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Sunday 18 November 2018

When a diagnosis becomes the excuse....

You've heard it many times in your career as a teacher, "He/She can't help it, they have  (insert diagnosis here)!!  Usually said in a tone that is strident and or defensive.

What do you do next?  I asked my FB followers and this is some of the responses.

Jena says- "Sigh"  Yes this is usually the first response isn't it!

Emma says- "Collaborate with learning support, the Child Development Advisor, and admin to develop a positive communication strategy that supports the child and protects the teacher from being cornered or attacked by the parent."  

Common sense prevails!  A great start is to go to your Learning Support or Behaviour Management team or whatever it is in your school.  I cannot stress enough how important it is to get these strategies in writing and to document every conversation you have with parents.

Diane says- "I often ask what strategies they use at home that work?  That we can transfer to the school setting? Document the behaviour.  Also expectations are often different at home than in the school."

Great idea Diane, consistency is always key when dealing with behaviours that we see impacting on students academically and socially. If we can work together collaboratively and create a team approach you can only think that outcomes will be more positive for our students.

Jason says- "Share my lived experience" 

I can totally relate to this!  I often feel like our parents of students who are in particular dealing with a new diagnosis feel overwhelmed and isolated.  When we can share experiences it makes us feel like we are part of a group and more open to hearing about what has worked for others.  Shared information is so empowering!

When a student gets a diagnosis it really is the first step in creating a plan to support not only the student but parents and teachers as well.