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TheBs

Support with Learning needs

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Hi all,

My son is 7 and I'm the UK we are going through the process of having him assessed for a processing learning need.

I think there's a level of ADHD, but having spoken to friends I think he definitely has a processing issue such as dyslexia.

 

My question is in the UK they don't test for dyslexia until 10yrs old.

But once diagnosed there's lots of support. And the potential ADHD diagnosis will come soon, and again then the support will be there.

Does anyone have a child with additional needs in Aus schools that can comment on the support and the process of gaining diagnosis? What has your experience been?

I know we'll have to pay for it, and I've been advised to get whatever diagnosis I can in the UK first.

TIA 

 

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Have you got a visa? If not, then be aware that a diagnosis of anything which may require additional funding in Australian schools could lead you to having a visa declined.  However, if it's only ADHD and Dyslexia then they aren't well supported in  Australian schools as they don't fall into the disability category which does attract extra funding. It'll be very much what the school can provide from within mainstream allowances and that generally amounts to diddly squat. So, expect no additional support and anything he does  get will  be a bonus.

If you can get a good full psycho-educational assessment in UK then do it, it could take you a long time to get one in Australia and could cost a lot of money - and as your son is 7 you'll want to get in with as much early intervention as you can, so sooner rather than later. 

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As Quoll says, it does sound as though you're in a double-bind there. 

On the one hand, it may affect your visa chances. If any member of the family has a condition that incurs ongoing medical costs or other government support, the department considers how much that person is likely to cost the Australian taxpayer over the years.  There is a threshold, and if the costs go over that threshold, the visa is declined -- no matter how well-qualified the main applicant is. 

On the other hand, if it turns out that his condition isn't an issue for the visa because it wouldn't cost the Australian taxpayer, I'd be worried, because it means there's no  properly-funded framework in the Australian system to support him.    

I don't know a lot about it so can't help, but it sounds like a vitally important question to get answered.

Edited by Marisawright
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Scot by birth, emigrated 1985 | Aussie husband granted UK spouse visa March 2015, moved to UK May 2015 | Returned to Oz June 2016

My new novel, A Dance With Danger, is due out August 2022

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9 hours ago, Quoll said:

Have you got a visa? If not, then be aware that a diagnosis of anything which may require additional funding in Australian schools could lead you to having a visa declined.  However, if it's only ADHD and Dyslexia then they aren't well supported in  Australian schools as they don't fall into the disability category which does attract extra funding. It'll be very much what the school can provide from within mainstream allowances and that generally amounts to diddly squat. So, expect no additional support and anything he does  get will  be a bonus.

If you can get a good full psycho-educational assessment in UK then do it, it could take you a long time to get one in Australia and could cost a lot of money - and as your son is 7 you'll want to get in with as much early intervention as you can, so sooner rather than later. 

Thank you, 

No not yet we're doing our information/evidence gathering at the moment. He is currently in a mainstream school and achieving expected standards, he doesn't get any support at the moment other than handwriting intervention which is given by the classroom support.

He struggles sometimes with focus and then sometimes his behaviours are a bit impulsive and excitable but have improved as he gets older, again as no diagnosis he's not on meds and I don't think he'll need them. Whatever it is it is very mild, So I don't think he should cause too much of a worry to the Australian government, I was more interested about the potential dyslexia side of things, if it means I need to pay for private or if that help is there in school already.

In the UK once diagnosed he gets extra time in an exam, if he's stuck on a word someone can read it to him, and they get different coloured paper as apparently that helps them too.

 

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3 hours ago, TheBs said:

Thank you, 

No not yet we're doing our information/evidence gathering at the moment. He is currently in a mainstream school and achieving expected standards, he doesn't get any support at the moment other than handwriting intervention which is given by the classroom support.

He struggles sometimes with focus and then sometimes his behaviours are a bit impulsive and excitable but have improved as he gets older, again as no diagnosis he's not on meds and I don't think he'll need them. Whatever it is it is very mild, So I don't think he should cause too much of a worry to the Australian government, I was more interested about the potential dyslexia side of things, if it means I need to pay for private or if that help is there in school already.

In the UK once diagnosed he gets extra time in an exam, if he's stuck on a word someone can read it to him, and they get different coloured paper as apparently that helps them too.

 

Dyslexia isn't big in Australia and it very much depends on the school as to what they can offer from school resources - not all schools have multiple adults in each classroom all the time so in class support can be minimal beyond what a class teacher can provide. Many schools do have an early intervention for reading difficulties but beyond year 1 there's not much targeted intervention and is very school dependent.  If you think he's going to need additional tutoring then you may well decide that you want to do it privately. There may be some minor accommodations like extra time in assessments but not until later in the school career. Challenging behaviour is a whole other issue and, again, that depends on the school and the state as to what resources there may be - but they're generally not ADHD impulsiveness, rather more malicious challenges.  

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3 hours ago, TheBs said:

I was more interested about the potential dyslexia side of things, if it means I need to pay for private or if that help is there in school already.

I think you should assume you'll need to budget for private support.


