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Or is P.E. teacher out of order?

(23 Posts)
Jules666 Fri 28-Sep-12 10:37:39

DS(10) has abdominal pain. He had it before in June. He had lots of tests and he's being seen by a doctor at the hospital. They couldn't find anything wrong so put it down to unexplained pain. The doctor emphasised that it was genuine and DS was not making it up. It hurts when he bends and is painful for him to go up and down stairs as doing these puts a strain on his stomach muscles. I explained all this to school and asked that he could go the long way around to the dining room so as to avoid the stairs. Basically this means going out of the Y3/4 door, round the side of the school and in the Y5/6 door. This is during lunch time so staff around. They ignored this and made him go down the stairs. As I work in the school at lunchtime he came to me in tears so I took him home with me and kept him off school.

Anyway it started again this week. Had a word with school and said I didn't want him using stairs like last time as it causes pain. So they've been letting him go the long way around.

All well and good until yesterday. I wrote a note for him to be excused from P.E. to give to the P.E. teacher. In it I wrote about it causing him pain to be bending amongst other things. So instead of him doing P.E. she had him going around and picking up the balls for the rest of the class who we're playing hockey. Obviously this hurt him.

So am I being over protective or this the P.E. being out of order. I was all ready to go into the school today to see the headteacher because I was so angry yesterday that the P.E. teacher has ignored my wishes regarding my child.

sookiesookie Fri 28-Sep-12 10:41:41

depends did she ask him What she thought he could manage and he said he could manage that.
I would be really concerned if the doctors insist the pain is genuine but have no idea what's causing it.
I hope you find out soon.

FredFredGeorge Fri 28-Sep-12 10:41:52

I would be more concerned with the doctor "unexplained pain" needs to be addressed, excusing him from any activity is unlikely to be helpful.

WorraLiberty Fri 28-Sep-12 10:55:02

You probably won't want to hear this but if the school had a pound for every child over the years who pretended to have a stomach pain to get out of PE and to get out of school, they'd be filthy rich.

My DS's mate kept this up for almost 2yrs and the minute he was legally old enough to leave school...after failing all his exams due to the amount of time he had off with hospital/doctors appointments and convincing his mum he was ill - the pain magically disappeared.

He now admits he made the whole thing up and kept up the facade with medical professionals, Ed psychologists and his family.

Sadly he's not the first child to do this and he won't be the last...I did it myself to a degree because I knew it couldn't be proven either way.

Now I'm not saying your DS is doing this OP, but what I am saying is the school will probably suspect he is until you can get a firm diagnosis from your Doctor.

Your Doctor may have 'emphasised it's genuine and he's not making it up', but there's no way of knowing that I'm afraid.

Can you ask for a referral?

scurryfunge Fri 28-Sep-12 10:58:29

I would be taking him straight back to the doctor if the pain is so bad he can't bend.

missymoomoomee Fri 28-Sep-12 11:00:48

I think you are aiming your concerns at the wrong people.

If he is in that much pain there is no way you should be happy with the 'unexplained pain' diagnosis.

TheBonkeyMollocks Fri 28-Sep-12 11:05:10

What worra said!

I would be kicking a fuss up at the ddoctors until they could give me something .

How can they know its genuine if it can't be diagnosed.

I could put on a very good 'Im in pain' show should i want to ... and keep it up!

Scholes34 Fri 28-Sep-12 11:05:15

My son did the best in his class on the triple jump whilst his arm was in a cast and he was "taking it easy" in PE lessons.

It's possible the PE teacher was letting your son do what he was able to do and until he told her otherwise, she would continue to let him.

I hope you sort the issue out soon. I'm sure he doesn't like not being with the other children and doing what they're doing.

TheBonkeyMollocks Fri 28-Sep-12 11:06:41

Btw not saying your ds is putting it on....but undiagnosed pain would not be good enough for me!

If its that bad then something is causing it!

DawnOfTheDee Fri 28-Sep-12 11:12:11

I'd be concerned that the doctor could confidently say the pain is genuine without having a clue what is causing it. There are 3 explanations

1) The pain is genuine in which case you need to get back to the doctors asap to continue to look for the cause.

2) The pain is not genuine and you DS is saying it is to either get attention, to get out of doing certain things.

3) The pain is genuine but is psychosomatic and is in response to some problem or stress that your DS is going through.

DawnOfTheDee Fri 28-Sep-12 11:14:16

I should mention that a close friend i went to school with admitted later that his stomach pains were made up in a bid to get attention. His parents did a lot of fostering and he felt a bit neglected and lost.

He kept insisting the pains he was having were genuine to the extent that he went through some very invasive medical procedures to get at the 'cause'.

