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Aibu to not send my ds to senior school come September?

(20 Posts)
shockandawe Tue 19-Apr-16 10:57:51

I know I am, as it's not his fault, but I want to protect him.

His tics are so much worse, and we've managed to secretly record a few episodes in the outlandish hope that we might actually see someone about him.

Nobody wants to help, and I'm going round in circles. I posted about CAMHS being shit, and I've established that it's a postcode lottery whether they are helpful or not.

My eldest ds (yr10) confided in me that he is worried for his brother joining his all boy secondary come September.

He says that if he is displaying his current tics (rapid facial pulling with vigorous head nodding) he'll be torn to shreds with bullying.

Ds also said that as ds2 is tall and of solid build they'll be pupils that will want to fight him regardless (wtf!)

Problem is compounded by the fact that he has a "Jekyll and Hyde" character and I'm worried he'll buckle under pressure from potential bullies.

He is so excited about going to secondary, ds1 said he'll look out for him but I'm a bag of nerves.

CAMHS won't see him, the senco nurse isn't returning my calls and although we've got private healthcare who've said they'll cover diagnostics, the neurologist has now referred him to a specialist who doesn't see under 15's privately.

So at stands I'm currently not wanting to send him.

Sparklingbrook Tue 19-Apr-16 11:08:31

I think it sounds perfectly understandable to not want to send him. If you chose not to what options do you have?

catewood21 Tue 19-Apr-16 11:09:49

I don't understand why your GP isn't referring him to a neurologist? Have you shown him videos of the tics. DN (11) is similar and now has a Tourettes diagnosis, and is being taught ways to manage his tics.I think there was a long waiting list though.I don't think he had anything to do with CAMHS , is it even amental health condition?
Not sure why you think he will be more bullied than at primary, it will be the same boys he is going up with.

BarbarianMum Tue 19-Apr-16 11:22:56

Why not arrange to meet with the school and talk to them about your concerns? See how they respond and whether you have confidence in them to llok after your son.

Our (primary) school is full of nervous Y6s exchanging tales of how terrible things are at our local senior school (where they are all going) - quite a few older sibs are happily stoking their fear. Actually the school has excellent pastoral care and stamps out bullying quickly wherever it's reported (according to parents I've spoken to). They've also got a very inclusive ethos and are very positive about celebrating and supporting difference in all its forms. Strong SENCO team.

If however your ds's secondary is rather more 'traditional' in it's approach (character building/competitive/toughen them up) then are there any other schools that would suit him better.

Ultimately though I'd be wary of pulling him out if he's keen to go. Hard to do without inadvertantly giving him the message that the problem is him.

shockandawe Tue 19-Apr-16 11:23:55

Thank you sparkling.

Catewood21, thanks for your comments.

Ds has been to the GP who referred to a neurologist at a local hospital. They referred ds to CAMHS as his is so overly sensitive and I think his tics are a separate issue. Community paediatrics haven't been in touch, and the neurologist was of the belief that CAMHS might have been able to give their input on managing ds's tics which are exaggerated when emotional.

Current primary school is a small one with one class per year. So his friends have known him since 4, and probably don't know any different with him. Most of his class passed their 11+ so only a couple going to the secondary ds is going to.

There are 8 forms that he could be placed into, so highly unlikely he'll be placed with a primary friend.

My eldest ds confided in me how bullying and pecking orders take place at his school.

My ds's tics change every now and then, and seem to be getting worse. They are so noticeable currently, that people are commenting to me.

shockandawe Tue 19-Apr-16 11:28:23

I feel like by sending him as he is now I'll be feeding him to the lions.

This is the only secondary in our area. The rest are grammar schools. The next closest secondary school is in special measures and has knife crime linked to it.

BarbarianMum Tue 19-Apr-16 11:40:39

Ok so you really need to talk to the school asap to see what support they can offer him.

floppyjogger Tue 19-Apr-16 11:41:24

This is my biggest fear for Ds which we will be facing in 3 years time and i'm already stressing about it sad

Call the Secondary school and make an appointment to see the Senco (unless thats the one not returning calls) so that you can explain your concerns and also show them your video of Ds and his Tics. At least they can hopefully address your concerns and spell out to you what support they can put in place or the worst scenario if they dont care.

You need to know exactly what you are dealing with and what if any steps you need to take next. Older siblings are never good at giving positive info about school!

He also needs to see a developmental paediatrician. I would be onto your G.P to chase it up. Our Paed is the one who refers Ds everywhere as the G.P is very restricted on what they are allowed to do now.

