Here some suggested organisations that offer expert advice on SN.
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Help again guys with 'bullying'(62 Posts)
Ds has been reporting to me almost daily about the same 3 kids hurting him and calling him names etc.
Ds previously reported to me a girl in his class keeps pinching him, slyly on the backs of his arms as they line up for class.
Also younger boys were chanting 'ds is an Indian' and 'ds is a loser' in the playground, which ds tells me was witnessed by another boy
I reported to school, school just said 'girl x can be tactile' and nothing about other incident.
Monday ds reports same girl x, pinching the back of his arms on 2 separate occasions and also that she grabbed his arm, twisted and bent it behind his back in the playground. He says her 'hurting' him is a daily thing. Same again today, pinching him as they line up.
Ds also says same younger boys are intimidating him, he says every time they see him, they stare at him until he looks away or puts his head down, insult him 'baby' and 'loser' until he runs away in the playground, then they leave him alone. If they see him in assembly they poke out their tongues. Ds is scared of them and tries to avoid them.
I reported to school again and have just received a reply to my email 'surprised if girl x indulged in this sort of behaviour, as she is a kind hearted person and its out of character for the boys' Then a few lines about what a good, jolly day ds has had, with only a slight incident at the end of day, with ds getting a headache'
I know that ds has sensory difficulties, I know that ds can misinterpret the actions, intentions of others etc, etc.
I need to approach this differently as just reporting what ds reports to me, isn't working. Ds obviously needs more support than he is currently getting with unstructured times.
Ds has just literally just come downstairs with blood smeared all over his face, where he scratched and cut himself and smeared it on purpose on his face. Told me he is 'sad because of PE and people being mean to him'
What do I do?
You don't sound negative at all Shopping, just realistic. I agree school might well not be the place for ds and home ed might become the best option, if this school doesn't work out.
It's so difficult and I'm sorry for sounding negative. The school should be able to help him. It sounds like they are trying but it also sounds like they are a long way from getting it right for him. I think we are conditioned into thinking that school is essential for our kids, that they have to learn how to fit in to society and that school is the place for them to learn this. I just think some people are simply not going to be able to stuff themselves into round holes and for them school is largely damaging. I don't mean to say that this is my opinion of your son, just my feeling about school.
It is indie ms school with specialist provision on site. They also 'specialise' in HF asd, which ds is in many respects, although his dx is of general ASD, not HF. They have a high ratio of children with SN's, although not exclusively. Although ds doesn't currently get access to all the specialist provision on site YET, due to his crap statement.
He is starting SALT involvement next term, 1:1 with SALT which apparently shows 'moderate need'. He also benefits from the smaller class size and a named TA. So school are giving quite a bit, so far which wasn't specified in his statement.
Given where ds was a year ago, ds really has made massive improvements. I think where the baseline was extremely low, it sounds like he is doing terribly now, where he really is doing much better than before.
A year ago, I wouldn't have got him out of bed, let alone to school without him self harming and threatening to kill himself. He was refusing to engage with a home tutor at all or get dressed. He was just sitting, ignoring her and refusing to even talk to her, she at one point wanted to quit.
I haven't ruled out home ed, I would just like to give school a proper go first, as ds has never had any appropriate support in school before, ever. If im honest, I do think ds could benefit so much from a school environment, given the right support.
This is so sad to read. I've followed your threads and was delighted to see things seemed to be getting better. Is this indie school a mainstream school or do the other children have SEN too?
I know you want to find the right school for ds. I wonder what he gets out of school and whether long term home ed would be the way forward for you.
Thanks Wet CAMHS are going to get back to me after their 'team meeting'.
Maria sorry I think I have confused you. AR is in March. School tried to schedule AR for June, as this was the date on the letter from LA, however despite LA letter being dated June, contents of letter stated AR to be held in March, not June, as agreed with me. So AR will be held at 6 months, not a year.
We have been having TAC meetings since last year. Last meeting a couple of weeks ago, social worker ended her involvement. Only professionals involved are CAMHS and they attend all meetings anyhow.
CIN can still have a TAC
How're they gonna do the AR in march with a school meeting planned for June then? Tho it wouldn't surprise me if you were the only one who'd noticed the obvious timetabling error...
I think you're right to demand more than you are currently getting in the way of help from CAMHS. Talking about it regularly to a psych is a really good outlet.
