Make teacher training for teaching students with ADHD & other extra needs compulsory!
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I was educated in a private secondary school here in the UK between the mid 1990s until the early 2000s.
I faced social exclusion, failed multiple exams despite receiving extra tuition, and often faced humiliation at the hands of my teachers in front of classmates, even during the course of A levels, which lead to inevitable bullying and ostracisation by my classmates.
The reason has now become clear following my recent adult diagnosis with ADHD.
During my time as a schoolboy in the 1990s, there were many children expelled I would now class as either on the autistic spectrum, and/or on the ADHD spectrum, and others struggling to cope with other unrecognised conditions.
I was saddened to read in May last year, that the celebrity Jeff Brazier interviewed by the Daily Mirror, explained that he had to withdraw one of his sons, also diagnosed with ADHD, from a private school, because the son was being threatened with expulsion as a reaction towards his ADHD behaviour, in spite of him having been diagnosed.
Jeff Brazier found that a local comprehensive school better accommodated his son's needs.
It appears that 15 years after I left secondary school with A-Levels, misunderstanding of these conditions has not changed, which will surprise many. I'm sure that this prejudice remains within the private sector.
It is clearly not due to a lack of resources (which comprehensives struggle with more), but because the social stigma remains the same within the private sector, but it would also affect students within the state school sector similarly.
I believe that mandatory training for primary and secondary school teachers regarding teaching students with developmental disorders and learning disabilities, should be compulsory nationwide, in both the private and state school sectors.
It will decrease stigmatisation towards students with these conditions.
Had my ADHD been given proper attention during this stage of my development, I would not have developed diagnosed generalised anxiety disorder and depression.
I was one of the more fortunate ones, as I went on to complete my postgraduate studies successfully.
But I now understand why statistically, many people with my condition do not complete their education, primarily because we do not always receive the same encouragement and motivation as "neurotypical" children.
It is stated in the "ADHD: Paying Enough Attention report", that "97% of those surveyed stated that children with undiagnosed ADHD are more likely to drop out of school several years earlier than their peers."
The other statistics quote "39% of children with ADHD have had fixed term exclusions from school" and "11% of excluded children with ADHD have been excluded permanently."
Such early experiences, can of course impact upon later life. Another statistic reads:
"The social impact of exclusion is well established, with evidence showing an increased likelihood of antisocial and criminal behaviour:
49% of male and 33% of female sentenced prisoners were excluded from school."
All statistics are referenced through this link:
But these statistics only acknowledge those who are DIAGNOSED! I believe earlier intervention, would decrease students inside and outside of these statistics.
It is our responsibility to make it easier for future generations who share my condition and others with extra needs, so they do not have to suffer a lack of adult opportunities resulting from their teachers' ignorance, scapegoating and discrimination against them. This baggage follows afflicted students into their adult lives, in some shape or form.
Please help us end this country's establishment's discrimination, stigmatisation and negligence of students with extra needs, by making this form of teacher training compulsory!
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