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Is part time school a realistic option, at least for a bit?

(19 Posts)
starfish71 Fri 07-Oct-11 16:43:13

Just missed a call from DS1's head of year, DS (12) (dyspraxia) has been home since wednesday as he is very stressed and hasn't been coping in school. School have asked EP to assess him and have been supportive so far. She wants me to ring her Monday as I wanted to discuss DS doing half days for a bit.

We are waiting for blood tests to come back prob monday or tuesday as he fainted in school monday and has been very tired. Has this worked for any one? Is it something school can agree to?

Am getting myself in a state about it all and really could do with advice. Thanks

IndigoBell Fri 07-Oct-11 17:57:51

It's absolutely something school can agree to.

It's called flexischooling, and the HT has the power to authorise it.

starfish71 Fri 07-Oct-11 18:36:47

Thank you Indigo, at least I know what I am asking for is possible then. Hoping it will be approved and DS will be ok with it.

zzzzz Fri 07-Oct-11 20:06:33

We did it but had to write to ask the governors permission.

pinkorkid Fri 07-Oct-11 20:32:50

Yes - we were offered this when ds was very stressed and couldn't cope with school. (In his case he wouldn't agree - very rigid, asd, had to be all or nothing) but if you and your ds feel it will help, the school should agree.

SOTIRIA Fri 07-Oct-11 23:29:34

Hi, we do flexi-schooling. There was someone at the LA whose job it was to support schools and parents who wanted to set this up. We have found home schooling websites and groups helpful e.g. Education Otherwise. We went to a home schoolers sports day. We have found a small reduction in stress and a marked improvement academically.

starfish71 Sat 08-Oct-11 10:32:38

Thank you zzz did it help only doing half days?

I do feel DS might not agree completely pinkorkid have mentioned it to him and feel he is also all or nothing, what arrangement did you come to in the end?

sotiria will ring LA on Monday and ask for a meeting at the school to discuss options, am worried about him getting more isolated so have to think carefully.

Tempted to ask for a statutory assessment straight away but know I have to give school a chance to make suitable arrangements, adjustments etc.

AttilaTheMeerkat Sat 08-Oct-11 11:44:15

"Tempted to ask for a statutory assessment straight away but know I have to give school a chance to make suitable arrangements, adjustments etc".

That could take an age however and things are already not good. Would instead put in the request for the statement now to the LEA yourself because you know its been done then.

SOTIRIA Sat 08-Oct-11 14:44:36

The EP assessment will be crucial in determining whether you would be successful in getting a statement. Of course you can ask for one yourself but it is better if the EP is supportive. I found it helpful to meet EP. My son is younger than yours so the social aspect is different, however, I feel that he is isolated by being in school without adequate support and perhaps it is better to be part time and calmer. My son would prefer to do full time home schooling too.

starfish71 Sat 08-Oct-11 15:14:31

Thank you Attila and SOTIRIA. Will ring and ask for meeting on Monday and try and push forward the EP involvement. What you say SOTIRIA is very true, that lack of support is isolating for them anyway. DS can't keep going to the school office and doing work there instead of in the classroom can he? There has to be a better way, and if he can try part time then it will be maybe a step in the right direction.

pinkorkid Sun 09-Oct-11 16:27:30

Ds has ASD and was in first year of secondary when problems came to a head. He was becoming incressingly anxious about various aspects of school and then after a week ill off school refused to go back, had panic attacks when we tried to make him go. He was assessed by Camhs and eventually was given some out of school tuition - 5 hours per week- some of which took place on school site but in an isolated room where he didn't have to come into contact with other students. After a couple of weeks absence, he was offered the chance to come in for a reduced timetable - either just mornings or afternoons or to pick and choose favorite lessons but couldn't get past the panicky feelings to take this up. We then went down the statutory assessment route and eventually he transferred to a special school where he is a lot happier and much less anxious. the whole process took about 16 months though because we waited for school to exhaust other options first and had to start tribunal process also.

I would advise not delaying too long in starting the request for statutory assessment. Also the longer a child is out of school, the more daunting it becomes for them to go back. If your ds is worried about doing something different to the other students, it will probably help to have his form teacher or similar familiar figure assure him that this (part-time gradual return after illness) is what school always do. You could also discuss if they will offer him an "exeat" card which he can show discreetly to the teacher if he feels unwell/overwhelmed in class and needs to leave to go to medical room/learning support room.

Hope it works out for you both - let us know how you get on next week.

SOTIRIA Sun 09-Oct-11 19:59:38

Hope you manage to get somewhere with school, LA, EP etc. Let us know how you get on.

mottecorner Sun 09-Oct-11 21:27:56

The LEA can arrange one to one lessons at home as well. This would keep stress levels down and stop him getting behind in the main subjects. Many schools have a sanctuary or special needs area where children can work out of the hustle and bustle with a TA to support them. Talk to Parent Partnership as well as they may know the best options locally. Trust your instincts though. Good luck

starfish71 Tue 11-Oct-11 08:36:35

Thank you for all the advise, really helps.

