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GIDS Tavistock - what's the process

(26 Posts)
PinkfluffySlippers63 Wed 27-Feb-19 21:27:55

My 14 year old child (natal DD) was referred to the GIDS Tavistock clinic last year and we are waiting for an appointment. He is currently receiving support (counselling) via CAMHS. Today he said that as soon as he gets to the Tavistock they'll put him on hormone blockers - irrespective of whether his parents agree with this treatment. Does anyone know if this is right ? I assumed the Tavistock were slightly more cautious and would do some counselling before handing out any medication. OR is the counselling presumed to have been done by CAMHS.

allatsea123 Thu 28-Feb-19 20:12:17

No they won't prescribe anything straight away. As far as i am aware there is a process that should take about 6 months where you receive counselling and guidance as a family. I am not sure when they might recommend a route such as hormones or hormone blockers but I presume it is at the end of the six months. The wait is currently at least 18 months from when the date of referral. I also think it is important to remember that you are the parent and you know your child best. If you think that blockers will be helpful then you can agree to that but if not you could see the process as one to explore the issues that your child is facing and the possibilities that are available for the future. These children have their whole lives ahead of them and so should not be rushed into anything. My daughter was referred to the Tavistock at least 18 months ago and we haven't heard anything yet, although I expect to any day. I have made it clear to my daughter that as an adult I will support her in whatever route she chooses once she has fully matured, not only in terms of legal age but also in physical maturity, including brain development. I have said that I will take her to the appointments as an exploratory prices to find out about options for the future, not for now. I think it is really important that as parents we are not afraid to parent our children and also to say what we think is right, as long as we love and support them and help them to make the right decisions in the long term. The GIDS website is helpful and ghee was a panorama programme on this week about it which I haven't seen yet but apparently gave a reassuring account of their work.

TubbsAndEdward Thu 28-Feb-19 20:23:08

My son had a year of appointments before they said he could have blockers.
It was not easy and they grilled me and him equally.
He decided against them eventually but I wanted to reassure you it's not like your child says.

PinkfluffySlippers63 Thu 28-Feb-19 20:34:28

allatsea123 - Thank you so much for your really helpful reply. It's certainly put my mind at rest. Your approach of telling your daughter that you'll support her when she's an adult sounds wonderfully supportive and sensible. I hadn't heard about the Panorama programme so I'll check it out.
TubbsAndEdward -- thank you for your words of reassurance.... it is so good to hear that the Tavistock are as cautious as I had assumed.

SweetLathyrus Fri 01-Mar-19 18:42:22

Pink as PPs have said, once you get your initial appointment, your DC will be required to undergo a minimum of 6 assessment appointments before they are even considered for referral to an endocrinologist.

PinkfluffySlippers63 Sun 03-Mar-19 21:09:59

Thanks Sweet. I haven't dared tell DC this - as s/he's so impatient for everything to start and the fact we're still waiting for an appointment is really upsetting.

GatherlyGal Wed 06-Mar-19 10:33:16

Hi PinkfluffySlippers63 we are in the same boat. We are constantly running that line between being accepting and understanding but also trying to keep options open.

Allatsea i find your words so reassuring. I do not believe that medically transitioning will improve my DC's life. I am terrified about the longterm damage that could be done to her body. I believe (s)he has some kind of body dysmorphia and (s)he has told me she doesn't want to be female - she wants people to see her as male. I believe she does not fit the expected role of "feminine woman" and so thinks she has to be male as a result. I also think she is a lesbian. What is required is psychological therapy, support and some time to mature and develop. What is NOT required is experimental, dangerous drugs.

We are expecting a Tavistock appointment in the summer. Our DC is fully expecting to get straight on to hormones and "top surgery". To hear that this process is slow is so encouraging.

The more I read though the scarier it is - these kids are being experimented on and NO ONE knows the longterm impact. More and more young people are detransitioning but particularly for FtMs the effects of the hormones are permanent.

Have you seen this? :

All the best to everyone in this situation.

GatherlyGal Wed 06-Mar-19 10:34:09

TubbsandEdward I appreciate you sharing your experience.

Lumene Wed 06-Mar-19 10:40:02

There is another thread discussing the issues around the clinic’s use of research/evidence uncovered by Transgender Trend (as linked by PP):

Lumene Wed 06-Mar-19 11:22:44

Today he said that as soon as he gets to the Tavistock they'll put him on hormone blockers - irrespective of whether his parents agree with this treatment.

Do you know where he got this idea from? There is a lot of misinformation about and it could be worthwhile finding out which sources he is coming into contact with.

allatsea123 Thu 07-Mar-19 15:38:19

Having said I want my child to wait till she is in her twenties to do anything medical I feel I might have a struggle on my hands. I know it feels like such a long time for them but watching her and listening to her talk even as a really intelligent person she is so very young and shouldn’t be making life changing decisions while in the mire of teenage angst. I phoned the Tavistock today to find out when she will be seen, they are currently seeing children referred in June 2017. I know she will be disappointed but I am relieved we have a bit of a reprieve . Can’t help thinking if it wasn’t even an option to go down a medical route until you were 25 most of those with rapid onset dysphoria would have grown out if it by then anyway. It knowing there is a solution which they see as a quick fix that is part of the problem because if really isn’t and doesn’t address many underlying issues 😕

GatherlyGal Thu 07-Mar-19 16:59:00

Allatsea I really think the delay is good news. So many of them come out of this when the teenage angst settles. The more time goes on the less convinced I am that medical intervention will help my DD or any young person - have you read the damning report on the use of puberty blockers on kids?