Darkesteyeswithflecksofgold Fri 28-Sep-12 15:59:29

Looks to me the school are trying to prepare him for the disgusting way that ill people are treated in our society!

rainbowinthesky Fri 28-Sep-12 16:05:05

I can sympathise as dd had stomach pains and feeling sick and was undiagnosed for a good while. She was often not believed and when we got the diagnosis we were told by the consultant that it had all been genuine as tbh there were lots of times we weren't sure if she were being truthful. I would be very worried if he can't even bend over at all.

rainbowinthesky Fri 28-Sep-12 16:07:07

Even after diagnosis we still had a few issues with some staff especially lunch Time staff who thought making her eat more would make it better as she looks under weight. Making her eat more makes her iller.

fuzzpig Fri 28-Sep-12 16:17:05

YANBU, the doctor has said it is real and the school should honour that. I'm sure in my day (1990s) if you had a note you either just watched or went to another class for that lesson, not pick up stuff or help the teacher, but maybe that's unusual.

It could be a misunderstanding, and it's possible that just clarifying the situation and stating explicitly that he cannot bend and therefore can't pick stuff off the floor would help.

I wonder though if he had something 'visible' like a broken limb, would they be making him help?

Goldmandra Fri 28-Sep-12 16:19:11

jules I am in a similar position at the moment with DD2 (9). She has now had two stretches in hospital without a satisfactory answer as to the cause. We've now been told it will probably come and go for a few months/years with several hospital admissions to control the pain and it will eventually just stop.

I have also been assured that the pain is genuine but I can also see for myself because she become very pale and soaked in sweat when it's bad. Despite this we have been quizzed thoroughly about school, friendships, worries at home, etc in case the cause is anxiety.

Thankfully 5 days after the latest discharge DD2's pain seems to be starting to subside. I am beginning to think she will be able to go to school on Monday but I will be making it very clear that they must not ask her to do anything which makes it hurt. The half hour journey to get there will be enough of a challenge.

I think you need to speak to the head of year and ask that all of your DS's teachers are informed that he is experiencing high levels of pain and care should be taken not to make it worse. I would also ask that he is allowed to sit in the library or in with another class during PE lessons for the foreseeable future and that he is given a note/pass explaining that he is allowed to bypass the stairs whenever possible.

Some teachers may decide that the pain is put on and act accordingly but it is not their place to make this judgement.

hmc Fri 28-Sep-12 16:20:10

Not read all posts but my dd (10) had crippling stomach pains for months on and off. They mostly occurred at night. Doctors could find nothing and suggested stomach migraine. It all came out a little later - dd was anxious at night, she confessed that she was utterly and completely convinced that someone would climb in through her bedroom window and murder her shock. We talked through it all - I pointed out practicalities like they would need a ladder - which would be a teeny bit conspicuous and not likely to go unnoticed, they would have to get past our massive dog, etc etc ...anyway, she got over this irrational fear and the stomach pains went with them. Can be pyschosomatic.....

Tigresswoods Fri 28-Sep-12 16:21:42

In my experience, PE teachers are always put of order. Or was that just at my school?

lljkk Fri 28-Sep-12 16:45:26

Why is it awkward for the school to let him go long way around to dining room, is there a child protection issue?

He should still get some physical exercise.

There is a very real chance that stairs & bending may hurt but won't make anything worse in the underlying condition, and otherwise the exercise is good for him in other ways. What I'm saying is, he may need to learn to live with & manage the pain, not let it rule his life. Having to avoid stairs is a pretty big inconvenience.

flyingspaghettimonster Sun 30-Sep-12 23:55:19

Did they consider childhood migraines? I had a lot of tummy pain as a child and it went away as a teen - then turned into proper migraines. I was told the tummy pain had likely been migraines.

squeakytoy Sun 30-Sep-12 23:56:55

do you live in a bungalow or does he manage the stairs at home..

cory Mon 01-Oct-12 08:43:47

Imho what you would need from the doctor is not only an explanation of the pain but also the assurance that going up the stairs will harm his condition, whatever it is. Because otherwise it is problematic, making major changes to his life because he feels uncomfortable. Avoidance isn't always the answer.

And I speak as someone whose dd spent years seeking help for unexplained pain, finally got a diagnosis and is now avoiding certain things because we know they might make her deteriorate. But she doesn't avoid everything just because it hurts, it's about managing her condition.

I'd push for a referral; this is impacting on your child's quality of life and atm you have no means of knowing whether your approach is helping or hurting. (we found afterwards that some of the things we did were likely to cause permanent damage)

Kalisi Mon 01-Oct-12 08:54:43

Haha poor P.E teachers they really aren't popular! It sounds to me like she was actually trying to help and keep him involved in the lesson. I'm sure she probably thought that picking up balls at his own pace would be manageble. As everyone else on here has said, you really need to push at the doctors for a diagnosis rather than just make things more comfortable for him. Unexplained pains are so frustrating and disruptive sad

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