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Hiding your child's diagnosis

Posted by on Nov. 7, 2013 at 1:33 PM
  • 36 Replies

Does a parent have an obligation to alert the school or their child's educators when a child has been given a diagnosis that may adversely impact their time in school?  

Example: A child has been diagnosed ADHD and has daily struggles with staying on task.  Should parent's make sure the school knows about the diagnosis and the child's needs or is it okay for them to hide it because they fear the child being labelled or moved out of a mainstream class?  

If the parent hides this information is the school within their rights to remove a violent/problematic child when they have not been made aware of any diagnosis that requires special intervention on their part?  

If a child has a behavioral condition that makes them highly prone to violence should the parent's be held legally responsible if they fail to disclose this to the school and another child is severely hurt as a result of their failed disclosure?  

by on Nov. 7, 2013 at 1:33 PM
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Replies (1-10):
momtoscott
by Gold Member on Nov. 7, 2013 at 1:56 PM

It's a hard decision for any parent, especially since behavioral-based classes do tend to move more slowly academically.  It's common at first to feel like a diagnosis is something shameful or wrong, rather than another piece of information about your child, and to hope that the child will "grow out" of the condition or won't have problems at school.  

Ultimately, I think it's better to give the school the information and work with the school on how to keep your child learning productively.   However, I'm lucky to live in a town with a school system that is pretty good at helping its SN kids.  Not all school systems are going to be so accommodating.  

Also, I can remember when transitioning my autistic son out of the substantially separate classroom he had been in through the first half of second grade, there was a lot of catching up to do, academically, and that was very stressful for all of us, even though it worked out well in the end and he has been mainstreamed since that time (a high school sophomore).  

There is a stigma and often an academic cost, and parents need to weigh those factors before making a decision.  

I don't know how I'd figure the legalities of keeping a dx private.  

Woodbabe
by Woodie on Nov. 7, 2013 at 1:59 PM
2 moms liked this

It seems to me that if a parent cared enough to get a diagnosis, then they'd care enough to want to ensure the best environment possible to help their child to succeed in school. I guess I can't understand a parent spending all that time and money to get a diagnosis, and then hiding it.

katy_kay08
by on Nov. 7, 2013 at 2:02 PM

They may have went that route for early intervention at home before the child enters school and then out of concern that the child will be stigmatized by hope that their child will just adjust well to the classroom situation without the need of divulging the information.  

I know I've read some parents with high functioning children on the spectrum have not told the schools because they wanted to ensure their children would be mainstreamed.  


Quoting Woodbabe:

It seems to me that if a parent cared enough to get a diagnosis, then they'd care enough to want to ensure the best environment possible to help their child to succeed in school. I guess I can't understand a parent spending all that time and money to get a diagnosis, and then hiding it.


rfurlongg
by on Nov. 7, 2013 at 2:06 PM
It seems to me that letting the school know any issue is in the child's academic and emotional best interest.
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sweet-a-kins
by Emerald Member on Nov. 7, 2013 at 2:10 PM


 

Quote:

 If a child has a behavioral condition that makes them highly prone to violence should the parent's be held legally responsible if they fail to disclose this to the school and another child is severely hurt as a result of their failed disclosure?

 

Yes, there are other children that should be protected

JakeandEmmasMom
by Platinum Member on Nov. 7, 2013 at 2:11 PM
I truly don't see how hiding the information would ever be in the child's interest. It seems that there is a push for integration these days, so there is no reason to err on the side of keeping the diagnosis secret. And I do think the parents have a responsibility to their own child, and the other children if the child is potentially violent, to inform the school.

If the parents still kept quiet, the school has a responsibility to get to the bottom of things if the child is violent.
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HaileysMom07180
by Bronze Member on Nov. 7, 2013 at 2:11 PM

thats really difficult, a school has the right to remove any child that is violent or problematic really, but i really struggle with the ADHD thing, mainly because of something that we went through. 

Our dd was disgnosed with ADHD in kindergarden, in first grade they put her on meds (she started hallucinating.) so they pulled her off.  then about midway through 1st grade different signs that are not related to adhd started appearing so they retracted the diagnosis and started looking at what was really going on.  in April of 2013 she was finally diagnosed with PDD which is an Autism Spectrum Disorder.  Her school and teacher refused to believe and constantly pestered me to put her on adhd medication and when the doctor recommended we put her on an IEP, the school told us they don't have a resource teacher that supports IEP's.  Needless to say, we moved out of that school district into one that is more supportive of children with special needs.

From experience i would say make sure the diagnosis will not be changed before telling the school.  If the child is violent or is subject to violent behaviorial issues, you could be held legally responsible if something happens and you didn't inform the school what was going on.  that is a really hard one though, a very fine line.

HaileysMom07180
by Bronze Member on Nov. 7, 2013 at 2:13 PM

they could be legally held responsible if something serious happened and they didn't disclose the information to the school


Quoting sweet-a-kins:


 

Quote:

 If a child has a behavioral condition that makes them highly prone to violence should the parent's be held legally responsible if they fail to disclose this to the school and another child is severely hurt as a result of their failed disclosure?

 

Yes, there are other children that should be protected



yourspecialkid
by Platinum Member on Nov. 7, 2013 at 2:17 PM

 I have mixed feelings on this.  A school should know these things, but the school should also work in the best interest of the child..with the parent being the final authority.

When we had the IEP meeting at the beginning of my son's first grade year they tried to move him to an Autism classroom.  He was functioning well in the regular classroom with the help of a parapro.  I had to threaten to bring an attorney into the mix to keep him where he was.  They backed down and we continued as we were.  By the end of his second grade year he no longer needed the parapro.  An Autism Spectrum dx does not mean you need a special classroom.

I have a friend that homeschools because the school demanded her son be medicated for his ADHD.  She put him on a sensory diet and he is doing very well schooling at home.

I think that sometimes the schools opt for easier or for whatever will benefit them financially...not what is best for the child.  So, I can see why people would keep it to themselves.

 

specialwingz
by Bronze Member on Nov. 7, 2013 at 2:19 PM

What is the point of a diagnosis if ALL the people involved in the child's life aren't aware of it???  Parents aren't the only influence in a child's life.  They spend a third of their day in the hands of their teachers.  Is that third not worth providing the tools necessary for their success?

I have identical twin boys with ADHD & Asperger's Syndrome.  I worked very closely with the schools and teachers so that my kids got the best possible education we could give them.  Without the input and feedback from the teachers, it was WAY more difficult to determine when they were outgrowing their meds.  It is much easier to work with kids when the teachers are aware of the issues and how to work with them.  Without that information, the teacher has no clue what is happening and the child is simply labeled a trouble maker or difficult child.

When a child is diagnosed with ADHD (or any other affiction) it enables a parent to sit down with the teachers/counselors at the school and set up an IEP (Independent Education Program) that is designed according to the needs of each individual child.  For instance, my boys would sometimes get overwhelmed and go into information overload, which is common in ADHD patients.  If they were given a place to go cool off for just 5 minutes, they were able to regroup, come back to class and get back on task.  They were also alloted independent testing.  Which meant the went to a separate room by themselves to test.  When testing with the entire class, they would tend to panic when they saw others finishing ahead of them.  They felt they were getting behind and would rush through just writing random answers.  They knew the material.  But, in panic mode, things became randomized.  So, the independent testing allowed them a quiet area to test and focus on just themselves and their test.  therefore, receiving MUCH better test scores.

So, with those few examples, how can a parent NOT tell the school?  I feel it is rather neglectful not to.  To me, it would be not providing ALL the possible tools for a child to receive best possible education.  KWIM?

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