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Any suggestions on helping ds back to school please

(19 Posts)
claw2 Wed 15-May-13 10:20:56

Ds has been out of school since June last year, due to anxiety, self harm etc. He is 9.

The LA have now agreed to fund in house assessment at the indi school of my choice.

Ds has had a home tutor for 4 months and was making good progress ie started to engage, get dressed when she was coming, do the homework she left for him and generally far more relaxed and happier.

Now any talk of school is triggering self harm (scratching), he is refusing to get dressed again, refusing homework, not engaging well with the tutor etc.

He has the same reward charts etc in place, which helped him when he was refusing to do those things before, which are not working now.

Any ideas please?

He doesnt like social stories etc 'these are for babies'

ouryve Wed 15-May-13 10:24:34

DS1 feels exactly the same about social stories. Instead, we write him survival guides and instruction manuals grin

Would the indy school be able to make an initial home visit and have the person who is likely to be assessing him bring something interesting to do that doesn't look anything like school work?

claw2 Wed 15-May-13 10:43:47

Ouryve the plan is for the home tutor to go to school with him.

Personally i wouldnt have told ds this far in advance, as i find it adds to the anxiety. However home tutor asked about school in front of him etc and he was then anxious as she had mentioned going back to school and he wasnt aware of it and wanted to know.

ouryve Wed 15-May-13 10:46:09

Aaaargh! Why do people do that?

claw2 Wed 15-May-13 10:47:53

CAMHS are crap, their advice 'speak positively about school' hmm as if i am going to speak negatively!

They were supposed to get involved with a reintegration plan, their plan seems to be well whatever everyone else thinks.

claw2 Wed 15-May-13 10:53:22

Ouryve, i know! i told her on Monday that LA had agreed to fund and she offered to go with ds (while ds wasnt in the room)

When ds comes into the room, she asks him what does he think about going back to school! I told her i hadnt told him, as i dont even have a date yet.

Still whats done is done.

I had been speaking to ds about the nice boys who showed us around the school and asking him could he remember their names, as i had forgotten etc, that kind of thing. Trying to just ease him into it and put the thought there.

So i had to sit down there and then, once the tutor asked him about it and tell him.

KeepOnKeepingOn1 Wed 15-May-13 11:33:13

I had a similar issue with DS1.

His preference would be to have a home tutor for 5 hours a week until he is 16.

He is older but I explained to him that he would have to go to a school, that it wouldn't be possible to find the perfect school but we would try to find the best one. He couldn't grasp pros and cons and so each school was simplified in a way that he could understand - unfortunately this involved poo (or at least talk of it). So home school is 'cow poo', OCC indi ss is 'elephant poo' (scary boarding) and the local m/s secondary is 'like God taking a dump on my head'.

For the assessment he had to 'prove' that he could hack it for 3 days and so I resorted to shameless bribery blush and rewarded him with an Ipod.

claw2 Wed 15-May-13 13:20:45

Keep, school have agreed to spread it part time, instead of 3 full days, BUT they are concerned based on his anxiety, they wont be able to meet his needs.

I am so worried that they will say, they cant meet needs, on such a short assessment, whereas all ds needs is time and to build up some trust.

I have visions of me having to take ds in his pj's.

KeepOnKeepingOn1 Wed 15-May-13 14:17:36

It's a weird part of the process. On the one hand you have a DS who can't attend school (because it is not meeting his needs) who then has to be able to attend a different school (that can meet his needs). How is this meant to work? The anxiety preventing them from attending is real and you have to listen to it. But this is confusing for DS. DS1 said to me that I was not 'forcing' him to go to m/s but I was 'forcing' him to do the evaluation.

Perceptive. If he didn't 'pass' the evaluation he would not be offered a place and so I could not name the school and would be back to square one.

I'm afraid this is why I resorted to begging and bribery.