You're doing a great job Claw. Don't despair. I was where you were once and now things couldn't be more different. It will work out.
Polter ds cannot take constructive criticism of any kind. Since his break down last year, his state of mind is still very fragile.
There are so many areas that need working on and CAMHS are right, everyone needs to start looking at the bigger picture ie addressing all his needs at the same time for any support to have a positive impact on ds, including CAMHS!
wet im not ruling meds out, meds were mentioned when he was 5, at that point I wasn't jaded and feeling optimistic! I declined as I felt it could be sorted out with appropriate support in school and from professionals. 4 years, 2 SA requests, one tribunal, one NIL, one crap statement, let down by professionals later it might well be an option. I still have a few things I would like to try first, if possible that is, depending on ds's state of mind.
I am now beginning to think there will always be something that makes ds 'sad' until we deal with him coming to terms with himself.
passed school have sorted it out now. They have informed me that it did happen etc, etc and this is by far not the worse school I have encountered. In fact, once they realised it wasn't ds 'lying' or his 'perception' they have been very good about it.
Maria, AR is in March, I can always appeal if necessary.
He sits in the reception with the receptionist. Its all a bit pointless ds having to choose between morning and lunch break in advance when he is going to feel overwhelmed! Ds jumped at the idea, but it will solve nothing.
Cant really set up a CAF, ds is already CIN and all professionals involved attend.
claw in the Huebner series there is also 'What to do when you grumble too much: a kids guide to overcoming negativity' It's the next one we are going to do.
Something else recently that's helped ds see himself from another perspective is dp reading him the Hitchhikers Guide books and when Marvin the Paranoid Android says something typically Marvin, dp will make a comment about how it reminds him of someone and when ds does say a typically negative thing which is completely ungrounded we might mention that he is 'doing a Marvin', ds is starting to see how his negativity looks.
Hi OP, it seems that the root cause of your son's problem isn't the autism, it's the response he is getting at school. If a school cannot or will not promote and insist on an inclusive environment for all its children they are failing in their duty.
His behaviour at home is a response to the bullying at school and for that reason I would do what I could to remove him from the situation. The school must make reasonable adjustments to ensure your child has access to the curriculum. If he is unhappy and effectively making himself ill, mentally and physically, he is not getting full access.
I would go so far as to say that the school is committing institutional neglect if it thinks that disablist bullying is something that can be tolerated among pupils and ignored by staff.
Sorry if that's a rant, I get very angry when I see schools ignoring this type of thing.
I was very anti-meds too Claw and it was the psychiatrist who suggested it.
Once we hit on the right med his life was transformed. He would need to see a psychiatrist before meds could be prescribed. He must be one of the most severe needs that CAMHS deal with - so the psychiatrist should really be seeing him regularly.
Got it! Get school to set up a CAF for when the interim review is due, and then 'helpfully' remind the LA they've forgotten the review, school can then magnanimously offer them the chance to combine it with the CAF.
Going to reception at break (providing he's ok with that) is a very quick and unarguable way to demonstrate that he has delayed social-communication skills. Maybe the reception TA could pop over to his class to 'teach' rapid PE-changing skills? She might be far more effective than you in enforcing/persuading her colleagues that he 'needs 5min extra'
Reception TAs often walk on water, as a minimum they're the acknowledged kids-getting-dressed experts, and schools like to keep their expertise in-house
The 'annual review meeting' is often a bit of a farce: it's just advisory anyway, and if any useful proposals come out of it, there's not much to stop them being ignored.
Legally, the actual AR is done by the LA officer sitting at her desk, doing the meeting write-up & deciding whether or not to amend the statement. So your planned meeting in June will result in an AR date in July (if you're lucky). If the LA did want to try any silly business, the imminent summer holidays would facilitate that.
You can keep the 'annual review' as planned. And still have a meeting to rewrite the statement meanwhile. Technically, the meeting you're after would be an interim review, see page 6 and is additional to the AR.
Thanks Polter, im very anti medication, probably because I don't know much about it. I suppose if/when the time comes, i will know the time has come and I might have to rethink that and do some research.
I have just spoken to CAMHS again, the woman dealing with ds's case hasn't even met ds, she isn't a child psychologist, she is a psychiatrist and has just been there in an advisory role since October last year. She said she will look back on ds notes from when he had a year and half's worth of therapy and speak to the team, about what they offer ds.
