THE parents of 12-year-old Brodie Duncan realised there was something different about him from an early age.

Mark and Michelle, from Thornton, in Fife, had always viewed their son as a “loveable rogue”, but at the age of seven he was diagnosed with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) - which typically leads to difficulties paying attention and controlling behaviour.

Following further tests, which took a year and half, he was also found to have High Functioning Autism and Tourette’s syndrome.

Mrs Duncan said: “Brodie is highly intelligent, but can be a real handful and, while we always felt there was something different with him, it took a few years before he was diagnosed.”

Brodie first attended his local primary school which the family said was very good in supporting him, even when he ran away or lashed out.

However, they always felt the priority was to contain his behaviour rather than teaching him - until they became aware of the possibility of a co-ordinated support plan (CSP) when he reached the sixth year of primary school through advocacy organisation Kindred.

Mrs Duncan said: “Receiving a CSP was very positive in that, being a statutory document, it meant that set objectives and timescales for progress were outlined and it brought all parties round the table to really support Brodie.”

Brodie has now been placed in Falkland House School, which specialises in autism and ADHD, and he is now thriving, but the Duncans say more families should be aware of their rights.

Mrs Duncan said: “Families in our situation need to be made more aware of this option as, had it not been for Kindred, we would not have known about it.”

The decline in the use of CSPs to underpin the support needs of vulnerable pupils is a growing concern for specialist providers who deal with pupils with more complex needs.

The Scottish Children’s Services Coalition campaign group, which represents a range of voluntary and private providers, believes the decline will mean fewer pupils getting the support they need.

In 2016 a poll by the ENABLE Scotland charity found 70 per cent of ASN pupils said they lacked support while 94 per cent felt schools were not getting enough resources.

Worryingly, previous research has shown pupils from less advantaged backgrounds are more likely to be identified as having ASN, but are less likely to have a CSP.

Just 1.3 per cent of pupils from the most deprived areas had a CSP compared to two per cent from the least deprived.

The suggestion is that this is because middle class parents have the resources and resilience to pursue a CSP even when councils were resistant.

Lynn Bell from Love Learning Scotland, a member of the coalition, said: “It is clearly of concern that we are experiencing a decline in the use of CSPs to support those with the most complex needs.

“This is despite an increase in the numbers of those requiring such support and is in contrast with England where the number of those with the equivalent is close to 20 per cent. In Scotland it is only one per cent.

“We are also concerned about the disparities that exist between individual councils on such support which shows a lack of standardisation over who is identified as having ASN and who get a CSP.”

At a major conference on the issue last year, May Dunsmuir, chamber president of the ASN tribunal system, said it was her suspicion the decline in CSPs was a deliberate move by councils.

She said: “It concerns me considerably that we have this statutory mechanism that is not engaged at the level it ought to be.

“I have a suspicion the decline of the CSP in Scotland is largely because it places statutory duties on education authorities to ensure the provisions are met.

“It is a very great pity to see the decline of something that was supposed to be a supportive tool.”