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CASE STUDY Hassan, not included in the NCCD

Year level
Educational setting
Mainstream school

Level of adjustment
Not included
Category of disability
Not included
Included in data collection

Hassan's story

Hassan is 10 years old and recently arrived in Australia as a refugee from Nablus in the West Bank. After years of conflict, occupation and the economic and social conditions in the refugee camp there is a high risk of clinical depression in the population. Hassan sometimes experiences bedwetting, disturbed sleep patterns and recurrent nightmares, and is often fearful about leaving his home.

Hassan had no formal schooling before arriving in Australia six months ago, so a structured environment had social and behavioural challenges for Hassan that his primary school needed to consider.

Hassan has difficulty with concentration and memory, which his teacher believes affects his ability to learn and acquire new skills and could possibly be as a result of feeling anxious or fearful. Hassan finds recess and lunchtime particularly difficult, and school staff are aware of the impact that sirens, fireworks, sudden loud noises, people in uniform and authoritarian or threatening behaviour might have on Hassan. At times, Hassan will withdraw and shut down completely.

Building trust and secure relationships with Hassan is considered essential by the school staff. Hassan has a mentor – a local football club coach – who he sees every week and with whom he has established a secure bond. Hassan’s mentor is actively working on restoring Hassan’s sense of safety, as well as his skills communicating with people in authority. The mentor is also aiming to build Hassan’s connection to people in the football club.

The school has implemented strategies for the classroom and playground, including providing a safe and structured routine. The class teacher has placed the daily planner and additional instructions on the whiteboard to assist Hassan with memory recall.

If there is a change in routine, Hassan is provided with an explanation in advance. Staff are aware that, if an alarming or strange noise occurs in the playground, Hassan may need to go to the quiet play area.

Hassan sometimes has difficulty participating in activities, and is provided with alternatives such as writing, art and dance to express his feelings. He receives a graded approach to unfamiliar activities and exemptions from very difficult tasks. Hassan is provided with additional EAL support for half an hour, three times a week, to assist with his spoken and written language.

Information that supports inclusion in the NCCD What's this?

  • Step 1. Is there an adjustment to address disability? No

    As defined by the Disability Discrimination Act 1992, Hassan is not receiving an adjustment due to disability. 

  • Do you have evidence? No

    Evidence does not support inclusion in the NCCD.

    • Observational and functional assessments
    • Notes from meetings with school staff and Hassan’s parents
    • Notes of meetings between Hassan and his mentor
    • Learning support plans for Hassan
    • Incident reports when Hassan requires significant support during a shut-down
  • Step 2. What is the level of adjustment? Not included

    Although the student is provided with adjustments at the supplementary level, the adjustments are not to address a disability under the Disability Discrimination Act 1992.

  • Step 3. What is the category of disability? Not included

    The indications suggest that Hassan’s support requirements have arisen as a result of his unfamiliarity with a new environment, language and culture. This is not, in itself, a disability. However, if difficulties persist, the school or Hassan’s family may investigate specialist advice in the areas of learning disability, mental health and/or wellbeing.

  • Step 4. Record and submit the data No (Student is not included)

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