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How do you cope with tribunal stress?

(18 Posts)
cansu Wed 06-Jan-16 16:56:44

I am in the midst of preparing for a tribunal alongside stress of my everyday life which is pretty shit. LA are being obstructive and difficult every step of the way and I feel on the edge of throwing in the towel today as it feels hopeless. How have others coped with this shit? Is there a point where you just think you should give it up?

Ineedmorepatience Wed 06-Jan-16 19:14:11

Yes of course, I think everyone must feel like giving up at times but when I reached that point I asked myself what I would lose by giving up and what I had to gain by continuing!

I have to admit though by the time I had done our 3rd one I think I was close to a breakdown although I didnt realise that until I recently started to feel better!

Are you getting any help and is this the first [and hopefully only] tribunal you have done?

I had help from an independent supporter/advocate/representative for all of my tribunals although I had more practical help with the first one because I had no idea about the law and how to set things out.

You really must try to take a break sometimes even if only for an hour or two, go for a walk or a coffee with a friend!

Good luck flowers

2boysnamedR Wed 06-Jan-16 22:34:53

I just got very angry. I was driven on by anger. I had nothing left in my life but seething rage.

It isn't sustainable. In fact I find it very hard to pay minimum interest now.

I had ipsea help me with my refusal to issue and then my contents appeal. I have dyslexia so they helped as I have a learning difficulty and skim read, miss detail. Miss the point etc. At my last appeal they was going through the paperwork so fast I had brain fog.

You have to set time aside and not let it take over. So the last two months before the hearing it will consume you but before this point set yourself a hour a day to work on it.

It's a hard thing to admit but if I had any idea how emotional appealing would be I wouldn't have done it. I would have to be at hells door to do it again and my toddler can't even talk. I find it hard to imagine I will appeal his place come September.

You must finish what you start. Even it that means you can't put everything into the appeal. Because so many LAs just simply cock up on the day or they have no case to win at all.

GruntledOne Wed 06-Jan-16 22:54:33

What stage are you at? If you can, I'd suggest going to one of SOS SEN's workshops on appeals. It helps if you feel that you're on top of the process and you understand it fully, and it also helps just talking to other people who are going through the process.

MeirAya Thu 07-Jan-16 16:33:38

Yy to what everyone said above.
Especially a) finish what you start
B) just turn up- LA case may be sh*t c) think hard about cost-benefit ratio if you have more kids/fights later

It's really crap. We had 5 appeals with ds1, albeit only 2 of those actually went to a full hearing.

For me, it meant antidepressants & counselling, plus some time off sick (the only significant sickness absence in 25 years of work)

MeirAya Thu 07-Jan-16 16:35:43

SOSSEN were brilliant
The posters on here were even better, some local support (a parent support group & informally other parents who'd been through similar)

cansu Thu 07-Jan-16 17:02:49

Thank you for all the suggestions and support. I have done two before now, but this was a few years ago. They were horrendous but it just seems more personal this time and they are being much more obstructive than before. I found out today they have a lawyer which makes me feel even better! I have an advocate to help, but it is just so stressful. I have been considering asking GP for antidepressants to see if that helps me. I feel panicky and just lie awake for hours thinking about it all.

2boysnamedR Thu 07-Jan-16 17:54:49

All of mine was personal and nasty. I became the bitch the school depicted me as as soon as I walked out the hearing door.

Nothing more satisfying than emailing the HT saying what a backstabbing amoral thick witted bell end he is.

Of course my relationship with the school has gone to shit but who cares.

Don't rise to it. The more personal it is, the more desperate they are. Why use cheap nasty tactics when you cold hard evidence? Because cold hard evidence is thin on the ground maybe?

I would love to belive in Karma. I think there's a possibility my toddler might end up in the same school. I have a bucket of one liners for when they come to me for help ( he's a whirlwind). They are not getting sweet FA input from me as it would be used against me. I couldn't care less if he struggles academically - that the least of his problems.

This is amazing learning curve. You have to learn a hard lesson in how low people will stoop and lie. But after its all done you become stronger. I will always remember now that my kids are never the centre of anything or the most important thing. Money is. Plus some people have massive egos and legue table rankings to protect.