AnchorDownDeepBreath Tue 19-Apr-16 11:44:22

Yep, you need a plan.

I wouldn't rely on CAHMS being able to reduce the tics. They are overstretched anyway but even if they weren't, it'd be therapy and general emotional stuff and he's need specific help for whatever is causing the tics.

Your son probably has a good view of his school. Try to see it as a positive that you have a few months to try and deal with this rather than finding out about it suddenly in September.

I'd chase a suite referral too, there must be someone who sees under 15s.

Best of luck.

shockandawe Tue 19-Apr-16 11:55:27

Thanks all for the helpful advice. I'll contact the secondary and speak to the neurologist or gp.

floppyjogger Tue 19-Apr-16 12:52:44

I hope it goes well for you.

Good luck

What are the options if you don't send him to school?
Are there any other schools further away that he could travel to?
If there are no other secondaries that sound suitable /possible so would you be home educating?

(there is a good home ed board on here if you need some information - its in the Education section).
Would he cope being out of school?

It might be that HE is the right option for him, I just wanted raise the question of if not school, then what?

I would be tempted to send him but monitor the situation very closely.
Good luck with the school and the doctors.

specialsubject Tue 19-Apr-16 13:27:26

if your eldest is already at this bully-filled school then you need to take action now to get the school to sort it out.

easy to say, I know - but this is not acceptable. Sounds like they should be in special measures too.

catewood21 Tue 19-Apr-16 13:49:21

I don't think avoiding school is the answer.Your DS needs to grow up learning how to deal with the world , not hide away from it
I agree first thing is to make contact with the school and ask for a meeting to discuss your worries.

mouldycheesefan Tue 19-Apr-16 13:57:48

Ask the neurologist to refer him to a specialist who will see under 15s privately. Or ask the insurer who they have contracts with and then ask the neurologist to refer you to them. Don't give up him going to the school, just get the referral to someone who can see him. Call the neurologist secretary today and explain you need a different referal.
There may come a time when you decide he can't go to school, but today isn't it. Today is the day for sorting the proper referral. Don't give up!

zeeka Tue 19-Apr-16 14:05:58

Not sure if this is helpful, but I'll post in case. I've worked (taught) in a few secondary schools. Most have been in deprived areas, challenging behaviour, etc. There have been children with all sorts of things that you might have thought would lead to bullying, but actually didnt. I had a boy with tics, but his classmates got really used to it and used to just smile (not maliciously) when he did them. I have never seen older pupils start fights with year 7s. It may be so much better than you think. I do totally understand your fears, though, especially after your ds's advice.

I agree with cate: please do contact the school and arrange a meeting to discuss. The school may even be able to find you someone to refer you too. How is the situation at school now? I would also meet with his yr6 teacher to discuss how things are at the moment.

Sirzy Tue 19-Apr-16 14:10:38

How helpful is the senco in your current school? Can they push for referrals and support planning meetings with the new school?

eatsleephockeyrepeat Tue 19-Apr-16 14:34:59

All very sound and knowledgeable advice.

For what it's worth, and obviously from my limited and distanced perspective, I think I'd let him go. Especially as he's excited.

That's not to say I wouldn't have a good old "growing-up" chat about what to expect in secondary school, not to frame it in a negative context, just to explain there will be a lot of kids of different ages going through all sorts in their home lives and with their hormones; and that some will be lovely, and some that will -- be little shits-- not be!

Also do consider that he may fare better than you expect (although granted there are no guarantees on this and it's mostly luck of the draw, and to say it isn't a risk worth taking is absolutely your prerogative). There are sensitive, morally principled and all other manner of lovely children out there as well as spiteful bullies. Being at the bottom of the "pecking order" sometimes leads those at the top to think your life is consumed with how badly they treat you, but in my experience my life was far more consumed with the friendships and interactions I had with my bottom-of-the-pecking-order friends (and feeling superior to those silly, unworldly "cool kids" who did not "vive la difference!"), so do take your other son's words with a pinch of salt.

Sorry it's long, don't know if it was any help at all in the end! Good luck getting the help you need and with whatever decision you make smile

shockandawe Tue 19-Apr-16 14:46:07

Thanks again.

Ds1 worried me, but I don't think he meant to, he was voicing his concerns.

I'm trying to speak to the primary senco and liaise with the secondary, but they've not called me back.

sashh Tue 19-Apr-16 15:17:26

I think you should be talking tot he school now about what they are going to put in place for your son.

Do they have a bullying policy?

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