You are so right if the option wasn't there they could just get on with their lives and be less "sucked in" by this all-consuming thing. They do think it will make everything ok and of course it won't. If I had any faith in professionals I'd try and find some good therapy to really get into the body issues and the wish to opt out of being female but I just don't think a therapist would do anything other than affirm.

LordProfFekkoThePenguinPhD Thu 07-Mar-19 17:04:37

When I was that age the whole teen angst thing was ‘am I gay?’.

It was fairly common (I didn’t mostly because I have a gay sister so there was no mystery or ‘cool’ status for me). I see many similarities - being in ‘the gang’, following a tribe and shocking granny.

Wait wait wait. A child can’t vote, smoke, get a tattoo or fight for their country yet we allow medicalisation? Can a child of 14 even have non emergency surgery without parental permission (I’m not certain but I’ve had to sign forms to say that school can give my 14 year old an asprin or take him to a&e if they can’t get a hold of me).

sackrifice Thu 07-Mar-19 17:15:09

You all might want to actually read that report linked earlier.

PinkfluffySlippers63 Thu 07-Mar-19 20:06:03

Brilliant advice everyone. THANK YOU. Please don't flame me but I'm pleased / relieved that the Tavistock waiting list is so long. Allatsea thanks for getting that up to date information. I agree with you whole heartedly I will support my adult child do whatever they want but an angry mixed up teen is not a suitable candidate for life changing medication and surgery.

LordProfFekkoThePenguinPhD Thu 07-Mar-19 20:15:24

My sister would have been a classic candidate for this and as a child/young woman. if asked, she would have jumped at the chance for a magic want to make her a boy.

She wouldn’t be my sister now! She is a happy gay woman.

sackrifice Thu 07-Mar-19 23:13:34

In tomorrow's telegraph.

GatherlyGal Fri 08-Mar-19 11:38:31

Thank goodness it is getting some coverage. Feeling like you can't trust the professionals is scary.

PinkfluffySlippers63 Sun 10-Mar-19 08:09:29

GatherlyGal Yes I agree with you. The Panorama programme made me realise how much debate there is amongst the professionals at the Tavistock about the suitability of these drugs for young people. It's really concerning...

moomoogalicious Sun 10-Mar-19 08:21:29

I refused to have my dd referred to the tavistock even though it was mentioned by the gp and camhs. My reasoning was that at 13/14 we should watch and wait - once she was 18 is could obviously do what she wanted and we would be fully supportive. Is this this not an option for you?

My dd presented as a boy fully for nearly 3 years. She had her life as a man planned out including taking hormones and having top and bottom surgery. Now age 16 she has been diagnosed autistic and no longer wants to be a boy.

moomoogalicious Sun 10-Mar-19 08:28:23

@allatsea i was on your other thread. Sorry to hear you're still dealing with this.

LordProfFekkoThePenguinPhD Sun 10-Mar-19 08:33:09

That is so scary - some parents seem hell bent on supporting a child’s whim that there seems to be no coming back from it. I read a story about 3 (male) 11 year old friends in Texas (it doesn’t say when they because friends) who are all now ‘girls’ and their families are planning medicalised transition.

One quote. So we 8 one of the child announces: ‘I’m (girl) all the time now, only use girl pronouns. I’m not gonna be (boy) anymore’. What 8 year old knows what a pronoun is - and uses it in this context? Who is telling them this? What if one of the group changes their mind - the pressure of, well ‘disappointing’ their mates, family (who seem very up for it).

Leave the kids alone. Let them dress up as Cinderella and wear a skirt. Just don’t sell them the lie that they can become the other sex.

Bluebellbike Wed 20-Mar-19 12:31:37

Years ago before Gender Dysphoria was so widely publicised my 14 year old told me they were transgender. There was little information regarding this at that time, just statements by the likes of Mermaids and GIRES that if a child is not supported they may try to kill themselves. Due to the seeming lack of alternatives I supported my teen through the Tavistock system and eventually they started cross sex hormones and now has completed all the surgery.
I wish the information we have now had been available then. My now adult DC is happy and healthy but of course we do not know what the long term risks are to their health whilst on life time synthetic hormones. I wonder often what would have happened if I had insisted they wait until they were older. Would they have simply become a gay or non conforming adult?

I will never know of course. But I would urge other parents in the same situation to try their best to delay assessment at the GIDs as long as possible.

PinkfluffySlippers63 Wed 27-Mar-19 09:08:21

Thank you Bluebellbike for your post. I agree about delaying the GIDS assessment. My DC was referred last year but I don't realistically expect an appointment will come through until next year. By which time my DC's feelings may have changed.

Italiangreyhound Fri 29-Mar-19 17:57:35

PinkfluffySlippers63 just saw your thread and wanted to wish you all the best.

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