educators assuming autism in children

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libby3722
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educators assuming autism in children

Post by libby3722 » Wed Dec 22, 2021 11:38 am

I need some help in finding guidelines on what we can and cannot do in relation to suspected learning disabilities and behavioural issues such as ADHD and ASD.
I have been appointed educational leader for 2022 and I also run the 3-5yr old room as well as 3yo kinder program. within my room, I have 1 child who is diagnosed ASD and he is also diagnosed with a very rare chromosome disorder, he is the only one in the world missing this particular half of one chromosome.

The issue I have is one of our educators who has worked within the service for over 10 years is every day claiming that majority of our children are on the spectrum. any child who may have speech issues, attachment issues, anxiety etc she states very clearly and firmly that they are on the spectrum, at this rate it would mean that 32 of the 48 children enrolled within my room would be ASD. she has gone so far as to confront many parents about it as well without discussion between room leaders or management. She is upsetting a lot of families and the children are being treated differently despite not having the grounds for these narratives or any observations to back her claims. Some of these children have in fact undergone the process of diagnosis and the doctors have all agreed they are not ASD they simply need speech therapy or a behaviour plan.
Now during my study, I was always told we could take observations on learning and behaviours as well as social engagements and collect them over a period of time to then present to the parent who is then pointed in the right direction for extra assistance. I Was always told that it is not our job to diagnose these children and we are not to call them autistic or treat them as if they are unless there is a formal diagnosis or the parents have been met with and a learning/behaviour plan has been discussed and our support offered.

What I need is the evidence to support what I'm saying, that we cant call children autistic before a diagnosis, that we cant put them in a disability category until that process has been undertaken and that we are only to observe and analyse behaviour to pass onto the medical professionals who can diagnose.

i have googled everything and looked at the regs and I cannot find the right wording. if anyone has anything they can offer to assist that would be great!
Cheers


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Lorina
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Re: educators assuming autism in children

Post by Lorina » Thu Dec 23, 2021 6:09 pm

Hi!

I completely agree with you. Just because a child may have an issue doesn't mean they are on the spectrum! This is ridiculous to assume this and it's a huge problem if this particular educator is confronting parents and worrying them.

We should not diagnose children, we are not in a position to do so, yes we provide the observations, the learning and the documentation but it's not our responsibility to say to a parent "your child has autism". This just frustrates me to no end that this is happening at your service and I can only imagine what you are feeling dealing with this.

I think you need to make it very clear to this Educator or all Educators that they should not be approaching parents with concerns of particular diagnosis at all. It is the responsibility of the room leaders and the director to have a meetings with the families to discuss any concerns regarding to diagnosis.

I think you should also maybe include this point in the Communication with Families policy as well. It needs to be very clear and Educators must adhere to it. It's a serious issue.

I will go through my resources to see if I can find any relevant information for you as well.

Has the Director spoken to this Educator?

:geek:,
Lorina


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