Here some suggested organisations that offer expert advice on SN.
Pls advise re LEA / FII worries?(116 Posts)
If a LoonyMum causing illness in a well child.
Inadvertantly harmful response
If AnxiousMum is possibly exacerbating illness in a borderline child.
Positively dangerous response
to a RandomMum dealing with major illness in an ASD child.
Tbh, after seeing that, I'd forget the private school letter unless she & boss officially downgrade you from probable LoonyMum and give you their blessing to send it.
Again I wonder if you (perhaps with a lawyer although a mediator is really what's required) being super-reasonable could somehow fix this huge gulf between you & the paed. This meeting is not likely to focus on DS, his needs and how best to meet them.
There is such a possible divergence of opinion.
1) Obviously 100% normal and saying anything different is abusive
2) Major neurodevelopmental problems and obviously needs substantial special educational provision.
Although it might be risky to highlight the disagreement, there are risks with the other option of trying to discuss DS without acknowledging it. Assuming FII and ASD are mutually exclusive is illogical: it's theoretically quite possible to have both, or neither.
Could you find something in between?
Eg Being accused of what sounds like FII made me very anxious, this adversely affected DS's anxieties, and my communication skills.
DS has a complex mess of minor issues making it hard for both professionals and parents to exclude other serious issues. Its therefore hard to work out what (if anything) is going to be a long-term problem.
Tbh, I'm not tactful enough for that approach. I'd move.
I think you need to separate out the different elements here.
1) I think his concerns are valid (bear with me here). If he views your child as "a normal healthy little boy who happens to have hay fever, whose eyes are sensitive to light, and who has a little trouble throwing and catching a ball." and he feels that he was led to make a diagnosis of a significant eye condition from your reports and those weren't verified by observation and on the strenth of that diagnosis you asked him if your DS should now be 'registered as visually impaired'....you can see why he was concerned. The trouble is, that the route back from 'extremely worried' is a lot longer than the route to 'extremely worried'.
2) Who diagnosed your DS? I presume it was a private diagnosis by someone reputable and noteworthy? If so, they would presumably be willing to stand by their diagnosis and confirm that you aren't 'loony mum'.
3) If the Paed was 'extremely worried' he should have used the guidance I linked to above, to refer to CP without alerting you. As you have had no contact from CP, then either his referral wasn't deemed significant, or else, he hasn't referred, breaking his own guidance.
4) Why does the mention of the dx locally change the risk your DS is under? It's nonsensical - either he is at risk, or he isn't.
If I were you (and I almost was 2 weeks ago) I would (and did) get my ducks in a row. This is what I'd do...but I'm a bit like that:
1) Telephone Social Services and ask for someone in Child Protection. Say that you have conflicting reports from private paediatrician and local paediatrician. Say that as a result of that, you have a written communication from the Paediatrician that he is concerned about your DS's welfare and that he has said it's standard procedure that he discuss with CP team. State that you have been warned that mentioning the dx will lead to CP action, and you are unsure what you can do about this while meeting your DS's diagnosed needs?
FII parents don't go to the source of their potential undoing. I did this 2 weeks ago. HT threatened legal action by LA. I went straight to LA and said 'I've had this email, this is the situation, what can I do about it, but I won't be sending her back to school 1 under any circumstance, fine or no fine. They sorted it all out their end and put a note on the welfare database to say that they had no concerns and that if someone should raise them, they were confident that the matter was in hand.
2) Contact the private Paed. Inform them of the situation. They won't be happy that their dx is being thrown out. Tell them that as a result of the dx you are being threatened with Child Protection proceedings. Ask for their advice on next steps. Hopefully, they will support you.
3) Take a copy of the report from dx paed with you when you go to the meeting. Don't take the original!! You have a written report from a specialist.
You can't be bullied into ignoring an official diagnosis. You may have to accept that you won't get the help here though.
Oh, and you can pm the finished thing if you think it will help.
You know that you won't get anywhere, don't you?
I watched 'The Hobbit' this week. There was a line spoken, which said "True courage is not about knowing when to take a life, but when to spare one." Sometimes, true courage is fighting on. Other times, it's in recognising that fight can not be won and sparing the 'troops' from the fall-out of trying.
A retracted dx and a 'not strong' diagnosis from DK....what makes you think it isn't strong, what does the report say?
If you have a dx, you are in a safe enough position to not be accused of FII.
If you don't, or it's a half-and-half - 'symptoms of' 'consistent with ASD' or 'meets some criteria', it's less clearcut. It would also depend on if the dx was made purely on the basis of one/ two visits or more and if information was given by school as well as you.
If it was a one-visit parent-reported consultation, I don't think it puts you in a massively strong position, sorry.
If it helps, one professional felt I had (then) Munchausen's by Proxy when my son was little because I was pushing for more hours in his statement and she felt I was restricting his independence. This was despite school having major issues with his behaviour etc. so it wasn't like I was a lone voice! She was also concerned because he seemed 'emotionally unusual' and she wondered about 'the mother's role' in creating 'independence from maternal bonds' .
She had never met him; she was a behaviour service bod whose colleague had worked with my son for a few weeks.
I hated her but had enough people who knew that the issues were very real and not caused by me that I saw her as a lone voice and could ignore her. When my son received his autism dx some months later (not pushed for by me and a surprise to me!), she melted away with her concerns and stopped turning up at meetings to harass me.
However, the fear of not being believed remains with me even now, 7 years later, and I am still a bit obsessive about collecting evidence every so often so that people can't ever again accuse me of being on my own agenda.
I was also 'lucky' in that the NHS services and school were on-side; she was a single randomer. You are not in that position.
