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Anybody else struggling with a child off long term sick?

(8 Posts)
Carrie5608 Wed 06-May-15 11:05:39

Just wondering if anyone else has a child long term sick.

Ds1 has not been to school since start of February. Has had a load of hospital tests and more scheduled for next week but is as yet undiagnosed.

School have been OK and sent home work and offered to arrange a tutor but he really isn't well enough. The rang this morning to suggest he repeats the year and while I can see their point of view I think that will increase his anxiety.

I have offered to tutor over the summer and get him to take end of year 8 tests when he goes back in September.

Anybody else in this boat? Any teachers have an opinion? He is top set doing very well up until end of Jan. High IQ. Currently very miserablesad

Runningtokeepstill Wed 06-May-15 12:54:10

Where are you? From what I know from my own LA and from what I've seen on here most English schools/LA's won't let children repeat a year so I wondered if you were in Scotland where I've heard of it happening.

My ds has had health and attendance problems for over 5 years and is now 15 and in Yr 11. He's had periods of low attendance, including some very low attendance and periods of being just off completely. It's actually been easier at times to get access to education if he's totally off as our LA has an e-learning programme so children can keep up with core lessons. There is also a centre for "walking wounded" which he's never been to - I suspect many of the students attending are ones who are stressed out by the whole school situation rather than purely physically ill but one can easily follow from the other and my ds has anxiety issues now too. In theory my ds should also have had some personal tuition from the LA over the years but this is hard to access without a fight and our family circumstances haven't always allowed us to do that. He sees someone for about one hour a week currently. He managed to get into a much more supportive school toward the end of Yr 10 and I would have been interested in him repeating a year rather than try to catch up half way through GCSE courses but it wasn't allowed. Having said that, ds wasn't keen on the idea.

What would worry me about repeating a year now is what happens post YR 11. Currently there is 3 years of funding at 6th form or college to do repeat GCSEs (if needed) AS, A2 and BTec. If you do a 4th year at that stage because you've been ill or decided you were on wrong courses then my understanding is you have to fund it yourself. If your ds had already repeated a year would this affect his right to funding for an extra year at college/6th form? If he is found to have an ongoing health problem then he might need that flexibility to do an extra year then.

However, my experience is all with the English system so if you are elsewhere you'll need advice from people who are local.

Carrie5608 Wed 06-May-15 15:33:55

Hi Running You are right I am in Northern Ireland so it probably is different here. Repeating a year here is not that unusual. My other Ds has already repeated a year due to Sn but he has a statement so that helps.

How do you And your poor Ds cope I am finding the whole thing very stressful. I think long term illness is really difficult for a child. Does your Ds have a diagnosis?

Runningtokeepstill Wed 06-May-15 16:26:15

Hi Carrie. It is stressful for both my ds and for me. I've had 3 out of the 4 ds's with either a serious condition or longterm health problem. Sadly the firstborn died of an infection, aged 2 and without a diagnosis. My youngest ds, who is currently off school, has hypermobility syndrome, chronic pain syndrome and pain amplification. It took a year to get a diagnosis from the start of the pain and mobility problems. He was eventually seen at Great Ormond Street Hospital and they diagnosed him when he was 10 (he's now 15). I now think firstborn had some hypermobility in his mix, plus probably some autistic spectrum disorder, but that doesn't explain everything.

My oldest (surviving) ds, now an adult, has severe allergies - I think they started in the womb as he was very restless compared to the others. He missed over half of years 6, 7, 8 and 9 at school due to developing a weird allergic eye condition that more normally affects boys in sub-Saharan Africa. That took a year to get diagnosed too and I think we were lucky it didn't take longer. Fortunately it burnt itself out but he's left with all the other conditions. He's able to work though - he just has to take care of his health.

When my youngest was having a lot of problems with his previous school, we took him out and enrolled him with an online school for a year. We had to pay for this and overall I don't think it really suited him although many others on here have liked online education.For us it was a useful breathing space. At the time his dad was seriously ill and I couldn't cope with fighting with ds's school on top of all the health issues.

After my dh died, I found a more supportive local secondary school for ds but we had to appeal to get in so that's why he ended up starting almost half way through the GCSE courses.

Unfortunately getting a diagnosis doesn't guarantee that help and treatment is available. Local to us there are no integrated pain services for under 18's and after struggling on for years my son is now on a (long) waiting list for an inpatient programme at a national centre for pain management.

I hope that your son gets some answers soon and that help is available for him.

Carrie5608 Wed 06-May-15 17:20:07

Oh Running you have not had it easy. flowers

It does seem some families get more than their fair share of problems.

Dd1 has aspergers, Ds1has Crohns we think but as yet it is not diagnosed. Dd2 is mostly ok and Ds2 has speech and language problems (he has a statement in mainstream) but most things are manageable.

I would be interested in the online school if you have a link.

If we do get a diagnosis of Crohns I do think his attendance will be an issue long term.

Phaedra11 Wed 06-May-15 17:41:40

We were in a similar situation with DS2 (year 9). He is now at an online school www.interhigh.co.uk/ and it's working really well for him. I would be happy to answer any questions about InterHigh here on through PM.

I don't think repeating a year is appropriate for a child with high IQ and in the top sets, and I can see that it could add to his anxiety. DS2 would have hated it.

Phaedra11 Wed 06-May-15 17:43:13

That was supposed to read here (as in on this thread) or via PM!

Runningtokeepstill Fri 08-May-15 11:57:41

Hi, my ds used Interhigh too. I know it works well for some students. For ds, he missed the dynamic of interacting face to face with other students. However, having said this, he's been working on his own for some months now on his GCSE courses with just the one hour of 1:1 tuition a week. He's on roll at a local school but hasn't been able to get in for a while. At this stage he prefers working independently as he knows the areas he needs to work on and he's able to concentrate solely on them. But if he was younger I'd be looking for other solutions.

Carrie I've known children with Crohn's manage to continue at their local school - with help from the LA service for children who are too sick to attend school during their flare up times. But if you find this doesn't work, then schools like Interhigh can be a flexible option as they have all their lesson notes available online so students can catch up more easily if they miss anything.

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