Scot by birth, emigrated 1985 | Aussie husband granted UK spouse visa March 2015, moved to UK May 2015 | Returned to Oz June 2016

My new novel, A Dance With Danger, is due out August 2022

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On 18/09/2021 at 16:22, TheBs said:

Thank you, 

No not yet we're doing our information/evidence gathering at the moment. He is currently in a mainstream school and achieving expected standards, he doesn't get any support at the moment other than handwriting intervention which is given by the classroom support.

He struggles sometimes with focus and then sometimes his behaviours are a bit impulsive and excitable but have improved as he gets older, again as no diagnosis he's not on meds and I don't think he'll need them. Whatever it is it is very mild, So I don't think he should cause too much of a worry to the Australian government, I was more interested about the potential dyslexia side of things, if it means I need to pay for private or if that help is there in school already.

In the UK once diagnosed he gets extra time in an exam, if he's stuck on a word someone can read it to him, and they get different coloured paper as apparently that helps them too.

 

My little Grandson who was born here and is 6 is ADHD and a few other things . It is a long road and battle to get them diagnosed here and it all costs . You see a few different specialists who then have to all agree what the diagnosis is . They do not just have helpers in the classrooms you have to be allocated one and this means going through another lot of things to get Disability which pays for extra's . Its taken my daughter nearly 2 years with i dont know how many meetings and appointments just to get to this stage . Please dont come here thinking you will get lots of help immediately it doesnt work like that here . Not sure how it would work for a child who has just emigrated here . Please do lots and lots of research .  

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On 18/09/2021 at 02:07, TheBs said:

Hi all,

My son is 7 and I'm the UK we are going through the process of having him assessed for a processing learning need.

I think there's a level of ADHD, but having spoken to friends I think he definitely has a processing issue such as dyslexia.

 

My question is in the UK they don't test for dyslexia until 10yrs old.

But once diagnosed there's lots of support. And the potential ADHD diagnosis will come soon, and again then the support will be there.

Does anyone have a child with additional needs in Aus schools that can comment on the support and the process of gaining diagnosis? What has your experience been?

I know we'll have to pay for it, and I've been advised to get whatever diagnosis I can in the UK first.

TIA 

 

Our youngest has autism. My wife spotted he was different very early, wouldn't make eye contact, wouldn't sit still for a second. In trouble at school as soon as he started.

We went to a few doctors and got an early diagnosis. The school bought a desk that wrapped around him and a higher chair, also an electronic tablet as he has dyspraxia and can't hold a pen correctly. Later found he suffers from epilepsy too.

He got referred to a geneticist who did tests and found he has a missing strand in his dna. We all had to have blood tests to see if hereditary. Me and the wife and his elder brother are all fine. Just an unfortunate one off but he has the risk of passing it on if he has kids.

Luckily he's high functioning, got through school OK, has a job in a cafe that he's had for 10 years and is doing fine. He's 26 and just learning to drive. He's never been that bothered, just went everywhere on his bike.

We had quite a bit of help and support from school, doctors, agencies. Most of it free.

Still hard work, a lot of patience needed, he didn't sleep a night through till he was about 10, used to get anxiety attacks. We ended up leaving a spare mattress under his bed and taking turns sleeping on his floor. It was harder work trying to get him to sleep.

As he's got older his epilepsy is under control and he can manage his feelings better. He's still at home with us but a lovely kid. His "regulars" in the cafe love him and he's a really hard worker, so the boss loves him too.

He went to a "private" school nearby that had a stream for kids with learning difficulties. Worked well, had the same teacher all the way through senior school who was a touchy feely lady who loved a hug. Just what he needed. Loved his uniform and the school was a lot more strict and disciplined than where his elder brother went. It was better for him though.

Edited by Paul1Perth

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33 minutes ago, steveshe said:

My little Grandson who was born here and is 6 is ADHD and a few other things . It is a long road and battle to get them diagnosed here and it all costs . You see a few different specialists who then have to all agree what the diagnosis is . They do not just have helpers in the classrooms you have to be allocated one and this means going through another lot of things to get Disability which pays for extra's . Its taken my daughter nearly 2 years with i dont know how many meetings and appointments just to get to this stage . Please dont come here thinking you will get lots of help immediately it doesnt work like that here . Not sure how it would work for a child who has just emigrated here . Please do lots and lots of research .  

I honestly don't think you'd get lots of help anywhere without a lot of action from parents. You have to push for everything but keep pushing and the help is there. Several kids had student helpers in his primary school, there was a school psych who was pretty helpful, my wife had a meeting with him and the primary school head, which led to the special desk, chair, tablet. He got a bit of bullying but he whacked a couple of the bullies one day. The teacher knew they had been winding him up so the upshot was they all got suspended for a few days. No more bullying after that.

He got sent home a couple of times from senior school too, for sticking up for himself or one of the other "learning difficulty" kids. I went to school camp with him and realised he was the enforcer for all the kids in his crowd. Maybe because of his autism he's not scared of anyone so was quick to put the bullies in their place. Way to sort it I reckon.

