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Question
Posted by: Susan | 2011-11-02

upset about my childs school

My child is in grade 0 at a private school but I must say that it has been very stressful for me so far as they teachers nowadays seem to find problems with half the class and recommend OT which we did send our son to. I must say that the OT did not do him any harm and did seem beneficial but why is it that so many kids need OT nowadays and I find it unfair that the school does not provide this assistance, they expect you to pay extra and its not cheap. Also the teacher has just recommended that we take our son to a speech therapist as he does not pronounce some words properly and she said this will become a problem with his spelling. Most of his teeth have fallen out and I can''t help thinking this could be why he can''t say certain words. Once again the school offers no assistance in the matter and expect you to take your child to a speech therapist at your own expense. My husband agreed to the speech therapy without even asking me which also upset me as I wanted to discuss it first. What upsets me most is that I was really wanting to enjoy my sons school career and be enthusiastic and positive about it but now I am just dreading it as they justseem to want to find fault with kids which they are not willing to help with, they just expect the parents to arrange for extra lessons. My son also has so much homework now and he is only 6 years old, what happend to school being the best days of your life. I dont'' remember so many kids having to go to OT or speech therapist when I was at school, I can''t help feeling let down with the education system today and it really makes me negative, I just see this road ahead of years at school where the teachers don''t put in as much effort helping kids as they used to. They just hand over the kids to the OT, speech therapist or put them on ritalin if they aren''t up to the high standards. I have spoken to my husband about changing schools in future but he won''t hear of it.

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Our expert says:
Expert ImageCyberShrink

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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5
Our users say:
Posted by: Proud Mum | 2011-11-04

Well said CS.
My son in grade 0 according to the school (private) needed the works OT - Physio Play therapy etc..........
Did it for a while then stopped because l was convincd it as just a scam.
He became head boy and captain of the rugby team!!!!!!!!,shrink is right if its recommened by a medical practitioner that is th only time to go that route.

Reply to Proud Mum
Posted by: Nikky | 2011-11-04

Hey Mums,

I am in the same position. My son is 4 years old and did not know what a pentagon or an octagon was. I was told he is a year behind and should go to OT. It is not in the syllabus for a 4 year old to know these shapes yet, so I did not freak out. I agree with CS, there is something fishy going on here and someone is receiving a nice kick back somewhere along the line.

It also happened to my cousin. Her son was behind, he was told to go to OT, so she changed his schools and now he is at the top of his class.

We are each blessed with women''s intuition, use it. If you don''t feel right about something, don''t do it.

Here''s to our future generation of bright children!

Reply to Nikky
Posted by: Queen | 2011-11-03

Yep same here. I have been referred to all of them OT, speech therapist, child psychologist you name them. And yes I went to all of them, thanks to the medical aid! After doing all the ups and downs the conclusion was my son 6yrs is as normal as they come. He''s just a bit shy, which he will grow out of as time goes.

But I agree with you Susan, the teachers are a bit hands off with the children. Especially these so called good schools we take our kids to. Sometimes I wonder if they don''t just want to boost their friends by referring us to them lol.

Reply to Queen
Posted by: BMJ | 2011-11-02

I can SO identify with you. I have spent thousands and thousands on OT and speech therapy. My oldest is now 10 and middle 8. They are now DONE! With my 3rd....I am taking the position that he will just grow out of it. I am not being suckered again.

I do think there was some benefit from the OT - but I also wonder if we just give them some time, they eventually learn these things. My children spend an hour a day each on homework and both have been tested (IQ). My one son scored in the genius range so it is not because it is to hard, it is just so much.

Reply to BMJ
Posted by: cybershrink | 2011-11-02

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.

Reply to cybershrink

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