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At my witts end; please help!(7 Posts)
To cut a very long and painful story short, I am the mum of a beautiful boy aged a 8 diagnosed with ADHD. He has a full time statement of sen with 1:1 support. However since entering school at age of 5 he has been "asked to leave" 3 different establishments, including 1 private and 2 mainstream primaries. In total he has missed over two terms of education since beginning school and is now beginning to fall behind despite all professionals agreeing he is an articulate, intelligent and loving child. At present, despite working with countless so called professionals from education and special needs, he has been out of school for 9 weeks and received only 5 hrs tutoring in that time! No one seems prepared to recommend our next steps or be concerned r.e his lack of education/social interaction that he is entitled to; preferring to just maintain his place at a nurture group as his sole input ( during which he is exposed to children with much more severe disabilities)! The general consensus does seem to be that he should attend some firm of special school, but again with no guidance or suggestions given (professionals we deal with say they are not allowed to recommend and it is up to us to choose/apply).
My son is for the most part, calm and compliant, but when he 'blows' he goes from 0-60 in seconds and will verbally and physically lash out, hence the schooling problems! He has recently been given methylphenidate but with no real improvement. I am currently at risk of losing my job due to my anxiety levels ( DH also poorly, new boss making work impossible for me and gran to whom i am very close dying of cancer), causing a dip in my work performance and being given a docs note citing exhaustion which my new boss is only too glad to use against me!
Help! I feel as if my world is crashing in!!
i have nothing useful to contribute in terms of practical advice, but wanted to respond to show support. I'm sorry you're exhausted!
From what you have said, it sounds as though what he needs is mainstream education. Why has this been ruled out? He is "an articulate, intelligent and loving child". Can he really not cope in mainstream? He is older now ... <hopeful>
Two of the schools he was previously at we're both mainstream but failed to respond with appropriately trained teaching assistants for his statemented hours (27.5 per week)! He has such low self esteem and continually worries what is going to happen to him that it's heartbreaking! Schools just seem unable to cope with his outbursts. Am so frustrated; I'm a teacher myself and have successfully taught children with similar difficulties but can't seem to find fellow professionals with the same compassion!!
I'm sorry to hear you're having such a hard time at the moment. I work in an educational assessment unit for students with ASD diagnoses, and it isn't unusual to have students out of school for ages before the right placement is found for them.
I can only speak from the experience I have - 27.5 statemented hours a week is a lot, effectively a full time 1:1. Between that, and what you've described about his behavioural outbursts, I would be inclined to agree that maybe a special school would be best for him at the moment. Special schools don't need to be forever - lots of students are gradually reintegrated into mainstream, but in the meantime they get the proper start they need with trained staff who are there to support them and develop management techniques for behaviour and learning difficulties.
You say your son has a statement, that's good - because it means the professionals have already done their assessments and that's going to make it easier to get into a school. You're absolutely right that he needs to be in a school, it just sounds like it's a matter of finding the right one. The professional team are right in that they can't recommend - SEN schools work slightly differently and don't work so much on catchment/county areas, but I would say for you, if it's what you want to happen, that you and your DP/DS start off by arranging with the headteachers to visit some local special schools or mainstreams with LR (learning resource)/specific SEN bases. Special schools vary hugely - some specialise in physical disabililty, some in LD, some in behaviour, and from the limited information you've given, it seems like a behavioural slant is what you need. If you visit some schools in your area/as far as you'd be willing for him to travel (county usually arrange transport for special schools) then you'll have a solid idea of what's available and you'll have a starting point to go from with the social workers/EP etc to get him back into a school environment. Unfortunately with SEN students it's often the parents that have to do the fighting as resources are so stretched. You'll have to push and make a pain in the backside of yourself with the various professionals, and that's not the way it should be - but you sound like a really good Mum and I'm sure you'll get it sorted.
Thank you so much for your support Akexa12. I think part of the worry is that as parents, my dh and I feel so alone in dealing with all of this! You have been so rational and helped me see a way forward! At the end if the day, we just want ds to be contented and not consumed by anxiety. Will begin to arrange visits to suitable schools this week (as I am still on sick leave this gives me a good opportunity)! We have fought in the past (statement etc) and so can do so again. Things just all seemed too much and came to a head when I have had to deal with a change in boss who has questioned my capabilities and is now in the process of trying to bully me out of my career (a career spanning 18 yrs with only good reports throughout)!
It's so comforting to know there's someone our there to listen !
I'm glad I was able to give a bit of support, and I'm pleased you feel like you have something positive to do now to move forwards. Feel free to message me if you need anyone, I've always got a listening ear
Previous messager had already given a good advice with regards to the practicality of the situation and I wud have said the same, so no point in repeating. But here I wud like to add is that you need to get stronger emotionally & mentally in order to help yourself and your son.
Whenever you feel overwhelmed, try breathing Excercises eg. Deep breathing, Alternate breathing through your nose. You'll find lot of info. on the Internet regarding this. Yoga & meditation is very helpful especially Pranayama yoga which helps the mind. It will also help your son's ADHD.
I tried Alternate breathing with my son, helped him a lot to keep calm.
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