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LAte diagnosis trouble coping in secondary school

(8 Posts)
oStaro Thu 09-Dec-10 21:27:33

Hello there,

I am hoping someone may be able to help with information that i may have overlooked. I have a son of 14 with Aspergers. He has had trouble in mainstream school since he started. Misunderstood and also trouble with other kids. He is bright and capable, but is struggling with secondary school. He was only diagnosed end of 2009. his behaviour dramatically declined when starting seciondary school. the beginning of this year he was suicidal. I have applied for a statement and been refused. On advice I have waited the six months to reapply rather than appeal to build up proof of extra conditions that make life difficult for him. I am just starting to reapply for a statement and need as much information as i can to try to be approved in the hopes of getting him into a specialist school to relieve the stress he undergoes every day at school. He is slowly declining emotionally again which scare me terribly after the last decline, and suicidal thoughts and depression.

Am hoping there is some hope out there for the help.

thankyou for your time


TheArsenicCupCake Thu 09-Dec-10 21:49:41

Hey ostaro nice to see you and welcome to the board..

Right.. First things first if your son is feeling suicidal you need to get a referal to CAMHS from your GP
do not pull any punches with the GP .. He needs to know you need help now.

Secondly apply for SA yourself, use the template letter on the IPSEA site.

There are lots of people on here who will help as much as they can with the statementing process.

But first thing is first.. Your son needs some help and you also need some help .. I say this in the nicest way... And with understanding ( ds2 AS/ASD.. Was suicidal not that long ago.. CAMHS were the people who helped us).

Minx179 Thu 09-Dec-10 22:31:29

I second Arsenic, you need to get a referral to CAMH. We were seen within weeks when DS2 started self-harming.

I attended a Statementing meeting with PPS/LA yesterday. About the only decent piece of advice to come out of the meeting was:

Note every piece of information relevant to why your child is not currently having their needs met, for example

What factors are contributing to him struggling educationally/socially?

What issues have had an impact on his behaviour?

What is causing/contributing to the suicidal behaviour?

What could/would help alleviate them?

If these negative behaviour patterns are 'new' what's caused them?

Are they due to his inability to cope with m/s? Why? What could help him cope?

Are his needs not being met by his school? How could they support him? What could be put in place to reduce the negativity?

Bullying? Where, when, how long has it been going on for. One or two children, widespread, role of bystanders, school response.

Don't focus on things he is doing well in, focus on the negatives.

All your reports from professional need to be within last 6-12 months, reports from years ago --are ignored-- aren't given the weight of more recent ones.

Sorry if the above sounds a little bit blunt, but to be successful you have to go all out to prove your sons needs are not being met, and from what you say they are not.

sugarcandymistletoe Thu 09-Dec-10 22:48:06

I'm sorry to hear your son is struggling so much. It's very common for pupils with AS to struggle in secondary.

When your first request for a statement was refused, what did the letter give as reasons for refusing?

What was the school's response to your request for a statement? Were they supportive and do they agree that he needs one?

I agree with Arsenic that you shouldn't wait any longer. Statements can't be issued beyond the age of 16 so the older a child is, the harder it is to get a statement. LAs often drag their feet by refusing to assess and then refusing to issue a statement, so it becomes a very long process and they end up only paying for provision for a short period. But if you get a statement now, it can stay in place until he is 19 if he remains in school.

You can continue to gather evidence even after you've sent off your request, but sending in the request letter will set off the statutory timeline.

One way of getting hold of evidence is to make a DPA request to the school and any other professionals your son has had contact with. I would also do a DPA to the LA to request the paperwork regarding your previous SA request.

cheeryface Thu 09-Dec-10 23:03:28

hi, i hope you dont mind me asking but what difficulties did your son experience. my ds2 has started secondary school, previously been fine and now school are saying he might have aspergers or similar.
i think there is a good chance its all down to bullying but just trying to figure things out at the moment.

oStaro Sun 12-Dec-10 21:31:39

Hi there,

Sorry it has taken me so long to come back to this. Time has run away from me this weekend with everything that has happened recently.

