We are too quick to label children who aren't perfect

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We are too quick to label children who aren't perfect

Post by JIM CURRAN » Tue Jun 30, 2015 8:25 pm

We are too quick to label children who aren't perfect
You don’t want to be in 4J, you’ll get dyslexia.”

This has been the standing joke in our staffroom for years, owing to the teacher’s over-zealous approach to diagnosing any child not brilliant at reading as “dyslexic”. She’s a great teacher who is passionate about children and who gets good results (which could be why she needs to find a reason for anyone not making the grade under her watchful eye). However she is a labeller – one of the many idealistic adults who can’t bear to believe a child is less than perfect unless it’s because there’s something wrong with him or her that’s nobody’s fault.

The range of options available to the discerning child-labeller is growing: social issue, learning difficulty, behavioural need, obsessive tendency, food intolerance or – my all time favourite – being “on the spectrum”. As a teacher I find this immensely frustrating for a number of reasons. First, the diagnosis is often performed by someone with no skills, qualifications or expertise – a well-meaning colleague, an over-concerned parent, a kindly friend. The only requisite is that they have access to the internet or have seen a TV programme about the condition in question. Second, it is upsetting and insulting to people who battle with genuine problems that others casually assign themselves and – most of all – because we as teachers are increasingly forced to pander to them.
http://www.theguardian.com/teacher-netw ... d-dyslexia

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Re: We are too quick to label children who aren't perfect

Post by frances5 » Thu Jul 02, 2015 10:53 am

I think that the inablity to read is a genuine problem whether a child has dyslexia, dysteachia or dysparenting. It is sad that having a label is seen a vehicle to getting some help. I expect the teacher of 4J felt a sense of guilt that she was not sucessful with the strugglers in her class. She wanted them to get outside help to achieve a certain level in the basics. The problem is the system, rather than the teacher of 4J.

In the UK autism/ ADHD diagnosis are not as made as easily as the Guardian makes out or at least not in my area. In my area an autism/ ADHD diagnosis is made by a team of medical professionals including a paediatrian, audiologist, speech and language therapist, pychologist over a period of months. It often takes years to get a diagnosis. My son went through an assessment for autism at the insistance of a pre school leader. As part of his assessment he had a hearing test which failed spectularly because of glue ear. Sometimes teachers over look very simple problems.

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