I will see what they come back with.
An NAS approved list sounds like a good place to start. Medication might be worth considering too?
You could try some of the solution focused techniques because its all about looking at the now and the future, and concentrates on what you can do. It's very powerful.
Polter he will read stuff, but he kind of doesn't think that's him, he cant relate to it. He has started to blame autism for all for his difficulties, which is right, it is responsible for his difficulties, however he really resents it for the same reason. So we have a vicious circle, he scratches because he is sad and is sad because he has autism and difficulties.
I have tried explaining that everyone is different, everyone has different strengths and weaknesses etc. Ds has a very old head on his shoulders in some respects and he is thinking about the future and sees it all in a very negative way. 'He is always going to have autism, he is always going to have cuts, he is always going to have difficulties'
I have told him that things can improve, but it seems what I say isn't enough. I think he needs professional help to come to terms with it.
Wet he is still under CAMHS and I think I could probably insist on them seeing him. I am worried about him, I can this spiralling in depression etc in future. NAS actually gave me a list of ASD counsellors, maybe they would be worth a try?
It's good that he's finally able to articulate some of his feelings.
He really needs to be seen by a child and adolescent psychiatrist. Ds saw the CAMHS one every month for about 6 years. It was really useful for him to have someone to discuss things with plus the psych was able to offer medication when he needed it.
Is there any chance that you could make a forceful request to CAMHS for this?
The other useful thing could be the NAS Befriending service. If he were to get a befriender who was quite young it could be a good 'big brother' - DS has an NAS outreach worker who's about 8 years older than him and exactly on his wavelength. It really helps him
TBH claw I'm very matter of fact with ds about his abilities, maybe it helps that me and dp share most of ds's 'foibles' and traits between us to varying degrees so we can use our own experiences. So, for example, me and dp are also crap at sport, hated PE, I was kept off for sports days (as were my siblings) because of my anxiety, I don't hide this from ds or try to make it all seem ok. Thankfully he isn't competitive so doesn't care about not winning, he also knows that like me he has hypermobility which means PE will always be harder. But he's aware that a lot of the kids who are good at the things he's not good at find other things harder than he does.
I am quite open about why certain things are harder for him and why some things are easier. He himself has said that he's glad he has Aspergers because he likes having obsessions, at the same time last night he got in a state about friendships and after much effort in my part to convince him that a number of kids in school are his friends, with him convinced they are not for reasons that only make sense to him, in the end I said "ds, because of your Aspergers you find social stuff harder and I know that they are your friends, because I know what a friend is, but I think we need to do some work on friendship, because X would be really sad if he thought you weren't his friend, in half term we can work on this, ok?"
Ds was dx at 6 and we've always talked about his difficulties in the context of his dx's. it's probably just luck, not something I've done, I just muddle along really.
Will your ds read stuff about his dx?
I will have a read of your link later, ive got a dentist appointment now. Thanks.
Yes we have when your worries get too much. I have also read the out sync child, cant eat wont eat and quite a few other books.
Ds wants to know specifically/exactly how his autism affects him and to be honest im a bit stuck on that one! and how best to help him understand.
For example he was saying that if he didn't have autism, he wouldn't cry in PE. I told him everyone cries, not necessarily about PE. He then said but everyone else can do PE, why cant I. There are lots of reasons, he is obviously a smart kid, but still a kid and im struggling to put into child friendly terms, without making him think that he has SO many difficulties. By telling him about the whys and all his difficulties, it would make the situation worse, not better.
Have you ever tried any of the Dawn Huebner books?
TBH I'm not very trusting of counsellors, I prefer to do what is within my capabilities myself, using resources like the Huebner books. It terrifies me that someone could fuck up ds and I also have control issues
I'm going to try and get some training in Solution Focused Therapy through work, I already use some of the concepts with my clients, but I think it could be good with our kids with HFA and AS especially.
Ds is really struggling to come to terms with his autism and how he may/may not be different ad how this affects him in terms of things he can/cannot do.
I believe this the root cause of ds self harming and all the other behaviours are obviously secondary to his autism.
1. How do I sum that up better and ask school for some counselling for ds?
2. How do I help him with this at home?
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