Ok CAMHS sounds like a place to start. My son is not suicidal at the moment. we seem to be holding his head above water this time round. Seeing the warning signs and he has been signed off school till the new year by the doctor tis time round. He was suicidal in may and saw the CAST team. They were brilliant and between them and us through out june and and the summer holidays we managed to increase his moods so he was happy. It been the two months back at school after the summer holidays. they have really dragged him down again. The main causes are bullying in the classroom. but the fact a member of staff does not believe him and several believe he has to change and stop reacting to the bullies. He has been called a liar even tho teachers tell me he has a rough time in class a few members of staff just will not believe him. and then the other children now try to get him in trouble to which these members of staff believe the others and say my son is lieing. Which he cannot handle, as he is pretty good at saying if he did wrong.

The school is not supporting SA they say there is no point trying as others have tried and failed. So i have applied both times on my own. The reason it was refused the first time was because the school said he was coping fine and had all the support he needed. The letter we got back stated that my son is academically coping well and there was no need to statement him, his school results were fine. They did not even acknowledge the emotional stress he is under.

Thankyou minx blunt is good.

I have been in touch with outreach again and they sent referral letters to the school in may, but they have not referred my son to them. I am now insisting the school put this in place to get the outreach team in to him. As far as i was aware this had all been dealt with. I was told as much. I was told occupational therapy had said the school didnt need to be involved with helping his dyspraxia. but have since found out this isnt true either. I am going to have a meeting about recent events and am taking a representative with me, hopefully we can point out where they need to be doing more to help my son.

Cheeryface - Smile I dont mind you asking at all. My lad as far as i was concerned was fine. In primary school he started to have problems with bullying and the more stress he felt the more his behaviour changed. Agressive at home, destroying his own things, outbursts of random words and not stopping when asked to, all number of things, but we knew when he was having a bad time. When he started secondary school the outbursts got worse, not because of bullying at first, I think the change to a bigger school, changing lessons, different teachers every lesson. It is a lot of change all at once. When the bullying started the stress worsened and the outbursts were almost constant. The higher the stress the more prominent my sons difficulties are. just recently he had a very bad lesson and a ta told me he sat in his chair hitting his head and refused to work. My son was not diagnosed till last year (2009) hope this helps.

Thankyou to you all for replying to my thread all your advice is gratefully received. I hope all this makes sense too i tend to go off on a tangent sometimes.


oStaro Sun 12-Dec-10 21:32:03

Oh i meant to ask what is a DPA?? thankyou

pinkorkid Mon 13-Dec-10 17:02:38

Hi oStaro,
DPA is a Data Protection Act request - ie you can legally demand to see copies of your son's school file and any documents the lea hold on file about him. (You may need to pay for the photocopying - capped at £30) this can be useful if you want to prove that people haven't done what they said they would eg referrals to other services etc.

Both school and lea talking out of their behinds about reasons for not applying for/agreeing to assess for statement. Other parents failure to get a statement is 1 not necessarily relevant, 2 probably more a reflection of lea's desire to keep budget down.

Statements are not only awarded for being drastically behind academically. This is only one symptom of the issues which can affect a child's learning. My ds has been awarded a statemtn despite being academically average, other people here will have dcs with above average intelligence but still unable to access an education without the major support provided by a statement.

Have you got a copy of the sencop sen code of practice? You can google it and download it or get a phone no to ring up and they will send you a free copy. It is long but well worth plowing through to get the truth about what the eligibility requirements are for a lea to issue a statement etc.

Also you could contact the Nat Autistic Soc for help, also SOSSEN and IPSEA for help with statement application. Partnership with parents will also help you in dealings with the school and lea. A report from CAMHS will be crucial evidence to support your request for a statement.

You could ask the school for their anti-bullying policy - should be something all their staff apply consistently not just some.

Good luck - let us know how you get on.

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