Parents evening and a suggestion of CAMHS for 5.5 yr old(24 Posts)
I'd really welcome so advice please.
Had parents evening last night for DS aged 5.5 yrs and he is in Yr1
The teacher was lovely, says he is a bright, academic, curious little boy - all good. However, she felt worried for him and suggested I get a GP referal for CAMHS....
DS has always been over sensitive to certain things - uncomfy clothes, labels, socks etc. Has at times totally over reacted about the feel of them and its caused problems. He can totally over react when someone accidently bangs into him, knocks him over, balls go into his face. Can overreact when you say no you cant watch more TV, have another sweet, get that toy - much screaming and aggressiion.
It was a problem in reception as there were lots of challenging kids in his class and he found it overwhlming sometimes and then behaved in a hysterical or aggressive way and got into trouble himself.
This year has been better as he likes his teachers and hated them last year.
My H and I have also just seperated after maybe 2 years of sniping and bickering and sometimes very agressive rows (I know this has had a big influence). Due to being stressed and miserable, I wasnt always as kind, patient or understanding with DS when he was fussing for the 14th morning in a row that his socks felt funny and his collar was anoying.
Anway, so the teacher suggested Camhs... I feel this is a little extreme as the rest of the time DS is bright, cheerful, engaging, playful, has LOTS of friends, very imaginative, empathetic, loving, terrific sense of humour and a gorgeous little boy.
I had a look on the net for hours last ngiht about it all and came across something I had thought about last year - The Highly Sensitive Child - I did the online check list and out of I think 23 questions, DS had 20!
I wrote down the website and give it to the teacher and head also and said, I felt this summed up DS and would read the book, try the options and then if in 6 months things arent settling down - then go the Cahms route?
Since the spilt, DS is already MUCH better and calmer in general...
What do you think given your experience?
I've posted in SN too
i think i would accept the referral, it is not intended to be an extreme reaction, but a way to allow you and him access to the right support. no-one is saying you cant help him, but rather that they feel this refewrral would be a good way to determne exactly what is going on and how best to tailor some strategies that will be beneficial. in my experience this type of sensitivity could be due to anxiety, but it is also linked with the autistic spectrum, and i guess the school are hoping a referral/asssessment might shed some light on what is going on.
I'd say go with the referral.
Your son is very young. He is coping now but as he gets older he may find himself not keeping pace socially with his peers and the gap may widen. He may not have any significant differences but IMO you'd be far better getting in the system now than leaving it. If there are no problems found then you've lost nothing other than the time it takes to go for the assessments.
I'd accept the schools advice here too. It good to see a school suggesting this tbh.
CAMHs isn't scary at all .. And they can offer a lot of help if it's needed.
This teacher can obviously see something that she feels is getting in the way of his education or his everyday functioning. For a child to be able to learn at school he needs to feel comfortable and relaxed. Maybe your son's sensory issues are preventing him from learning as well as he could.
CAMHS is a collection of professionals. My DD2 has just been observed by an occupational therapist from CAMHS because of her sensory issues. They don't go out to look for parenting problems - they look for the solutions and support the child needs. My DH and I have been through some rough patches recently and CAMHS are seeing both my girls regularly. They have never seen fit to blame any problems on our parenting skills or rowing in front of them.
School can become more and more difficult for children with sensory processing difficulties as they get older. Getting a diagnosis for him now could mean quicker easier access to support later on which means he doesn't end up unable to attend or unable to learn. It took us a year to go through the diagnosis and statementing process for DD1 when it all went to pot as she started high school. In the meantime she missed a year of school.
If CAMHS don't feel that your son needs support they will just tell you that after the first assessment appointment and you will have lost nothing.
Ok, thats interesting, maybe I will go to the GP and get him refered. The head teacher this morning did say that the school referal would take too long as its not 'serious' and she also said she didnt see it as an overally worrying matter or she would have called a meeting with me directly as opposed to having the teacher bring it up at parents evening.
I worry about him being 'labelled' but also want him to overcome his anxieties so as one poster said = it doesnt widen the gap between his peers when he is older
I agree with previous posters. CAMHS don't keep anyone on their books that they do not feel they can help or needs help.
Peer pressure starts to become more apparent in the next few years. The school are probably suggesting starting the ball rolling now as if there are sensory issues etc, the process to giving you and your DS services that can help can take some time.