Had the results of DS's blood tests yesterday, all normal. I really thought he had anemia and that would explain some of the tiredness, feeling dizzy etc. So it seems it is all stress, anxiety which makes me very sad.

I sent a letter into school yesterday morning (hubby took it up) asking for meeting and also saying that we need extra support for DS in school. DS has spoken about one particular teacher who told him she didn't like him and other teachers felt the same!!! angry . This is a teacher who knows about DS and his difficulties, have told school we are considering a formal complaint.

Am hoping to hear from school today and want to discuss everything before we try to get him back to school, am really worried the longer he is off the worse I am making it for him.

sazale Tue 11-Oct-11 11:03:55

Starfish71, I was having the same thoughts only 2 weeks ago! My DD is in year 8 and she was school refusing with her anxiety through the roof. She was begging me to home school her. After 2 weeks of her behaviour escalating and us refusing to battle with her to get her to school on time school suddenly stepped up to the plate! They removed her from all lessons where she doesn't have support and moved her into the inclusion unit. I was told it could only be for 2 weeks to reduce her anxiety and we are now into her 3rd week with no plans to reintroduce into her lessons as she is not ,in their words, stabilised!

They are now looking at calling a CAF and requesting a statutory assessment because if she ever goes back into class she is having 8 hours of in class support, 2 hours of 1 to 1 on social skills/emotions and 1 hour of OT therapy (school just got trainee OT's volunteering for experience) and she needs more support than that. Although those first weeks back at school were dreadful it has helped us get things moving.

I took advice from a friend who has a teen girl with Aspergers who was having difficulties at school. She'd seen a counsellor who had said to her that maybe she could do with loosening the reigns and stop doing everything to see what happens! So she did and suddenly there was loads school could do.
Her DD went from being totally out of school to part time in the inclusion unit. It's not ideal but better than it was!

I decided that i would make all our difficulties at home highly visible to school. Instead of all the arguments to get her there I would ring up and say she was refusing to come and I would get her there when I could. I kept them informed of all the daily battles and meltdowns and after 2 weeks of this and me saying I was removing her from science due to the anxiety it was causing and pressure it was putting on my family they went from nothing they could do about it to suddenly providing her with loads!

She still refuses to go and has anxiety but nowhere near as bad as it was. Sorry for the long post and I hope it makes sense! Sending you hugs thanks

starfish71 Tue 11-Oct-11 11:55:13

Thank you sazale that has really made me feel I am doing right by DS. School have been aware of his growing anxiety and when he couldn't face the noise levels in class and then fainting I hope they are taking it seriously.

Just had a call from secretary at school and she told me head of year is going to ring me later and is trying to sort things out for DS.

Unfortunately our school doesn't have an inclusion unit so going to have to see what they suggest then I think an assessment request will go in , hope school will be supportive.

You are right I am going to keep them informed of everything, it is so hard he is a bright lad but just not coping.

Really glad your DD is getting more support and is less anxious, really good luck getting statement and right support. Will keep an eye out for your progress!

Thank you for the hugs, need them today! smile

sazale Tue 11-Oct-11 12:48:47

You're more than welcome for the hugs! Fingers crossed there is something they can do. The sound is my DD main issue. The school she is in is huge! There are 1300 pupils there and unfortunately I feel my DD needs somewhere more intimate. She is academically able but she needs so much input for emotional/behavioural issues. She unfortunately hasn't matured in these areas past the levels of a 5 year old. She could do with the input of a special school for that side of her but academically she does really well. I have a feeling that suggesting a statutory assessment is the schools way of trying to prove that they are nit the right place for her without saying so themselves! I discussed with there autism worker today about it being suggested by CAMHS to find a smaller school but that I'd said that the class sizes were still going to be the same size. Her reply was maybe, but the corridors etc would be easier for her as their school is so big! School weren't prepared for her as no diagnosis yet and primary never reported any difficulties! She's gone from not even being on their radar ( I put her on it after a disastrous parents evening) till March to now looking at being statemented! I've decided not to move her until she gets assessed (hopefully) because I want to make sure that when I do move her it will be to the right place!

starfish71 Tue 11-Oct-11 18:29:06

Thanks again sazale. We have a meeting up school Thurs lunchtime to discuss everything with Head of Year, keeping DS off until we know actually what support is going to be in place. DS was dx with dyspraxia in primary school, had to self refer to OT etc as school just had him labelled as a bit clumsy, bit blunt and to be honest a bit naughty. Even when he was dx they didn't do too much to help him.
The issues with noise etc have got worse and reached a peak last week.

I think you are doing great for your DD, hope assessment goes through quickly for you. Stressful though isn't it?

starfish71 Wed 12-Oct-11 09:26:46

Just wondering if anyone has any advice on what to ask for, expect school to suggest at meeting tomorrow?

Someone in RL advised me to ring EWO just to inform that DS is off school but school are aware and we have meeting tomorrow, what do you think?

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