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My son tried to hang himself in school yesterday.

(93 Posts)
WhenWillTheBuildersFinish Thu 31-May-12 16:28:58

My son has ASD. He has never got on in school but is academically at least 2 years ahead. Unfortunately he suffers from depression. He is 10 years old.
Yesterday, after receiving yet more verbal bullying from the other boys he tried to hang himself using a skipping rope attached to the climbing frame in the hall.
He is scared of heights and can't tie knots well, so I questioned this, turns out another boy tied the rope for him and stood there watching whilst my son tried to strangle himself to death. Only at the last moment did another boy run for help.

My son is upposed to get 1:1 21 hours per week in mainstream.

I am still in total shock, I know my son has had self harm issues in the past and recently his psychiatrist left, leaving him with no support (he used to have regular appointments).

I don't know what to think regarding the lack of supervision and the fact another child helped my son to, effectively, commit suicide.

I am in a totally torn state of mind today.

As ever, the school are a bunch of feckless arseholes, trying to placate me once again with 'ooh we need to speak to the Ed Psych again' crap they keep coming out with.

Sorry to rant, I am sure you can understand my anger and frustration over the whole affair.

The school are now saying they don't think my son will fit in well at Secondary School. 'No? Well who'd have thought!!!! If he can't cope with 100 kids, whats he going to be like when there are over a thousand!?

Sheesh

WetAugust Thu 31-May-12 21:51:23

They are lying to you when they tell you that it's unlikley your DS would receive a Statement. He desperately needs one and with a littl bit of a fight it should be achievable.

The reason he is not getting the 1:1 you say he is supposed to get is that, without a Statement, it's up to school to decide what support he give him and school can withdraw that support at any time.

With a Statement the support it says he must have must be provided by school - or they will be breaking the law. As you can prove he's already had 1:1 that's good evidence that he actually needs a Statement. He certainly needs one before he goes to secondary school.

You need to understand that school will not do anything that will involve extra expense without being forced to - hence them telling you he wouldn't get an (expensive) Statement. If they won't apply for one for you then you should do it yourself - you are perfectly entitled to do so.

I appreciate you're going on holiday but truly I would find the time this evening to call the Police about the incident at school. If you don't school will sweep it under the carpet. You were lucky this time - what if noone gets there in time to help next time?

That's why it's important that the Police are involved and that you never send him back to that school ever again.

BoffinMum Thu 31-May-12 22:16:54

Look, just for now, forget about the police, forget about the school, and concentrate on the main matter, which is the mental health of your son. In my professional opinion I think he needs medical advice and attention immediately. By immediate I mean when the surgery opens tomorrow.

Please deal with that first, then the rest will fall into place anyway. A good GP will be able to offer access to all sorts of practical help.

TheLightPassenger Thu 31-May-12 23:04:35

I agree with Boffin, I think he needs to see someone asap to assess how he is doing mental healthwise, and to plan what to do after the holiday (if he's to be signed off school)

ArthurPewty Fri 01-Jun-12 08:02:58

THis is precisely WHY he needs a statement...

how is he today
(I know you said yu're going away so may not answer)
Hope he has a fun and carefree time

mariasalome Sat 02-Jun-12 22:38:28

Hiya
Hope holiday is going well, and thought that you might like to see this online school for children recovering from bullying.

WhenWillTheBuildersFinish Thu 07-Jun-12 17:06:16

Right, we're back from trip away.
I tried to speak to the Ed Psych today but they are all on holiday with just some bloke left to man the phones, so no joy there. He did say that I would not be unreasonable to keep son at home until LEA/School put something in place to protect son. He also said 'Oh everyone in the office knows about that case'. So confidentiality isn't a watchword there then?

Son becoming increasingly agitated as monday approaches (as am I).
Tried to ring childline for advice but somethin wrong with phones. couldn't hear them speaking, tried several times. no joy.
Lady from cerebra ringing back tomorrow.

