Our expert says:
I find something profoundly suspicious in the way that so many teachers in SA make diagnoses they are not in any way qualified to make, and refer kids to OTs who are not qualified to make diagnoses and treat them for highly dubious reasons. I can't help wondering nif there is some sort of kick-back in some situations.
If there is any good reason to suspect a child might have a significant psych impairment, they MUST be assessed by a child psychologist or child psychiatrist, perhaps in some situations a paediatrician, and NOT a teacher. If a teacher has some concerns, they should speak to the parent about referring the child to an appropriate expert, and that is NEVER EVER an OT.
There is little evidence that OT is of any real use in the great majority of kids with problems or without.
It is just not at all true that many kids ever actually need OT - this is an artificial need created by naive teachers, and which benefits the OT far more than the kids.
Similarly with Speech Therapists. I don't believe Speech therapists or OT should ever treat kids without a proper referral from a Paediatrician, Child shrink, or at least a GP.
Your explanation for your kids temporary difficulty in pronunciation is probavbly more sensible than the referral to a speech therapist.
And SPEECH problem have no relationship whatever with spelling problems - its hooey to suggest it.
I remain deeply suspicious of these goings on. The vast majority of school kids do not need these referrals or extra "therapy". It seems to be a handy excuse for a lazy teacher who can't be bothered to actually put in the work to help children learn. Similarly it is highly improper for any teacher to refer a kid for ritalin or to diagnoses ADHD or similar conditions. A good teacher may recognize possible problems, and should mention this to the parents, and suggest they consider having the child assessed by a competent expert.
These teachers are pathologising normal children, creating profitable work for some parap-professionals, and not attending enough to their own business - yteaching.
Maybe you should have a word with the headmaster saying you are very troubled by the ease with which teachers, who have absolutely no qualifications or training for assesing child health, are referring kids for treatments they probably don't need, and that you are considering referring this issue to Carte Blanche, but would like to hear his point of view first.
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