I am already in my mind thinking when I would appeal for toddler. But it would be when I no chance of loosing. If he goes to mainstream that won't take long at all.

I am still seething every time I think about it. It really takes its toll. You just can't imagine. It's being on trail for a crime you didn't commit. Like someone assaulting you, then charging you with the original assault

Ineedmorepatience Thu 07-Jan-16 18:27:38

When my LA employed a barrister to go against us someone on here said that they were scared we would win!

It was true because they had absolutely no evidence that Dd3 could or would be supported in school without a statement!

The barrister even tried turning against their own witness which was the senco from school!

It was personal and nasty and the 3rd one nearly broke me but we won and when Dd3 is ready to go back into a setting she will have a statement\ehcp to ensure that she gets the right support and the right setting!

Hang in there flowers

AgnesDiPesto Thu 07-Jan-16 20:45:32

When I felt like this I took a few days off. No email, phone calls, MNSN (because that reminds you or is other people's problems). A total break. recharge your batteries, you'll usually come back stronger. I used to describe it as falling off a cliff, you cant get rid of the stress, it's intense and you have no control over what the LA does and what it does to you. But you can get a bit better at seeing the cliff coming and recognising the signs you need to take a break.

2boysnamedR Thu 07-Jan-16 22:39:04

Another thought. Your child needs you. Whatever the hearing outcome they need you more than they need this win.

I think once you get to evidence deadline some pressure will go. At that point you can do no more. It's just turning up. The judge does the work.

I just wrote down lots of questions for each witness on the LA side. I hardly got to ask them all but it made my mind sharp for the refusal. It made me feel like I had some control.

In a while it will be over. My last one was October and I honestly feel like it's completely in the past. I only need to worry about moving him into his named school if I need to, or secondary transition if needed. But I really don't think about it much now.

I did what I had to, I couldn't do any more. I'm not prepaired to waste more of my life. But it was worth it as I have a extremely good fall back position now if I need it.

GruntledOne Thu 07-Jan-16 22:56:16

Is the lawyer from an outside firm of solicitors?

cansu Fri 08-Jan-16 07:04:21

No I just googled their lawyer and feel better he is a trainee legal executive from their in house legal dept.

Obs2016 Sat 16-Jan-16 15:34:31

I haven't done tribunal, but have faced similar feelings.
A good cry on the phone to my mum.
A nice red wine and some luxurious food - lobster or scallops or something.
Going to bed early.

And then I felt ready to 'go again.
The anger and the rage were frightening.

2boysnamedR Sat 16-Jan-16 18:38:49

How are you doing now? I have had a bad week as I had to put in for a MS school for the reception. I remembered that nothing is set in stone and it's ok now. I seem to have waves of bad days.

I go to a few SN parent meet ups and they make me feel more normal

bodenbiscuit Sat 16-Jan-16 18:59:13

I think you do have to tell yourself to switch off sometimes. I was obsessed with our tribunal and i had a mental breakdown afterwards, even though we won.

I have had two tribunals against our LA. The first time they put up a barrister against me but we still won. The second time I didn't have legal representation just me and a witness. And the LA used one of their solicitors even though I wasn't represented! We won then too...

bjkmummy Sun 17-Jan-16 21:17:27

as you know I did it 4 times in 2 years - twice they hired a barrister and we won them all - the stress side of it = as others have said when the going got tough I would look at my child and knew I couldn't stop the fight - at the end I wanted to tell them that I had done all I could regardless of the result. I would go for a walk to get away from the stress and to clear my head - I would also take time out to think before I dealt with any emails etc and that seemed to help - its now 6 months since my final hearing and im just about about back to normal and I can look back and know that the stress and anguish was absolutely worth it

bodenbiscuit Sun 17-Jan-16 21:46:03

I just get so sick of the unreasonable and downright immoral behaviour of these LA individuals. Our LA is now trying to dismiss their own Ed Psych report because it rules out any of their own provision.

I temporarily forgot how dealing with these people is like playing a game.

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