and taking meds to control it, can you imagine the utter uproar if that adult's doctor or psychologist was obliged to inform the employer of the patient's medical requirements?

Why on earth do they think it's ok to do this in the case of a child?

It would be interesting to know where they get this idea that a child of ritalin shows signs of such an enhanced performance they feel the need to moderate the marking. Surely the child is just able to concentrate and therefore give a more accurate performance of their true selves thanks to the meds they are taking. For them to even refer to it as doping is, frankly, weird.
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Old 15.08.2018, 18:11
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Re: Notifying school about medication?

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Why on earth do they think it's ok to do this in the case of a child?
Well, there are lots of things that are expected of children at school that aren't expected of adults. I mean, if one of my colleagues beat me up, I would expect there to be consequences, not to be given extra projects to work on together...
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Old 15.08.2018, 18:19
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Re: Notifying school about medication?

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Who did you check with or where did you check? Just so I know I'm looking in the right places!

.
I asked my friend who has a son who has been on Ritalin for the past four years and my Swiss neighbour who works as a psychologist in the schools here. Both told me exactly the same thing.

Without the Ritalin my friend’s son would probably have failed every single school year, his grades and his behaviour have improved immensely since he has been taking it. It would be totally counterproductive to lower his grades due to him being on medication.
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Old 15.08.2018, 19:17
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Re: Notifying school about medication?

Deducting marks? Eh? If that is the case, they are discriminating against someone because they have an illness.
At the University of Zurich and a few years ago at the Berufsschule, people with learning disabilities (which includes ADHD) are often given some kind of support in order to make it a level playing field, typically in the form of more time on exams. I never asked for it because I knew that I would be in a room with MANY other people who would resent me getting more time without knowing why. Since I was studying psychology, there was a large chance of these people being in an HR department where I would send a job application, etc. etc. It just did not seem worth it for an extra 15 minutes where I would be distracted by everyone leaving.

Same for my current degree, I find exams with 50+ people in a room and having to sit still focussing and writing for three hours (this is the exam format used by the university) a complete nightmare. Thankfully, I developed an incredibly painful tennis elbow that made it impossible for me to write for 15 minutes, never mind three hours, so I was permitted to write on a laptop in a secluded place. I did SOOO much better in that setting. But it was probably not worth being in constant pain for 1.5 years just to be granted that small help.

I do think it is important to be clear about medications, but I would absolutely fight the nonsense about automatically being levelled down. First of all, Ritalin is not a magic pill; even WITH the stuff, it is hard to do school work or any work that you do not find interesting. Depending on how severe the ADHD is, it can be the only thing that allows you to be halfway normal. People really misunderstand this condition and stupid documentaries like Netflix's "Take Your Pills" do not help.
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Old 15.08.2018, 21:07
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Re: Notifying school about medication?

I am slightly reassured by all the replies of disbelief, I must say! Thank you. I will definitely pass it on to my colleague and advise her to challenge what they have been told.


Does anyone have any knowledge of the Lehrplan 21? Is there anything in it that is likely to change things for children who don't fit in the box? I've downloaded it and am about to start reading it. We've a meeting in the coming weeks for a discussion about how things are going, so I want to be prepared.
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Old 15.08.2018, 21:18
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Re: Notifying school about medication?

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The consent we gave seems to me to be a consent of information exchange between the EZB and the school (which I understand), not between the EZB and the Kinderarzt which seems a step too far to me.
Yet it is standard practice around here.

Tom
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Old 15.08.2018, 22:48
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Re: Notifying school about medication?

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Yet it is standard practice around here.

Tom
But presumably if the doctor were to answer without first asking us, he would be in breach of patient confidentiality?
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