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what to expect-first CAMHS meeting for ds1

(15 Posts)
cheesesarnie Mon 23-Jan-12 21:16:12

ds1 has his first appointment next week and not sure what to expect.
he was refferred 4 or 5 years ago but got lost in the system and ended up seing everyone but school have rereffered.

what happens in first appointment?

pigsinmud Tue 24-Jan-12 11:17:34

Ds2 went 2 years when he was 9. First meeting involved ds2, me, dh and cahms woman. She asked ds2 lots of questions about his life and asked us questions about him as a baby - birth, breastfed, when started talking etc.. The decided on plan of action.

He had 2 further appointments. Pretty useless for him really - he had huge anxiety issues and had talked about killing himself. I think this was a way of saying how lost & anxious he was - cahms woman said after first meeting "well he obviously doesn't really want to kill himself." I knew then she wouldn't be much help! I wanted to reply with - we know that, but ever heard of a cry for help?!

Hope it helps your ds.

cheesesarnie Wed 25-Jan-12 17:39:05

thankyou schilke!sorry it didnt help your ds!how im panicking itll be yet more professionals that say hes just a bit immature.

pigsinmud Fri 27-Jan-12 09:35:12

Hopefully it will be helpful for your son. Ds2 is very articulate and appeared completely calm and happy....typical! Yet a few days before he had fallen apart at school and sobbed with the SENCO for an hour. I was just a bit cross the cahms woman couldn't see past his everything is fine mask.

I know other people have found the meetings extremely helpful. In the end the SENCO helped him a lot more and he felt he had somewhere to go when anxious.

Lancelottie Fri 27-Jan-12 09:57:13

We had two children go through this and had hugely different experiences. I'm still not sure whether that's down to different problems or different counsellors.

DS1 (Asperger's, OCD, phobias, eating disorder) waited two years to see anyone who felt qualified to help, but when he finally did, it's not overstating it to say she turned his life around.

DS2 (theoretically NT, overanxious, bedwetting, saying he wanted to be a girl, talking suicide) was seen in weeks -- but the response we got, like Schilke, was "well he obviously doesn't really want to kill himself" (to be fair, I don't think he really did -- but he was wretchedly unhappy).

Both times, the first sessions were taken up with family background and child development history. If this is something you don't want to say over the head of your son, then write it all down beforehand and hand it over -- they'll understand and my well be relieved to cut out half the questioning.

Good luck, and do something nice for yourself and your child afterwards. Oh, and try not to blame yourself, as we all tend to, for having a child who needs specialist help (assuming you didn't actually lock your child in the cellar and beat him throughout his early years!).

pigsinmud Fri 27-Jan-12 10:54:35

Lancelottie - that's interesting about writing it down. We had no idea there would be no time to talk to cahms woman without ds2 present. There were things I wanted to say, but not in front of him. Looking back I wish I'd been more assertive and asked to speak to her alone for a few mins - to explain how his moods rapidly changed and that he isn't always jolly and had been up the night before at 2am crying, but it was so difficult in front of ds2. I didn't want to make him feel worse by listing all the small details. I thought she looked at him smile at her and judged him instantly as being fine.

Definitely think that's a good idea by Lancelottie to write it down.

Lancelottie Fri 27-Jan-12 11:49:43

Well, like you, I felt really uncomfortable saying things in front of my child the first time round, and the younger one was already fiercely opposed to 'everyone telling him he was mental' (his words not mine).

Actually, DS2 both refused to leave the room in case we talked about him, and refused to see the counsellor without me there! It wasn't the most useful of experiences all round.

cheesesarnie Fri 27-Jan-12 13:28:13

schilke-senco at school is fab but shes ok there one day a week.his teachers are fantastic though.

lancelottie-great idea,will try to do that.ds is fine about talking about things but maybe as its all going to be so detailed it might help and also it might help incase i forget to mention things.
i thought of keeping a diary this week recording all his behaviours-good/not so good/unusual etc and maybe getting him to keep one saying happy,sad,angry etc?

Selks Sat 28-Jan-12 00:09:13

I work in CAMHS.
First appointment is usually an assessment, in the form of a conversation. Usual areas covered include - what the problems are, how long they've been around, triggers, developmental history, family relationships and history, any mental health problems in the family, any trauma or loss, school and social functioning, any other significant factors, what do parents and child want in the way of support, then at the end of the appointment an agreed plan is decided e.g. CAMHS input, referral elsewhere, specialist assessment etc.
CAMHS clinicians are skilled at putting people at ease during this so don't worry. We know it's difficult talking about sensitive things to people you've never met before. If you would like to see us on our own without your child we welcome you to ask that (often we will ask if you would like that, or if the child would like that).
Sometimes the assessment will involve gathering information from elsewhere e.g. school nurse, other agencies etc. We will ask your consent.
The first appointment is quite different from subsequent ones as the first one is about finding out, and the next ones are about beginning in treatment / therapy etc and will be a more gentle pace.

I hope you find it a helpful process....but please bear in mind that we can only go on what you tell us, we're not mind readers, and it's a two way process, with full involvement from parents needed.

If you've got any other questions I'll do my best to answer on here. Hope that helps.

cheesesarnie Sun 29-Jan-12 16:45:07

thankyou selks!
i want to tell them as much as i can, he/we need help so by telling them what i can i hope they can help you said theyre not mind readers.


Selks Sun 29-Jan-12 18:12:45

Best wishes for it all, let us know how you get on smile

cheesesarnie Sun 29-Jan-12 18:30:56


cheesesarnie Sun 29-Jan-12 18:31:10

whoops sorry.

amberjane Sun 29-Jan-12 19:57:41

hey just joining in, we have our first appointment in couple weeks and its with a psychologist, really hope they take us on? Where to turn otherwise as Im in despair :-(, should be more positive Im guessing??

bella20 Sat 20-Apr-13 18:17:18

hi my son is been referred to paddington green camhs by his school senco because i was living in westminster but when i moved to vauxhall they told me they dont cover this area . She told me on the phone but they will discuss it in the meeting and let me know .Did anyone been in the same situation because my son still goes to the same school in north west

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