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What does inclusion mean for ASD/ADHD?

Updated: Apr 26, 2021

All children are entitled to an education. It's a fundamental part of Irish life. It's actually written into the Constitution. For children with autism or diagnosed ASD and ADHD it's a minefield.

Over the last number of years Ireland has become a much more tolerant and inclusive society. LBQTI can marry and have it recognised by the state. Married couples can divorce. Women have the right to access abortion. Whatever an individual's own beliefs, society as a whole has spoken. 2020 saw a huge movement in Irish broadcasting , sport and media to improve the coverage for Women's Sport.

Today we found out that the staff at the school our son attends lied to us. Or at the very least misrepresented the truth through wording. Since his previous suspension our 9 year old is in a small school yard at lunch, where he and only 3 friends can play. When we questioned this, in terms of isolation, the staff informed us the school psychologist had recommended it as an appropriate action. We questioned the psychologist and discovered that the suggestion came from the school. She agreed with the action as a test, if it meant that our lad felt safer and more secure but it was by no means suggested by her as a course of action.

I'm not surprised. The school take notes of all our meetings and shares them with us. 3 meetings ago I challenged them on the accuracy of their notes and highlighted several erroneous comments and points, that my wife and I had highlighted, queried and returned to them. Since then they stopped sharing their minutes.

As a parent it is extremely frustrating to attempt to try and put your trust and faith in a facility that proves itself again and again to be incapable of being truthful. I say facility because, its not a service, it's not a caring environment and its failing kids that need support desperately.

It's January, Lockdown 3. I started typing this in December 2020. Lockdown 3 has seen everyone back onto SeeSaw and no school. The school seems to think that a 10 or 15 minute phone call once a week is them completing their obligation of care of our son. Twice a week, the class can participate in a 'team's meeting, where the teacher presents and co-ordinates a presentation for them. Our lad was kicked off and removed from the first session as he was pressing so many buttons (he was told to do this to get used to the app) that he pressed record and couldn't switch it off. Teacher barred him from the group, re-instated him 10 days later but by this stage he had lost interest and now won't go onto the sessions. So even in Lockdown, the school are still managing to exclude him.

Daily he's still doing his homework. I can't call it school work as, to me it's an absolute joke of activities. There appears to be no real thought or planning into the activities. In many cases its a shared communal video from another teacher. In some cases it's an English school activity (Joe Wicks as an example) - as if there are no Irish YouTube fitness people.

What is needed as a minimum in Lockdown (you think at the third lockdown, the school would have it right by now):

A daily set up call;

A follow up call every 90 minutes or two hours to check in and;

Daily positive feedback from teacher - not other teachers commenting on his work.

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