Here are some suggested organisations that offer expert advice on SN.
Hello Mums and Dads!
I'm an undergradute student who wants to know more about how parents feel when their child is referred to a CAMHS service.
It's for my coursework, and I'll be including it as a way to evaluate the CAMHS service overall.
Would anyone be willing to venture their opinion about their experiences with CAMHS?
It would be greatly appreciated.
We had a counsellor to help my ds with trauma and low self-esteem. I have just had to cancel these sessions as did not find her comments to ds at all helpful and in fact it was making him more agitated. Trying to obtain someone a bit better for him. Sorry I can't be more positive!
Hmmm.... how do I feel that my DS is being referred for pyschological help?
A bleeding failure, that's how.
With a hint of fuming bitterness too.
I'm going against the grain here.. For us CAMHS have been great.. We bounced back a couple of times into their service to help ds.
They listened to not only us but to ds.. Came up with some things we hadn't tried some of which worked.. Tailored the things that didn't.
I think our area CAHMS is a bit fabby. . Don't see it as a failing at all.. Because why would I know how to do their job? And parenting a child with ASD.. Where behaviour and emotional mental health is so far away from ' normal' ( sorry) parenting approaches and skills is hard blooming work.. So take all the help you can get... So things are right and improve for ds.
On the first referral I felt terrified that my child was going to be labelled with mental health problems for life but also desperately hopeful that we might get some help.
After the first appt I felt guilty and like a failure because I was told my child had an attachment disorder. It was a snap judgement by the psychologist and was wrong.
A few weeks later I felt terrible that I hadn't worked out for myself that she actually had ASD and I felt that I was losing control of what was happening to my daughter. Other people were making decisions about my child's future and leaving long periods before informing me about them.
Now I have two children accessing the service and I still feel quite powerless. However I know now that they will not be stigmatised for having accessed the service and I'm coming to terms with the fact that they need support that I can't give them and somebody else can.
Well we have been in the assessment process for a long time so when the latest paed referred us to CAHMS I thought here we go shunted on to someone else. How long will we wait for an appointment I wonder.
I am going to watch with interest to see if someone has had a positive experience.
I've just re-read my post and it comes across as more negative than it should.
CAMHS have given my children wonderful support and have helped us and the educational establishment understand them much better. The service is good and the outcome for them will be very positive. It's my emotions about the process which have been hard to deal with.
Camhs in our area have a well deserved reputation for being particularly poor tbh. It is probably one area that school and parents are in full agreement a waste of time and effort.I am hoping our area is an isolated case but I suspect not.Tend to think they cause more problems than they solve. Would feel particularly peeved if mine were referred but luckily school and paed avoid like the plague.
I find them pretty useless actually, same as Alison i was told that my son had attachment disorder, he hasnt. I was given phone contact to CAMHS after last TAC meeting and thats useless, because in a crisis you phone up the mental health worker have to leave a message and get a phone call back 2 or 3 days later when the crisis has passed! Im ignorning CAMHS now and going to see if my sons paediatrician can help more or refer us to someone else within the hospital
we went to see their counsellors as a family and the outcome was that they felt they couldn't help as any more than we were already helping ourselves!
We now see the CAMHS psychiatrist who is great. Although I have some reservations about psychiatrists for young children and also depending on their understanding of certain SNs (ASD in our case), this one has been brilliant. We always relied on our great Developmental Paediatrician but he left our area after being involved with DS since dx at 2 yrs until he went to residential school at 12 yrs. The Dev Paed we got in his place has little understanding or experience of ASD by comparison and I didn't like him much. A lot has depended on the specific Dr and how I can communicate with them, not whether they are CAMHS or not I think.
how parents feel when their child is referred to a CAMHS service.
Unnecessarily worried. It's the name 'Mental Health' that puts me right off.
CAMHS is the referral route for ASD diagnosis. ASD is not a mental illness - it's a benign condition. So why shoudl we be sent ot 'mental health' services?
their knowledge about ASD was poor as they are more used to dealing with psychosis and neurosis.
A truly separate ASD Service is required.
Depends on the circumstances.
The first time I was very upset and angry because I was convinced it was due to a misdiagnosis (diagnosing dd's physical problems as psychosomatic) and was frightened that it would lead to her missing out on a proper diagnosis and treatment. As it turned out, I was right about the misdiagnosis but wrong about it never getting put right.
On subsequent occasions, I felt greatly relieved, as the physical problems were already being dealt with and I felt she needed support for the emotional side too.
I don't care about the name or the associations, as long as dcs are getting the help they need. And the local unit has a god reputation. But it was very scary when I felt consultants were pushing onto the Mental Health services as an alternative to more investigations.
Love CAMHS. Knew referral was necessary (my son has autism but has the type and the co-morbids - ADHD, OCD, self-harm - that are better classed as a mental health issue) and the psychiatrist is pretty much the only professional I feel lucky to have involved with us. Empathetic, helpful and brilliant with my son.
My stepson was first referred over a year ago. Until very recently, they had done nothing. They met him with us a few times but not on his own. No therapies or action plans of any sort were put in place. During that time his behaviour deteriorated to the point of temporary exclusions for assaulting pupils and teachers. CAMHS' only suggestion was that everyone was putting too much pressure on him to behave. Only when the school and Childrens' Services suggested possible signs of Aspergers did CAMHS push for a doctors appointment. Hoping that gets us somewhere.
our CAMHS service is blardy brilliant - or it has been up to now but so much is dependent on the professionals that you see. The Consultant Child Psychiatrist who had responsibility for my son (named person) was fantastic and, without her, my family would not exist anymore. The education system is shite for AS children in general (although I would like to think that there must be pockets of good practice).
My son is now at a residential school specifically for AS boys. Whilst not a brilliant outcome it is the least worst of all our options in order to equip him with skills for later life.
As others have said above, the feeling of failing your child, being a shite parent (compounded, ime, by the education system/practitioners) and the feeling of utter helplessness is eased when you meet a competent professional such as those we had the good fortune to meet.
Firstly, I would just like to say a massive Thank You too all the parents who responded to my initial message. .
I think I should tell you all more about what I'm actually doing. I'm creating a leaflet, which would act as a guide for parents whose children are involved with or have been referred to CAMHS.
I would be really grateful for some further feedback about any information you would have wanted to know when your child was initially referred to CAHMS? Or what you just wish someone had told you before?
Thank You sooooo much!
My daughter had a very thourough assessment by a specialist CAMHS unit in a big city 80 miles away. Then they passed the report to our small local CAMHS in a small town. It took them five years to make the correct diagnosis. I believe there were several overlapping conditions, and they failed to detect the most important condition. They failed to work with other agencies. When we had a crisis they destroyed our family.
I would have liked to have been told that I could read the full comprehensive report. I would have liked them to tell us that we could talk to a social worker attached to their unit. I would have liked them to be honest and competent.
With regard to what I wanted to know when we were refered.
I think it's the same as all new agencies or appointment tbh.
You want to know what to expect.. How much information you need to take with you, what experience/ qualifications the people your seeing have, how they can help and what is going to happen.
It's quite scary putting yourself and your dc in the hands of others.. General information is quite lacking and this is ontop of being to the point of having to yelp for help.
Luckily we have a good team.. So these things were all explained each time we've had dealings with them.. And I'm quite an old hand.
But if your at breaking point.. Desperate .. Worried.. Don't know what is going on or going wrong.. Thinking your going to be under scrutiny by outsiders.. Information and reassurace is key!
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