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Any tips to help the transition to secondary with a child with ASD and severe anxiety?

(16 Posts)
Purplerainbow Sun 25-Jun-17 11:35:47

Ds starts this September. The last two years have been pretty awful. He missed all of year 5 due to anxiety but has done better in year 6. At the moment as far as he is concerned he isnt going to secondary. I had first meeting with senco this week. Explained all my concerns, how severe ds is etc. We have one afternoon this week for children with Sen to go up there and then one whole day when all year 6 spend the day.

The senco seemed switched on, said he will come down to school with ds form tutor and meet him. He said we could also go up when school was empty to go around and show ds where he could have 'safe spaces' if he's getting angry. Anger and aggression are how his anxiety transpires mostly. He doesn't spend much time on the playground as he can't cope and often starts fights. He does not have an ehcp so will have to be in mainstream. Thankfully he is very able academically and is high functioning.

Socially he is obviously going to struggle....

Trying to arrange a meeting with senco and his Camhs psychotherapist at the moment.

He does not do any homework at present and the senco basically said it's tough he will have to do homework ...

Any tips/pointers how I can make this as painless as I can? I'm nothing but positive about this transition....

vickibee Sun 25-Jun-17 15:32:05

My son is in y5 and I am already worried about transition to secondary next year. I have been told that they invest extra time with Sen kids to help, more day visits and assigned a specific mentor etc. My son has been baysitted in his small village school and is going to be lost among 2000 kids. My son is hf also but struggles with friendships and anxiety it is a real worry for us as parents.

Purplerainbow Sun 25-Jun-17 16:12:59

I was also told we would get extra transition etc but all we have got is one extra afternoon, that's it. So if they agree to something, make sure you re-check that in year 6. Our primary is the largest in our town by quite a bit thankfully but yes going to a secondary of similar size to yours is still going to be a major change. sad

vickibee Mon 26-Jun-17 14:34:10

My son is so disorganised, he won't know what stuff to take on which days, what homework he has, he will have to be micromanaged by me! I don't know if sen kids are helped with this sort of thing or he will be forever getting into bother. I am generally disappointed by the lack of support generally in school, I though getting a dx would help with support but nothing has changed - he is left to fend for himself. He is subject to social exclusion in the playground and nothing is done. He comes home in tears often and it ends up in a meltdown as he can't cope - he masks so well at school and the staff all think he is wonderful

Schroedingerscatagain Fri 30-Jun-17 09:48:54

When our DD transitioned she fell apart spectacularly, I would say think about a plan B and keep it in your back pocket

With her brother 2 years later I started prep a year before transition

Getting him to walk some of the way with a friend to increase independence

Made sure he was anonymous in that he blended in by making sure he had an up to date hair style, clothing, bag, shoes for a boy at secondary school

Provided a phone (monitored) similar to the other boys

We talked about life in secondary school, how to be friendly, joining in

If there are trends I make sure he has the item, like fidget spinners at the moment he has some mini ones which everyone wants to play with

Coming to the end of year 8 most boys game online to socialise, we changed console so that he was the same as his new classmates and could join in

Organisationally he's very dispraxic, I have a copy of his timetable so I can make sure he's organised for that particular day

We made sure he had duplicates of things like calculator, pen etc so he kept one set in his bag and one set on his desk at home so that he didn't forget them as this caused him intense anxiety

Even now I find he will pretend to be sick if he is anxious about a situation like forgetting homework

We talk a lot on the journey to school, often I explain that if he talks to the teacher about forgetting to do something they are much more tolerant and will often allow him time to complete the work

Every school is different but hopefully your son will find a safe place he can head to, for our DS it's the library and computer labs at lunchtime

Keep talking, I find helping them to understand situations reduces the stess for them

Just finally to reassure you, our DD is now fantastically happy and settled just not in a standard school, for her the route was EHCP and finally Interhigh where she can manage her extreme anxiety and still receive an education

Purplerainbow Fri 30-Jun-17 10:14:59

Thanks scroed I don't have a plan b though that's my worry!

Ed psy is supposedly going in to assess him at some point before end of term though I'm not sure what use that will be.

Schroedingerscatagain Fri 30-Jun-17 13:08:39

Plan b could be EHCP, alternative school, homeschool etc, just remember to let your DS know that if he can't cope you will not force it which it sounds like you did in year 5

For DD knowing that there was a way out ultimately prevented suicide as she knew if she reached the point of no return as an anxious child there was a plan b

Early year 8 she reached a point where I refused to subject her to it any longer as she was discussing cutting herself and suicide, that was my red line

My honest feeling is if an anxious child knows that you the adult will act if they reach the point they can no longer cope then they cope better with their situation

cheminotte Sat 01-Jul-17 08:56:17

Just come across this. DS is in Y5 and we have just started the process to get an EHCP.
He is also at a lovely one class intake primary where everyone knows him. The local secondary is 1000+ kids. There is another smaller one but I've not heard a many positive things about their senco.
Cat - you make some interesting points about 'blending in' . DS has ginger hair and glasses already so I'm not sure getting his hair in a cool cut will reduce bullying. I also have no idea about trends so no idea what the correct trousers, shoes etc are. I only heard about fidget spinners on Mumsnet (!). DS hasn't asked for one although I imagine all his friends have one.

There is a secondary with an autism base a few miles away, which may be our plan B. It doesn't start until Y7 though, so he'd need to go to a middle school before that. I have an appointment to visit them, whereas the senco at the local secondary hasn't replied to my email.

Purplerainbow Sat 01-Jul-17 10:13:02

I don't have a plan b. I had to stop working due to his non attendance and desperately need to get back to work now. We would clash if he was home ed and I know he wouldn't do any work so it's not an option for me.

Our secondary has an asd unit but he would be allowed in for break and lunch but not for learning due to not having an ehcp. But if I can't get him in he won't access anything! It's so hard. Just hoping I can get him in!

cheminotte Sat 01-Jul-17 13:18:53

Has he been refused assessment for an EHCP?

Purplerainbow Sat 01-Jul-17 14:01:25

Yes he was refused ehcp due to not being at school but that was 18 months ago. He won't get one now. He's basically not failing.

Schroedingerscatagain Sat 01-Jul-17 16:06:56

It's quite common for high functioning ASD kids to get EHCP's at secondary school when they reach the point of not coping any longer

Purplerainbow Sat 01-Jul-17 16:26:14

That's what I'm hoping as the primary he is at have an asd unit of which he has access to. Things seem very different at secondary and I'm hoping it will be the start of something good...

vickibee Mon 03-Jul-17 11:31:31

My sons anxiety manifests in a mild form of what i would call self harm. He bites his finger and toe nails within an inch of tbeir life. I have tried everything to get him to stop. It looks like another gp trip. His big toe is angry and weepy and painful. It is the third visit in 4 months. I have asked for a referal to nursing dusability team but again his needs are not severe enough. Any advice appreciated

Purplerainbow Mon 03-Jul-17 12:02:10

There's just nothing out there for the children vicki and it is so so sad. My ds actually was trying to Jill himself before anyone really took much notice and even now we've hit a stale mate!

vickibee Mon 03-Jul-17 12:33:50

Sorry that your child reached crisis before you got help. It is a disgrace. If the children were supported sooner it wouldnt get to this. There is a disability nursing team in my area but apparently his needs are not severe enough for a dx.

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