As long as he passes, the reintegration package can be as gradual as it needs to be. DS1's anxiety nearly 'did for him' so I know what it is like. But he has to be there long enough to be assessed and offered a place - and that means wearing uniform not pj's (DS1 has SPD and extreme tactile defensiveness so I am having great fun given that DS1 starts at indi ss in 5 days). You'll get through it. smile

claw2 Wed 15-May-13 15:01:34

Keep, youre right, this isnt suppose to be reintegration, but an assessment. Everyone EP, CAMHS, home tutor etc, are saying that ds wont cope with a full time assessment (and i agree)

Oh well just had a call it starts new week, 2 half days.

KeepOnKeepingOn1 Wed 15-May-13 15:55:42

Move hell and high water.

Fingers crossed and good luck. Staff were fantastic, observant but also listened and believed and made immediate changes. DC 'know' - DS1 was on a high 'for the first time in my life I actually wanted to go to school'. Have high expectations.


trinity0097 Wed 15-May-13 18:57:01

We had a child start 3.5 weeks ago who was very anxious about school, it had taken since September to get to the point where he could start school. He is on ADs because of school issues, so pretty severe.

After the parents had initially visited the boy visited on a Wednesday afternoon when most of the children are doing matches and the rest out doing games so that he could see the school without any children in it. This then built up to some visits where he saw children, he came to an open morning to look around with his family. Finally he did a trial day, and then he started this term. He actually is fine now about school and loving it!

Whatever you do please do not quiz your child about their time at school, this always makes it worse, or they make things sound worse as they think you want to hear that. Ask very vaguely 'nice day?' but don't ask specific questions about what they did.

mindfulmum Fri 17-May-13 07:44:32

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

inappropriatelyemployed Fri 17-May-13 08:05:06

Has he seen the school? Does it have a website you could look at?

These schools are very experienced in dealing with very high need children but not all schools deal with children with the same profile. So some schools may be experienced at dealing with children with behavioural problems with result in aggressive behaviour others with SpLD, others with anxiety etc.

Are you sure the school is right for him? Do you know children with a similar profile that have been there?

I think Indy SS can be made to look like the Holy Grail but if the school doesn't know what to do with a highly anxious child or how to integrate them gradually, then I would be looking for a back up plan just in case.

Trinity - it's funny my son's TA would probably say the same thing about not exploring the day with him but then she spent most of her time 'putting her foot down' and calling him 'rude and selfish'. I am highly suspicious of any approach which suggests not encouraging a highly anxious child with ASD to share worries in a safe environment where they can be reduced, put in to perspective or resolved.

That way lies school refusal..

devientenigma Fri 17-May-13 08:15:17

Hi Claw, we seem in similar circumstances. DS has been out of special school for over 3 year, has been on ADs for his anxiety etc etc. We are due assessments for inde special school. I too am really worried about what the future will bring, however DS has had home tuition for 2 year with no progress. How do you know you are getting it right? Especially if you have never met another child with a similar profile? Would make life so much easier if you did have another contact. It does seem a shame with the home tuition working. Is there any chance his home tutor can help with the transition?

devientenigma Fri 17-May-13 08:16:36

I also agree with inappropriate RE asking the child where they are comfortable.

cornypedicure Fri 17-May-13 08:51:46

are you sure ds is ready now that the plonker tutor has dropped the bombshell? Would a Sept start be better

we introduced the idea of school very gradually to my ds over a period of weeks and focused on the idea of a school that would suit him - no uniform etc.

there were no assessments as he wasn't able to engage. school came out to him but he hid under the bed and wouldn't come out. They weren't at all phased.

I'm worried on your behalf that school are saying they may not be able to meet his needs due to his anxiety. They should be full of strategies and support. They must have seen this situation before many times.

devientenigma Fri 17-May-13 08:59:00

blush it was the home tutor who screwed up.......why didn't I realise that, ignore my post please, must still have too much on my mind, sorry x

PolterGoose Fri 17-May-13 09:46:59

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

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