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Abu Dhabi Woman

sunshinequeen

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Posts posted by sunshinequeen


  1. Hello, I am urgently looking for a shadow teacher for my daughter who is 13 and attends mainstream girls only secondary school (British curriculum) in Abu Dhabi.  My daughter needs support to manage her anxiety, make sure she understands tasks, help her with the social skills necessary to make and keep friends (she is immature for her age) and with maintaining a good diet / controlling access to food. She is a loving, friendly girl who tries really hard and just needs that bit of extra support for her to be happy, keep stress down and do well. She needs someone who can gain her trust, who she can talk to easily, but who can also set and keep clear expectations of behaviour standards. My daughter attends school part time as she tires easily and so the shadow teacher would be required for 50-60% of full time school hours too (currently almost full day Sunday, off Monday, full day Tuesday, morning only Wednesday). You should love working with children, ideally have experience of parenting or working with special needs children in a school environment and have your own visa with the right to work in the UAE. You also need to be strong in spoken and written English. Thank you.


  2. I would advise against Mauritius in Feb - it's the worst weather of the year. If you are not tied to school holidays then either April or October is best weather. If you want option other than an hotel, please send me a message as we have an apartment in Flic en Flac we rent out.


  3. I already have a maid and was told by the PRO at work that it's not possible to have a driver as well as an expat can only sponsor one maid or driver, although I do know a family where husband and wife both work on their own visa and therefore sponsor one maid/driver each. I asked about whether my maid could learn to drive and was told that this isn't possible either. However, this was a while back so things could have changed. Please let me know too if there are any changes in the rules and there is a way round.


  4. Today an Emirati friend came to me at work and said that her daughters would like to buy my daughter a Christmas present. Each year I also receive a Christmas cake and an Easter cake from work. Christians are allowed to leave work early on Christmas and Easter days if they haven't booked a day off. This is a local, not a Western, business with many Emiratis working there. There is mutual respect for each others' faith. Surely it should be like this in the schools too? My daughter is really looking forward to seeing Santa in his grotto at school tomorrow - I hope no-one will get into trouble!


  5. Hi Ellemenope,

    My daughter is not autistic but also has some traits. She is immature and has trouble making friends. She is also very emotional and easily upset. It hurts so much that she is hurting over her inability to make friends in school even though she wants to so much, she is a bit "different" (but lovely). Acadmically ok. The school has mentioned to us that social skills groups would be excellent for her, but at a loss here. I would be interested if anything can be sorted (although I work so would have to come every so often and send daughter with nanny otherwise).


  6. Does anyone have any experience of having dental implants in Abu Dhabi? Can anyone recommend a good experienced dentist who does this? What is the average cost per tooth? (I appreciate it will vary patient to patient, but useful for an idea). Does insurance cover it? My insurance card (ADNIC) says:

    Dental 20% deduction

    Orthodontic / Periodontal: 35% deduction

    Do implants fit into dental, orthodontal or periodontal or non of them?

    Thanks


  7. So where do you propose children with mild special needs or behaviour issues go to school? The special schools only take severely disabled children so that is not an option and would not be suitable (and the "in between" children would not be accepted by the special schools anyway).

    I agree that having a united approach between the governmental agencies, schools and parents is ideal. The primary wish is to make it work though - there are a minority of schools who do it and have the staff in place as well as access to Educational psychologists, speech therapists to support if required.

    As for my home country, my daughter is not considered severely enough disabled to access significant levels of support in school and is well within mainstream capability.........and now I have found the right school, she is doing fine here too (after horrific experiences). My experiences have taught me it is the attitude of most of the schools here that is wrong, she needs so little to be happy and able to learn.....maybe not as quickly as others, but she gets there! However, this is because there was a school willing to assess her in a less formal way and offer her a chance. She LOVES school again now and any little issues are sorted quickly and low key. I cannot thank the school enough. I know of others who haven't been so lucky.

    Anyway, maybe I have inadvertently hijacked the discussion about assessments - just trying to point out that assessing a child at 3 or 4 is wrong ....they change so much and even children with SEN or behaviour difficulties don't show up until later very often.


