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On going illness - what can school do to help?

(8 Posts)
roundabout1 Mon 19-Nov-12 14:16:42

HI This is a long one so I apologise in advance! My dd is 7 & in Yr3, since Jan she has been ill, possibly from glandular fever originally & now has what has been diagnosed as a Post Viral Illness. She gets very tired, headaches, feels sick, stomach pains, sensitive to noise & light & generally very run down. She didn't get a diagnosis until the end of last school year, so in Yr 2 we did struggle getting understanding from school, she did a period of half days but school were never keen on that & she did a handful of full weeks without any abscences. On average she was doing 3 days a week. This school year she is still struggling, she's done 2 full weeks since the beginning of Sept. It seems to be that when the adrenalin is flowing she copes, she looks tired & pale but gets by. When she gets home, her face gets puffy, dark circles under her eyes & feel very unwell, as a result school never see her at her worst. The school have a letter from her padiatrician, saying she needs to regulate her activity levels & may have more abscences than normal, but not explaining it in any greater detail. The symptoms have continued through the holidays so I know its not caused by stress from school but now DD is worried about going to school feeling unwell. She has told them on ocassion that she feels unwell & nothing happens. I know they wont send her home & in all honesty if they did that everytime she felt unwell she would never be in school at all! I'm just trying to think what school could do that could reassure her that she will be ok & looked after if she feels really bad. Thanks for reading!

HedgeHogGroup Mon 19-Nov-12 19:36:12

In my school we would be looking at arranging a meeting with you to discuss part-time schooling - mornings or 3 days a week with a view to building up over time.
The school will be concerned because OFSTED take no account of your child's illness when they comment on 'persistent absenteeism' and attendance rates.
Call them and suggest a meeting with the Head, class teacher and SENCO to organise a way forward.

roundabout1 Mon 19-Nov-12 21:47:45

hedgehog - thank you. School have been reluctant for dd to do part days, what we do at the moment is that if she perks up during the day we will then send her in. On average she will have a day off & one part day. I think it would we well worth trying part time as by overdoing it then just leads to another problem. Will arrange a meeting asap.

roundabout1 Tue 20-Nov-12 22:19:52

Well we have a meeting tomorrow. Dh is insisting that she do part days & has got into a right strop about it today stomping into school demanding a meeting asap blush I hope he has calmed down by tomorrow!

HedgeHogGroup Wed 21-Nov-12 20:57:17

How did you get on?

roundabout1 Thu 22-Nov-12 12:09:26

hedgehog - thanks for replying. I think it went well, luckily dh had calmed down. She is going to finish at playtime in the afternoons to see if that helps any. I am happy at that, dh not so but is prepared to give it a try. School are out of their depth as we are so we are being referred to a Support Services group to see how/who can help, that was at my request but head was very happy to do that as had been thinking the same thing. To be honest I still think they are finding it hard what dd's problems are but they are trying to understand. I can understand why as she looks healthy a lot of the time but seems to thrive on adrenalin, so will be at school ok but then crash later & feel extremely unwell. They are going to give us some general work for dd to do at home, head did get quite defensive about this saying if she's well enough to do work why can't she be at school. I understand but she can be physically exhausted but mentally bored which in turn makes sleeping hard. Also if she has missed school in the week she can then at least do some work at the wkend. It sounds awful but with other dc's I really dont have the time to be looking on the net for things for her to do & tbh wouldn't know the level anyway. She does so lots of reading & writing and drawing but sometimes wants something more challenging. Previously when we have asked for work we have just been sent home reading books, I considered this a bit lazy, don't know whether this is a fair criticism or not. I have wondered if dd wasn't bright would they be a bit more bothered about teh amount of work she is missing. I know they are all very busy though. So all in all good but we will see.

Floralnomad Thu 22-Nov-12 12:18:49

Please don't get stressed about what your DD is missing just concern yourself with her health and well being , everything else can be sorted later. My DD is older and has chronic fatigue syndrome( sounds like your DD is similar ) . We tried all the part time schooling etc and it didn't work for us . Does your school have an attendance officer or something similar ? We were eventually referred to the health needs for education service and my DD has a tutor at the moment . It's not ideal but manageable and at least we can see a way forward. Hopefully my DD will start attending the health needs school sometime next year ( part time) at the moment we don't worry about school just her health .

roundabout1 Fri 23-Nov-12 11:22:44

floral - thank you, I know the academic side of it isn't important at the moment, I think its when I get stressed by it I see all the knock on effects of this & it just seems a bit overwhelming. Her health is the main thing & once that is improved the other things can be worked on. Your poor dd, I hope she manages to attend school at least part time soon, it must seem a long long road to be on for you all.

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