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 Unspeakable, vile attack on children with special educational needs

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PostSubject: Re: Unspeakable, vile attack on children with special educational needs   Mon Mar 02, 2009 4:20 am

I'm not quite sure what the point is that you are making.
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PostSubject: Re: Unspeakable, vile attack on children with special educational needs   Mon Mar 02, 2009 4:42 am

cactus flower wrote:
I'm not quite sure what the point is that you are making.

I could say the same.

Quote :
Delayed conceptual development
Limited ability to abstract and generalise
Difficulties with memory
Slow speech and language development
Limited social skills
Inappropriate or immature personal behaviour
Limited attention span and poor retention ability
Decreased motivation
Poor self-concept
Low self-esteem
General clumsiness
Lack of coordination and of gross and fine motor skills
Emotional disturbance
A minority may also have varying degrees of hearing or visual impairment


The Irish Times article refers to children with MGLD.

A child with MGLD will always have an IQ between 50 and 70.

Other disabilities share or are characterised by the above but may not necessarily mean that the child will require SEN 'categorisation' or assistance or a special unit of the kind that the Minister is apparently closing down.

Kids with dyspraxia are often clumsy. Children with Asperger's syndrome have limited social skills. The kid suffering with chronic arthritis may have poor self-concept, motivation and self-esteem. The child with dyslexia will have a poor short term memory. Someone with cerbral palsy will have slow speech development. A boy with ADHD may exhibit immature or inappropriate behaviour but none of them are considered to have MGLD.

I'm attempting to separate out the other stuff for now. That's not to say the features you rightly mention aren't characteristics of MGLD, but to highlight that the central one is the IQ.
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PostSubject: Re: Unspeakable, vile attack on children with special educational needs   Mon Mar 02, 2009 10:42 am

Katie P wrote:
cactus flower wrote:
I'm not quite sure what the point is that you are making.

I could say the same.

Quote :
Delayed conceptual development
Limited ability to abstract and generalise
Difficulties with memory
Slow speech and language development
Limited social skills
Inappropriate or immature personal behaviour
Limited attention span and poor retention ability
Decreased motivation
Poor self-concept
Low self-esteem
General clumsiness
Lack of coordination and of gross and fine motor skills
Emotional disturbance
A minority may also have varying degrees of hearing or visual impairment


The Irish Times article refers to children with MGLD.

A child with MGLD will always have an IQ between 50 and 70.

Other disabilities share or are characterised by the above but may not necessarily mean that the child will require SEN 'categorisation' or assistance or a special unit of the kind that the Minister is apparently closing down.

Kids with dyspraxia are often clumsy. Children with Asperger's syndrome have limited social skills. The kid suffering with chronic arthritis may have poor self-concept, motivation and self-esteem. The child with dyslexia will have a poor short term memory. Someone with cerbral palsy will have slow speech development. A boy with ADHD may exhibit immature or inappropriate behaviour but none of them are considered to have MGLD.

I'm attempting to separate out the other stuff for now. That's not to say the features you rightly mention aren't characteristics of MGLD, but to highlight that the central one is the IQ.

The problem is that you can't separate it out from the child, or at least not without the right expert help. It is the Resource Teachers they are losing, by the looks of the article. I'm not sure, but it seems there are not at the moment proposals for cutting Special Needs Assistants?

The Scoilnet site says that early diagnosis and expert intervention is very important.

It seems to me that that makes a lot of sense - it should start pre-school ideally, I suppose, but perhaps it can be much harder to identify before a child starts school. Sometimes low IQ may be caused by a brain injury later on, may it? Its something that can happen to any child for a multitude or reasons. So the first priority should be getting teachers trained to recognise signs (I'm sure they already are) and then getting assessment. As you say, signs can have different causes. Then, the best way of supporting each child can be found. The 2 per school rule is a very crude way of rationing assessments. Were teachers sending every child who was a bit naughty for them or something?

I would be very interested to know more about the assessments issue. I am presuming the 2 per school refers to all assessments, not just those for suspected Learning Disability? I guess a part of the problem here is cost. Like nearly everyone else in the professions here, are the school psychologists paid twice the amount of anyone else in Europe? And do we have enough of them? Can their workloads be organised more efficiently so that they can see more children perhaps? I heard people on the radio last year who had reorganised outpatients clinics so that more than twice the number were being seen. Perhaps the psychologists should be visiting the schools, and working with the teachers to scope who needs to see them. Does that happen already do you know?

I don't know enough to comment on the "mainstreaming" issue, except I can't see how it will reduce the need of the child for specialist help. Will it not put a burden on teachers, particularly with bigger class sizes?

I will be surprised if the Special Needs Assistant posts don't come under pressure too, in fact I'm sure they will, given the severity of our economic situation. The question for the future is how do we maintain the best quality supports for children in completely changed economic circumstances. Whatever the answer to that, putting highly trained and experienced educators onto the dole is not an effiicient thing to do.
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PostSubject: Re: Unspeakable, vile attack on children with special educational needs   Mon Mar 02, 2009 5:12 pm

Cactus, there is nothing professionally considered about what the government is doing with this. Trying to assess it through that prism is an utter waste of time. This is about saving money and dressing it up with pseudo-psychological/educational crap to make it look like something else. As usual there are plenty of intellectually dim footsoldiers around who are either unable or unwilling to see what it is they are advocating so obediently on behalf of a corrupt and cash strapped government - always at the expense of the people who are actually affected by it. They know so much better than we do ourselves - or so they think - and we have to pay the price of their servile and mean responses. 'Mainstreaming' is a bullshit term used to describe dumping children in classes without adequate supports and assistance. Discussing it as if it were otherwise is insultingly specious to those who have to live with this and really misses the point. McDowell, as Minister for Finance, was the vicious PD mind behind the disability legislation that was brought in in 2004/5 - he viewed the issue of disability exclusively through the idea of cost and how little could be got away with. There is NOTHING more to these cutbacks than that. The provisions of the legislation, with which I am very familiar, nowhere confer a single right or entitlement. Except if you think the right to request an assessment is a right. Everything is fenced in by ministerial discretion. The new legislation has been taken full advantage of ever since - O' Keeffe's cutbacks are entirely consistent with that policy.

The huge fat lie behind all of this, is that these cutbacks are something new. They are not. Since 2004/5 the government have been doing two things. Apearing to bring themselves in line with other EU countries in terms of numbers of teachers and supports. Irealnd has throughout its history been a disgrace in this respect - the shameful neglect of people with intellectual difficulties an ongoing outrage.

The increases in provision provided a a minimal gain for some people - while others were losing out. They took away with one had what they gave with another. Most people who were already in reciept of supports had their entitlement cut back so the appearance of increasing provision for all could be maintained. The upshot is a deeply unsatisfactory and inadequate system - wherein assessments take years and the provision of desperately needed therapies and supports take even longer.

The reason professionals are paid more here is because it costs twice as much to keep a roof over their heads - as it does to buy most things here - for reasons well rehearsed on other threads here.
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PostSubject: Re: Unspeakable, vile attack on children with special educational needs   Tue Mar 03, 2009 6:17 pm

Aragon said
Quote :
Cactus, there is nothing professionally considered about what the government is doing with this.

What you describe is a combination of under-resourcing and inefficient use of the resources there are. I agree that this Government isn't interested in or capable of doing better. The reality is that if things are to be improved, or for that matter not to get worse, then different ways of managing resources need to be found.

I don't agree about high professional wages here being because of house prices. In fact, wage inflation was one of the causes of the increase in house prices.
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