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Thank you for that information. 

I'm not coming out thinking I'll get lots of help and I am doing my research hence the post. 

As I said he's going through diagnosis process already so I just wondered what the support was if any once out. If it's none then fine we'll do whatever it takes to get him that privately

 

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1 hour ago, Paul1Perth said:

Our youngest has autism. My wife spotted he was different very early, wouldn't make eye contact, wouldn't sit still for a second. In trouble at school as soon as he started.

We went to a few doctors and got an early diagnosis. The school bought a desk that wrapped around him and a higher chair, also an electronic tablet as he has dyspraxia and can't hold a pen correctly. Later found he suffers from epilepsy too.

He got referred to a geneticist who did tests and found he has a missing strand in his dna. We all had to have blood tests to see if hereditary. Me and the wife and his elder brother are all fine. Just an unfortunate one off but he has the risk of passing it on if he has kids.

Luckily he's high functioning, got through school OK, has a job in a cafe that he's had for 10 years and is doing fine. He's 26 and just learning to drive. He's never been that bothered, just went everywhere on his bike.

We had quite a bit of help and support from school, doctors, agencies. Most of it free.

Still hard work, a lot of patience needed, he didn't sleep a night through till he was about 10, used to get anxiety attacks. We ended up leaving a spare mattress under his bed and taking turns sleeping on his floor. It was harder work trying to get him to sleep.

As he's got older his epilepsy is under control and he can manage his feelings better. He's still at home with us but a lovely kid. His "regulars" in the cafe love him and he's a really hard worker, so the boss loves him too.

He went to a "private" school nearby that had a stream for kids with learning difficulties. Worked well, had the same teacher all the way through senior school who was a touchy feely lady who loved a hug. Just what he needed. Loved his uniform and the school was a lot more strict and disciplined than where his elder brother went. It was better for him though.

Great thank you, this is handy to know 

The fight is the same here currently in the UK it takes a lot of fighting from parents, such a shame as most children with a learning need can achieve if given that extra bit of support, instead my son is labelled as unable to focus...and I'm like but what if he's learning need is stopping him from focussing..help him! So frustrating 

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11 hours ago, TheBs said:

Great thank you, this is handy to know 

The fight is the same here currently in the UK it takes a lot of fighting from parents, such a shame as most children with a learning need can achieve if given that extra bit of support, instead my son is labelled as unable to focus...and I'm like but what if he's learning need is stopping him from focussing..help him! So frustrating 

If a child has a diagnosed disability with associated deficient functioning then it is much easier to access additional support through disability programs but those programs are targeted at the lowest 2-5% of the population - not just any slow learner and you definitely have to jump through copious hoops to get there.  Funding for the support of disabilities is finite, unfortunately and faced with a child who needs feeding, toileting, repositioning, intense therapies augmented language etc, they are going to require more of that funding pie than a child who can essentially manage in a mainstream environment.  The dilemma you have in the first instance is the real Catch 22 that if your child needs additional support and is diagnosed as such - autism is the usual biggie - then you really reduce your chances of getting a visa.  Otherwise, it really will be how much the school can manage within their own resources and all schools are different.  If they have a cohort of needy kids then they may allocate their resources differently from a school where most kids are puddling along in the middle. Schools will generally do their best because it is not in their interests to have kids who arent learning or behaving in the mainstream class group but they arent miracle workers.  You will generally find though that there is less support in Australian schools than UK ones and the criteria for accessing additional support is far more stringent. If ADHD and focus is the issue for your young fella then you may find that medication will be offered and go some way to helping him focus (that shouldn't be a big issue, visa wise)

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17 hours ago, TheBs said:

Great thank you, this is handy to know 

The fight is the same here currently in the UK it takes a lot of fighting from parents, such a shame as most children with a learning need can achieve if given that extra bit of support, instead my son is labelled as unable to focus...and I'm like but what if he's learning need is stopping him from focussing..help him! So frustrating 

When he started having driving lessons his instructor told him he could get some help from NDIS. We had to get an instructor who deals with autistic and learning difficulty people, so $90 an hour she charges. 

We sent in the application along with all his medical records and diagnosis. After a few weeks we get an email back that the diagnosis are all from a few years ago and to get help from them he would have to go and see all the doctors again and be diagnosed again. What do they think, he's suddenly going to get better?

They also informed us that if they didn't hear anything from us in 2 weeks they would assume we'd stopped the process. 

We didn't bother after that. NDIS is not the best.

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Hello everyone

My name is Ujjwal and I am from India. Got PR already in year 2019 and visited once, but had to return back as could not get the suitable job,

My son is mild autistic aged 7.5 years. We initiated the process with NDIS at Sydney to get the funding process started.

I want to know which place is better for my son in terms of affordable therapies & special schools availability out of Melbourne, Sydney & Adelaide.

As per my study, Sydney & Melbourne have lots of therapy centre & special schools.

So, I prefer to go to Melbourne, however due to job situation, I am also thinking to go to Adelaide as living cost is lesser than Sydney or Melbourne

Please advise.

Thank you

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