Posted by: Danita | 2009-05-26

Bipolar child

I have a bipolar child aged 9 and I would like to know what are his rights in a mainstream school. Are they allowed to expell him should he have an outrage. The school has no remedial teachers and I am now being called to the school when something goes wrong because they are scared he is going to harm someone? What are our rights?

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Our expert says:
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Psychologist....Hi Danita,
No one can be discriminated against because of mental illness. Your child has every right to attend school according to the South African Bill of Rights. It may be helpful to get him assessed by a psychiatrist and a psychologist. If you do not have medical aid, you can get him assessed at a government hospital near you. This will enable him to receive the correct treatment and this should help his behaviour. It may be useful to meet with the teachers at the school to discuss the situation. Teachers are sometimes overworked and may perceive destructive behaviour to be caused by defiance. However, if they are made aware of the disorder, they may be more accommodating.

In children, stress and mood disorders are often marked by irritability and acting out behaviour. Children often don't have the means to express how they are feeling and why they are feeling that way. Sometimes play therapy can give children a space to voice their feelings in a containing environment. However, assessment by both a psychiatrist and psychologist is very important as at this stage he may present a danger to himself or others.

I wish you well.

The information provided does not constitute a diagnosis of your condition. You should consult a medical practitioner or other appropriate health care professional for a physical exmanication, diagnosis and formal advice. Health24 and the expert accept no responsibility or liability for any damage or personal harm you may suffer resulting from making use of this content.

Our users say:
Posted by: Anonymous | 2009-05-26

has your child been properly diagnosed, Mine wasnt but i thought it was adhd and then they said it was bipolar. I went to the school and told them ( he was 13) they did call me twice when he was not well but then his tablets were adjusted. They were quiete helpful but he was keeping up at school. I do know that the dep of education do have child pyshcologsits maybe talk to them to ask the laws i do not know my rights here. sorry.

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