Educational psychologists - could one help?(21 Posts)
Ds 7 has never liked school. He changed schools in Y1 due to house move and both schools are nice, friendly schools but he has had the same problems in both. He does well academically but just doesn't like it. Every morning is a battle. I have spoken to teachers, spoken to him but there is never one 'thing' it's a very general dislike and unhappiness.
I feel the problem is getting worse and he is becoming more withdrawn. He has friends at school (not the most popular kid but never on his own and has people to play with), doesn't seem to dislike the teachers so I'm wondering if a visit to an educational psychologist could help? I'm not really sure what they do but thought it might be worth a try. I've been thinking of home ed for the last couple of years but not quite ready to make the leap. Any help gratefully received.
Our educational psychologist only really assess learning related issues. The tests they undertake are more to do with what the barriers to progress may be.
No, Educational Psychologists use standardised tests to assess IQ, working memory, verbal ability, non verbal reasoning, numeracy, reading etc. This can lead to diagnosis of specific learning difficulties or high IQ.
He sounds like he would benefit from a counsellor, therapist, confidence building workshops or social support etc Or can the school involve him more with a special responsibility or extra curricular activities? Do you think he might be being bullied?
If you do home educate, it does not have to be a permanent thing. You could speak to the school and ask is they would still be likely to have a place if he goes back a few months later.
Be aware though that some of the help for children in the school system is not necessarily available for parents who have decided to take their children out of the system.
There is a home education section of this forum if you are thinking seriously about this option.
I have worked closely with two Ed Psychs professionally, both of whom are now close friends, and both of them would say they hate the perception that they 'only' do these tasks mentioned above. In most LAs there is only the time for them to do these things because they are so stretched.
I think a private Ed Psych would definitely look into this for you. They understand both schools and children which is probably the combination you need. I would think they would want to observe him in school and see him at home. I think it would be worth a try before you give up hope on school altogether!
Thanks so much for your replies. Pretty sure he isn't being bullied but it seems that its just the general atmosphere etc of school he finds hard, there's no one specific problem. I have lurked big time on the home ed boards and done other research/reading into this as it does seem a big leap. We live in an area where primary places are like gold dust so I would have to be sure as it wouldn't be easy to get him back in again.
I will speak to his teacher next week again and see if she has other suggestions.
thanks all x
I've spoken to DS's teacher who didn't think he needed an Ed pysch but will refer to school counselling services. She seems to think he just needs to know its ok to have a bad day, not like everything you do etc.
Happy to give it a go, not sure if she is suggesting he is a bit PFB but hey he probably is. Would still like him to be happier about school though.
A clinical psychologist would possibly be better placed to help
You can ask your Gp for a referal to camhs. Child and adolescent and mental health services.
Unless the OP's CAMHS service is much better than mine there is no way 'not liking school much' would meet the threshold for involvement.
thanks, yes not sure we are at CAMHS stage, will see what the counselling brings.
Can you ask your school about flexischooling?
I would go with the school's suggestion and see what happens. But would also agree that ed psychs do more than some suggested. One is helping with my son's anxiety and selective mutism issues - which while having an effect at school are not generally preventing him from doing well academically - and that is just the council ed psych through school rather than private. Also agree that CAMHS over stretched - in our case they said that ideally they would help but just have too few resources and have to prioritise the children and youth with very significant issues so no room for anyone else.
I used to be an ed psych. We have ways of making kids talk! I would certainly have been happy to have had a chat with someone like your ds. I may well have been able to get him to reveal what the issue was. No guarantee, obviously.
Hi all, thanks for these replies.
Pelicangiraffe - I have considered this in the past but teachers don't seem to like the idea of it from what I've heard on home ed boards (although haven't asked at Ds's school). Also worried if he was doing half schooling this could make him more unsettled. Do you flexischool?
neolara Sometimes I think it may be easier to talk to someone other than a parent for one reason or the other so will bare this in mind. I'll see if the counselling helps - still waiting to hear back at present.
If don't flexi school. Knowing a handful of home edders, Im suggesting you try dipping your toes in the water of home ed. lots on offer if you dig.
thanks Pelicangiraffe just really nervous of home edding as if it didn't work he would really be messed around, plus schools are hideously oversubscribed here so getting him back in could be problematic. I also worry about the secondary school years I'm not sure home ed would suit as he got older and wanted more independence - do you know if many children who have been home ed go to secondary school? I've also got a 4 year old (reception class) and expecting another next year so could get busy! DC2 seems to do much better at school but I think if DC1 was at home he would want to be home too.
I can understand all your reservations.
I've been told that all the work covered in a school day can be covered in two hours at home. I guess this takes into consideration all the time wasted lining up, multiple interruptions, disciplining handfuls of kids, play times etc.
I think home ed varies a lot. So you have some kids that won't reach their academic potential and others that will surpass it.
As far as I can make it it is very social but can also cost if you buy in services - a maths tutor for example.
One huge upside is that you can be led by the child's interests and learning style.
If he is withdrawn at school, won't this be worse if he is educated at home? I do think counselling could help because he has a need which influences his well being at school. However, not all children are happy all of the time and some children do see school as a chore to be suffered. Sometimes they only want to do what they want to do. Also what children say and reality can be different. They can suggest to you that they don't like school but fit in quite readily when they are actually there.
I am not sure whether he has a good group of friends. They would help him be happy at school because there would be a bit of fun and laughter. Could you encourage friendships to blossom?
I've seen very withdrawn unhappy children blossom once home educated. Not just educationally but socially. Yes they could just push through and endure school but given the choice, education should be a positive experience.
some children do see school as a chore to be suffered
probably sums it up I think but as Pelican says, I would like education to be a positive experience. I do try and encourage friendships, he does have friends and isn't really withdrawn out of school although I think he does seem to be becoming more so. Pre school he was very outgoing and confident.
I'm still waiting to hear about the counselling.
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