Children who are a bit different tend to attract labels however much we want to avoid them. I would always prefer ds to be 'the boy with special needs who needs a bit of help' than 'the little git who's always hitting and screaming'.
If an assessment reveals anything, it gives you a name for the difficulties to fend off other people's negative labels.
Tbh I think most schoolchildren are labelled in some way by their teachers, depending on their personalities, abilities or whatever. They probably do it subconsciously but I'm sure they do.
I;ve just tried to calmly email ex-h about this and this was his reply:
"Yes, sometimes he freaks out but so do you but you are not getting any help. When he does freak out then I try to nip it in the bud and give it no time and when he is at my house he is fine 99% of the time. I think you need to get off his back to perfectly honest as I have been saying for years. I really think that would help.
However, if you really want to take him to the docs then that is your choice."
I am so cross about this as THE SCHOOL want to refer him, not me? But as usual ex-h has put it all as being my fault
I think the fact that the school have concerns is really important. This definitely isn't just you. Maybe your ex-h could have future conversations about this with them instead? It sounds like the last thing you need is more conflict.
Lots of people recommend a book called "The Out of Sync Child" for parents who are concerned about sensory issues. I haven't read it myself but have heard very good things about it.
When he's with his dad is he in a calm quiet environment which is predictable and doesn't involve lots of people? If that's the case he probably won't be having many difficulties - that's very different from school.
Come and chat on the SN kids board, there are some experts there on the subject of getting what you need from 'the system.'
I don't know anything about the CAMHS referral but I have the Highly Sensitive Child book and I found it really helpful.
I also was a highly sensitive child but didn't know how to deal with being the parent of one.
DS1 has button phobia, struggles to try new clothes on because of the cardboard label, very sensitive to smell, certain things have to be "just so" etc. The book was useful.
Accept any help you can get. You have both been through a very rough time and things will get better.
It's worth getting him into the waiting list part of the system more than anything else, then if it DOES become a real problem further up the school, the wheels are in motion so to speak. More than anything else - I'd want some help with the aggression aspects before he grows to be bigger than me if I was you!
They're not going to keep anyone on their books who doesn't have a genuine problem as other people have mentioned - so it might just be worth it for the "all-clear, he's just a sensitive child" answer for yourself... or they might just have some answers or solutions for you!
I think we'll take him along to the doctors next week and go from there. x
Could also ask school to refer to Educational Psychologist to assess his needs schoolwise and advise them. Don't just rely on the school's SENCO, s/he's just a teacher with an extra bit on her salary and a few training days under her belt.
The school said acedmically he is on the money and doing well, until its a new task and then needs lots of coaching and coaxing to do it.
Also agreeing with accept all the help you can get camp - CAMHS is about talking to people when you and your kids finding things tough, it's not about two-way mirrors and being analysed or anything.
I've got a couple of friends whose kids have been referred to CAMHs, and they both really rate how it's helped them.
You've both had a difficult time and it sounds as though you're doing much of the mature parenting on your own, so as much help as possible for both of you required imho.
But the opportunity will be further away given waiting lists and she may well kick herself for time lost later on. Accepting the referral is not a rollercoaster you can't get off of, you can have an assessment, hear suggested options and say no thanks to all of them.
Of course she should do her own research but the assessment results may help narrow down the field iyswim.
I've just got the Highly Sensitive Child book (and the grown up version as I am very sensitive to certain things) and so far (3 chapters in) it is my son to an absolute T!
I'm going to read that, implement what it recommends with the anxiety of new tasks, being bothered by Clothes, how not to get upset with our friends when accidents happen and see how we go.
DS has had a lot to contend with over the last three years - sibling born, whom he loves very very dearly, but has been also be very jealous of her. Grandma passing away which, being sensitive, he took very hard, arguing parents, we were going to move house and schools and that was unsettling for him, Grandpa being very hatstand and ending up in a dementia care home, plus his mum and dad separating. Its been a really tough couple of years for everyone so now things are settling down, maybe he will too. Nearly all of the anxieties that were at home have gone now and he seems a lot more content since the split. Apart from the disagreement about the above, me and ex-h are working very hard to be positive, upbeat and friendly every time we see each other and never are unkind about the other parent.
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