  8. I am talking only about those children who SHOULD be educated in mainstream but just need some understanding and extra support, not an army around them (OT, PT etc are accessed out of school here if required). These kids are being rejected too, believe me. In the UAE, the private schools should be providing for these children. When they decide to open here, they know it as it is a condition of them receiving their licence to operate.....if they don't want to, they shouldn't set up here. I know of two schools in AD that are inclusive and pride themselves on offering children with mild/moderate SEN places and they are not the most expensive schools in town. I know of schools who have rejected perfectly "normal" children at a young age for not passing an assessment. If they can do it, so can others if they want to or are made to by ADEC enforcing the rules. I have no problem with some schools specialising in the academically gifted, others in bringing the best out of less able children, but we can't have a situation where all good schools want to keep the less able out which is what we are in danger of at the moment.

    To those who are saying to keep children who don't pass assessments out of school, then I pray you don't ever have a "below average" child or a child who has learning difficulties but is capable of academic learning with the right support. You will pull your hair out trying to access an education - or are you saying that you would be happy for them to sit at home, even though you know they can do ok in school with a little understanding and support?


  9. This question really has to be answered in the context of the UAE where expats only have the option of private schooling. Therefore the private sector needs to make sure they uphold the right for ALL children to have an education, not just bright ones. The private schools know what they need to do as they have to meet laid down criteria to operate and are then subject to the inspections and licence renewal processes. If the private schools self regulate very well, ADEC will not need to step in but if they don't, then I think the regulations will start to be enforced more heavily over time. Disallowing the use of assessments to reject children is not a new regulation, so it is maybe now that there is going to be more enforcement, particularly as parents seem to have complained to ADEC according to the article in the newspaper,

    The laws of the country are sound in terms of the rights of all children to an education. All but the most profoundly disabled children (who would go into special schools) have the right to be educated within mainstream schools. Hence, in an oversubscribed situation, an assessment would not be a sound basis for selection, as most children would have to "pass" (especially at aged 3/4 if testing very basic skills). At that age, lottery or first come first served is as good a method as any.

    The real answer is for the authorities to continue to drive up standards in schools and to attract the best school operators globally to come to AD to set up more high performing schools so that there is a good school available to every child irrespective of background, nationality, academic ability etc.


  10. I think it is fundamentally wrong to assess children with a view to saying "yes" or "no" and it is actually against the "school for all" laws and the recent updated guidelines. An assessment should be only to identify children who may need extra support or those who may be gifted. If everyone is "rejected" based on a test, where do all the 'below average" children go to school? Don't they deserve an education? Or those who have special needs in the mild to moderate category who should be included in mainstream school - many schools can and do just use assessments as an excuse to reject these children. At 3 or 4 years old, being amongst the older end of the year compared to the younger can have a massive advantage. Children who are strong at 3 or 4 can be much less strong by 7 or 10......or vice versa. Then there is the fear an assessment can cause.

    There are good schools who will really do their best with all their hearts to bring the best out of a child - my daughter is now thriving in such a school after so many schools wanted to or have thrown her on the scrapheap. Most seem to use the "assessment" as a way of rejecting children who should be included in mainstream education.


  11. I went last Saturday and to my surprise, I was in and out in an hour. Far better experience than the chaos of the Al Raha mall shop. At least some chairs to sit on, although it is poky and in a basement. We just tried the dresses over clothes as there were only 3 changing rooms, all busy. Overall, ok, but we were expecting it to be awful so maybe it is a case of expecting the worst and hoping for the best!


  12. I am looking for a driver with car to be able to do school runs from off island to school in Abu Dhabi city, morning drop off and afternoon pick up. Please send me message if you can help. Must have own visa giving right to work. Wage negotiable.


  13. This is pretty heated. As the parent of a special needs child who was homeschooled last academic year, it has been really hard. Trying to find the right teacher and balance the budget was extremely challenging. I understand Razaan's dilemma perfectly and I know she will only be constantly thinking of how to meet the needs of her son when most of the schools here won't look at a child whose needs are a little bit different. I was lucky in that I did find a wonderful teacher who was able to work 10 hours a week and I was able to afford to pay more, but please don't think badly of a mother trying her best to educate her son. I am sure she would love for him to be in school like other children if she had the chance.