I don't think the CP issue should massively concern you as you have enough issues seen by professionals on record to cover you on why you have concerns about your ds BUT the main point is that these suspicions, from so many people and services, mean that you will never ever get these people to listen to you with an open mind and give your ds what you are asking. You either accept that and supplement the poor deal at school with something at home or you move areas.
Sorry not to be more positive but, as I have said, I have been in a similar position with only a fraction of the opposition that you had and know how completely impossible it was to ever work with that service again. Even once the woman faded away, her colleagues approached everything I said with a and luckily, it was a minor service with pointless input so we could cut them off. Nobody really believes or supports you in your area and I don't see how that will change. Really sorry.
feelthelies I agree with you. Also, putting that into the context of my own situation:
Just one month ago, I had never had a conversation with the HT of DD2's school beyond 'good morning'.
One month ago I had a 10 minute conversation with her at the school gate about an attendance letter I received. That alerted me that she was not going to 'work with me' regarding DD2.
3 weeks ago today, I wrote an email to the HT pointing out that DD2 had a temperature in school that day.
One face to face conversation of 5 minutes, and 3 emails after that, were enough to set in stone that there was no way the HT was going to support us with DD2's needs.
So, 2 face to face conversations and 4 emails were enough for DD2 to be removed and placed in another school, in the space of a few days.
You don't have a secure position, at all.
Evidence of 'attachment issues' from local paeds.
A private report that does not give a clear diagnosis of ASD.
Evidence that you suggested your DS may need to be registered VI (regardless of how that came about, that's what they can say).
School saying he's just fine.
I sadly agree with feelthelies, that I don't think it matters what you do at that meeting, these people will not be giving you the support you feel your DS needs.
Agree the meeting won't get your child the support he needs, however it can be used to move your position forwards from "loony Mum" to "perhaps Mum has some legitamate concerns, we'll wait and see?" Ths would be a fantastic thing in terms of the wider group of professionals. (Think that pead is too entrenched to change).
I do think you have to accept that your area doesn't have professionals with the skill sets available to help your child and that this isn't going to change. I've come to a similar conclusion about my own circumstances. While my son's school mean well, they just don't "get" ASD traits enough to understand that zero contact between myself and his TA is very damaging. They don't understand the need for really strong consistency in approaches between home/school. He's a guinea pig, and that has consequences.
Relationships are reasonable but they are at risk of souring badly if I push an issue that well-meaning folks just don't see as relevant. That would undo all the good done in getting a proper diagnosis at long last (including a consultants direct letter to SS to "close" the file properly iykiwm).
Given our history & the fact I'm just not up to another protracted battle - the only real solution is move to a new area for us. If I go this year, I leave with a clean slate against all the accusations made against me a couple of years ago. If I wait too long DS will deteriorate again. Finances stop me going this weekend, but I realise there is no other long term solution if my son is to achieve the outcome I want for him.
Got your pm, and frankly it looks great. (waited to respond so I could read it a few times just to be sure). Go with it and just say as little as possble while takng copious notes in the meeting.
I wouldn't go for 'why' - I'd ask 'when' and also have very clear identification of which professional recommended the things you're asking for.
In the LA I was living, I was being accused of FII, and then, upon dx, of overstating ds' needs (and also understating them), then of implemented barbaric interventions, then of DLA fraud, then of being banned from internet forums for spreading SN propaganda, then of taking away resources from people who really needed them, then for trying to get hundreds of thousands of pounds of educational intervention that ds didn't need.
I refuted every single one of those points. No-one would accuse me (openly) of any of them now. It nearly broke my family dealing with it but I got through it in no small part thanks to MN. But it wasn't the 'existence' of MN that saved us. It wasn't even the advice and the often brutal criticism.
It was the fact that I followed it.
It took me too long to realise that refuting all of the above didn't matter. There was no way that anyone in that LA was EVER going to believe that I was the innocent party. No officer and no teacher. And not only was my ds that I was fighting for going to suffer, but so were my other children. All that had changed was that they were prevented (by evidence as it happens) from stating what they believed.
You know my story OP. I moved. You also know that moving a mountain could have probably been easier, given that we were mid-tribunal, financially stretched, expecting a baby soon, had a sibling to consider and being 'chased' in rl and online by an unhinged solicitor.
My loonymum tag probably hasn't left me completely. Indeed in some circumstances it is probably now accurate as where I was sane before I am not now. But it doesn't affect my relationships with the people who will work with my children, and that is the point.
Personally, I don't think you will ever get rid of your loonymum tag whilst you stay where you are, and I think you may get even a bigger tag trying to force a school that doesn't want your ds, to take them against their will.
I got a very, very obvious slap in the face today when I picked DS up from school. I won't go into what happened exactly (lest I identify myself or worse the professionals who HAVE been trying to help!). Just let it suffice to say it's abundantly clear that no matter how hard I try maintain positive relationships, when something trivial happens (or in this case doesn't) the habit of just blaming me rather than dealing with the issue at hand, is just too ingrained now to ever go away properly.
All Mums are NOT equal, and some of us are considerably lower on the totem pole than others. It doesn't matter that I have the documentary evidence to show that I was treated very unfairly in the past, my card is still permanently marked. *"Not her again"*is now my permanent status.
Some days I feel like conceiving twins just to really upset the sob's However the sensible thing to do in order to prevent it eroding my personality any more than it already has is to move. I like you, waited and regret it, partially as it meant my financial position & future career prospects deteriorated so much as a result of hanging around. This means it's now a much bigger mountain to climb than it would have been.
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