Apparently only special schools locally are for children who have severe learning difficulties, so don't know why the Head would say that she wanted to send him to one as they won't accept him.

Doyouthinktheysaurus Thu 07-Jun-12 17:22:24

Your poor sonsad

Would it be an option practically, to keep him off school at the moment?

At least until you can get more information on exactly what will happen from here and what is going to be done to help your son.

boredandrestless Thu 07-Jun-12 17:38:37

This appalling. Like another poster I am wondering what kind of primary school aged children would torment a child to this extreme - even helping him tie a rope. It's sickening and I hope their parents know and are ashamed to their core.

If this were my son I would pull him out of school until it's all resolved. The school has failed him and he is not safe there. If you have to work and can't take parental leave ask around for a mother's help/relative/child care student/anyone to look after him at home for the short term.

Has your DS talked to you about how he is feeling? Have you gone into docs and asked for urgent help for him through camhs?

Your poor boy. sad

mariamariam Fri 08-Jun-12 01:14:59

Please, please call someone from outside education for help. The NHS is not perfect, but nurses and doctors should (and almost always do) help find a way forward when someone's life has been in danger.

The children who 'helped' your son attempt suicide also need to be dealt with. Social services, police, school nurse... this is either a crime or a serious child protection issue. There was massive failure to protect your son, failure to protect the other children from nearly killing him. If this happened at home (near-death of a child with a disability left unattended with other children and a rope) we'd expect to be charged with neglect.

ThreadWatcher Fri 08-Jun-12 01:28:40

Whenwillthebuildersfinish - Is he going to school on Monday?
I would do anything to avoid that if I were you. What can possibly be gained by sending him back to that same school?

I do sincerely hope you figure out what to do to help your son. And get some justice for the misery he is clearly experiencing.

Yes agree with all the rest, your son should not be off school the bullies should but the rights and wrongs are so much less important than keeping your son safe at the moment.
How is he? Did the trip away help? Does he have any friends outside school (scouts etc) or could you set something like that up?
I cannot belive how crap the school and the LA are being. I used to work in childrn's services and I'm fairly sure if anything like this had happened it would have been an all leave cancelled situation, and the head of Safeguarding personally involved in the details. They sound like they just don't get it. Have you involved the police - sorry, can't remember if you've already mentioned that. Those boys need punishment and help themselves and everyone at the LA needs to be falling over themselves to explain how they're going to make this right for your DS.
Pathetic I know, but can you threaten the LA with Ofsted? Sometimes I wonder if that's all they'll see (not in all areas, obviously)

\Just realised you say he's becoming increasinly agitated as Monday approaches. Please don't send him back. As someone else says, a 6th form or University student could come and revise (I think - is it that time?) in the house with him. Not ideal but better than school.

WhenWillTheBuildersFinish Fri 08-Jun-12 09:18:58

Thanks everyone,
He has no friends, we live semi rurally, no kids nearby.
I don't work atm, so can easily keep him off school.
The thing that gets me is, in the past when he has been off school due to bullying/stress the school then send me a 'your child has low attendance' letter. It really pisses me off. He broke his toe and ripped the nail out last year and was off school for 10 days, they sent work home but I still got the 'low attendance' letter.
I really hate them. I spoke to the truancy officer and she said schools had to use their discretion when sending letters and I shouldn't have received one..the head maintains she must send them by law. Who is lying?
I don't know. I have just about given up on the whole situation. Seems to me school/lea not taking it seriously at all.
Maybe I am just over reacting.
I feel very depressed myself, been crying a lot today.
Just had enough really.

cocolepew Fri 08-Jun-12 09:28:34

This is awful for you but you mustnt give up. The amount of child protection issues this throws up is shocking.

If you have phoned the LEA etc and are getting nowhere, take legal advice immediately.

Have you phoned the police? SS? Your GP? your son seriously needs help now and the school needs to take responsibilty.