  14. Can anyone recommend any good reliable drivers with car who could do school runs from off island to Al Muna School in town? I thought I had sorted it but have been let down at the last minute. I need my daughter and maid to be picked up from home and driven to school, maid driven back home again, then pick up maid in afternoon, pick up daughter and drop both home? Must be a company offering this service, or someone with the appropriate visa to work as I don't want to do anything illegal.

    Thanks so much for your help.


  15. I cannot agree more. I have a son with a severe peanut allergy (although at 14 he is now self regulating) and a daughter with a rare condition called Prader Willi Syndrome. She cannot control her appetite and puts on weight really easily, so she cannot have sweets, cakes etc other than extremely small treats occasionally which are monitored carefully. However, she finds it difficult to say no as well. For someone to politely ask the parents if it is ok to offer a sweet is the least they can do, although I do accept that most people are well meaning and think they are doing a favour to the child. However, only the parents can know the dietary requirements of the child when they are too young or unable to speak for themselves.


  16. Hi, my son was of a very similar background to your daughter, but older (senior school now). He had been in a small prep school in the UK where he was really doing well, academically and socially. Over here, I put him into a school said to be the best in AD at the time, but it was huge, and being the sort of child that is bright but lazy if allowed to be, he became lazy. He was ahead when he came, but really did not progress much for two years. I moved him to Brighton last summer. He is pushed more, which is great as he needs pushing. Some work hard naturally, others need to be pushed ....but Brighton is small enough for each child to be an individual. He is very happy, has lots of friends and in other aspects, such as theatre and music he is really excelling. I also had experience of BISAD with my daughter. I would say that Brighton is the closest you will get to the UK prep /public school ethos in the UK and if your daughter thrives in that environment, then you should look at the school for your daughter. Children are adaptable and will quickly make friends.


  17. My daughter has a rare syndrome called Prader Willi Syndrome. She has growth hormone injections every evening and needs to have a set of tests regularly to check her growth, whether she is on the right dose etc. I need to find a paediatric endocrinologist who is experienced with kids on GH. If the doc also has knowledge of kids with Prader Willi that would be a bonus. Any recommendaitons out there?


  18. Susiejill - all the best to you, Thea and your family when you go back home. I guess we all have to take the decision that we feel is right for our family. People can be so cruel can't they........if it wasn't for the minority of horrible kids in school, we may be in a different place with DD too, but she really didn't want to face school. When a teacher says, "well, it's normal she'll get bullied, she looks different", then that's when you know the school doesn't take it seriously!!!

    I am still trying to get through here - I have an older child doing GCSEs and very happy so I can't really disrupt him. I am researching likelihood of better support in the UK for my DD and DD's doctor says it can depend where you live (postcode lottery and all that!!) but that it would be likely that DD would have to go into school in UK (whichever one has a place as the good schools are full), then "fail", then she would have to go through an assessment process with a big waiting list and then may or may not get the support she needs at the end of it!! However, she is going to contact a few people and see if she can find a way through this. If you can give me any pointers as to how you are making sure Thea has the right support in the UK, then I would be so grateful.

    One option is to split the family for a while, husband take DD back home, I work here until son completes exams and then go. However, i really don't want to go down this route unless absolutely no alternative.

    Otherwise, I am hoping ADEC will come up with something here which will help us.

    On the bright side, DD is very happy with homeschooling, doing very well one to one and doing age appropriate work so she is getting an education.......just needs the social side that school gives I guess.

    Anyway, very best of luck to you.........I am sure Thea will do great in the right place.

    xxxxxxxx


  19. Sas Al Nakheel villas have come down - we have 3 beds plus study (which is actually my daughter's bedroom and big) for 170k so 230k should be absolutely fine.

    Regarding driving - it's fine, since a minor accident on my very first day, no trouble in 3 years although I have become a much more aggressive driver. The fast ones in the outside lane are no problem.....just keep out of the way. It is the idiots that drive in the next lane at no more than 60-80km per hour that are the real danger as everyone is trying to dodge in and out around them - this is the really dangerous thing. The police ought to stop these ones and tell them to keep to the right......I had been here for six months before I realised it is not the US rules of driving in any lane..........

    You will be fine!

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