Stay strong.

I don't think the school are lying I think they are a bunch of fucking incompetents

cocolepew Fri 08-Jun-12 09:55:02

You are so not over reacting!

I probably would have been arrested by now for throttling someone.

mariamariam Fri 08-Jun-12 11:25:59

Truancy officer! She sounds relatively competent. Yay. Phone her. Now. & if she's out on hols, can leave a message and/or email.

mariamariam Fri 08-Jun-12 11:29:20

I'm nagging again: GP, social service, police. The school may well turn on you and say it's all due to stress or abuse at home. I can't see any other route they have to cover their backs (and they have good reason to need to seriously fear for their jobs, as the above poster said, most areas would consider big action eg 'serious case review' for this)

Is your ds off on Monday or is that just our area?

alison222 Fri 08-Jun-12 12:41:53

I also wanted to add my nagging. Please consider the police, the GP etc. The other children really need to be dealt with too hence the police - also contacting the police will enable you to get more help too.

I would definitely keep your DS off school until this can be resolved.

WetAugust Fri 08-Jun-12 18:19:44

Whenwill..

Crying's OK for temporary relief but gettiing really angry at what is happening to your DS is far far more effective for getting him the support he needs.

You need to get angry. How dare school permit your child to be abused in this way? That's what you shoudl be asking yourself. And get angry.

Doing nothing is not going to improve the situation. Doing what I suggested a week ago will. So I'll repeat that advice, as it's still valid.

Get him out of that school immediately.

Stayining there is damaging him. You have a hope of reversing that damage if you take him out now.

You'll need to see GP to get him signed off as unfit to attend school.

Ask CAMHS for an urgent appointmnet.

Ask for a copy of the Serious Incident Report that his school should have sent to the Local Authority.

Make an urgent appointment with the Head of SN within the LA's Education Service and discuss altentive placements.

Most counties have autistic bases attached to mainstream secondary schools - these are small sheletered units that cater for ASD children. You'd probably need a Statement to get him admitted.

If he has a Statement then ask the Head of SEN why he is breaking the law by failing to provide it.

You need to get very very angry indeed. I would involve the Police.

Panadbois Fri 08-Jun-12 18:42:59

Poor boy. Please take him out of school. Don't take him on Monday. Have you got SNAP where you are? They can help people and families with special needs.

Take care of yourself too (tempted to call you honey, but I won't).

WhenWillTheBuildersFinish Fri 08-Jun-12 18:44:31

Right, I rang the police school liason officer. They have taken it very seriously, they sent a copper to get a statement and are appalled that the school did not inform them of the incident.

In the statement my son made it transpired that when the headteacher came to see what the fuss was about she told my son to take the rope off his neck, he said he couldn't because there were two knots, which he can't undo. She untied the rope herself and made him sit in her office, but when someone came to a meeting there she made him go out and sit on his own in the hall where the incident had happened. Although she left the door ajar, he had no direct supervision.

Shocking. I am so angry with her.

I know my son has told me he wants to kill the bullies, bomb the school etc in the past, he has had panic attacks at school and repeatedly banged his head on the wall due to the kids picking on him.

I have complained, we even went with him to the GP to get him signed off sick but they refused, saying they couldn't do it, not policy to give sick notes to a child.

So, because the LEA told us if we didn't send him in we would be open to prosecution for truancy, we had to send him back (this was Nov '11, I found the letter written to the GP on computer).

I am glad the police are involved now, the copper said they often have run in's with the incompetent LEA and social workers, so are used to dealing with them. The officer that came said my son's statement was heartbreaking and he deals with this sort of thing a lot. They are putting the case forward to the child safety team at police station and they will contact me in the next couple of days and arrange a liason meeting with the school.
He told me not to send my son back until somethng is sorted.

Well done OP, though I would not be sending my son back at all to somewhere where he has had such a huge breach of his safety.

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