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How do you know if Residential School is right?

(11 Posts)
sweetteamum Wed 12-Nov-14 11:12:24

My DS has been out of school for a few weeks now. He's not been able to attend due to anxiety and not coping with all the demands of high school.

DS has PDA, ADHD & Dyslexia.

Home life is just awful and DS is constantly melting down. We've now removed all demands and only ask him to do the bare minimum.

I thought with him being out of school he would of calmed down a lot. However, he appears to be the same as he's not got a routine.

DS attacks my DD and DH and talks to me and I only have the odd bit of aggression.

When is the right time to look at residential? And do these feelings of guilt go away. We're doing everything we can to keep our family together but because social workers have refused us any help we don't know where to turn.

PolterGoose Wed 12-Nov-14 11:28:09

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

OneInEight Wed 12-Nov-14 11:48:37

We thought we might have to do this for ds2 when he was in a particularly violent phase (in part due to medication for anxiety ironically).

In the end we compromised on a specialist, day school as they seemed confident they could meet his needs. It has been a slow process getting him settled there but he is now managing full-time hours and cooperating most of the time.

I think I would start to look at the options. A visit to a residential school might help you decide one way or the other whether this is the right place. You will also then have the enormous job of persuading the LEA to pay as these schools are very expensive.

ds2 actually reacted very similarly to your son with being out of school - I think in his case it was (a) He felt it was wrong and he should be in school (b) The uncertainity of what would come next (he knew we intended it to be a short-term thing) and (c) The lack of structure in the day - we had not really intended to do it so had not really thought through what we would be doing.

Like you we have really decreased demands on ds2 but that in itself can be scary for them and I think perhaps we went a bit too far in that direction at one stage.

sweetteamum Wed 12-Nov-14 13:07:51

He is 11, almost 12 and he's on concerta xl, but it appears to be doing very little

sweetteamum Wed 12-Nov-14 13:11:13

That's actually a very good idea, and I'm sorry you've been in the same position.

Social worker have said there's a 'need' been identified but they want us to do parenting courses, again!!

It may give me an idea how they're run and how it could affect DS. He hates the way he is and always very remorseful after a meltdown, but as they're happening so often we really need to think about our DD, who is also ASD.

Seems there's a long way to go for us yet but I'm taking any advices offered so thank you for the replies.

Icimoi Wed 12-Nov-14 13:31:51

Have you had a formal core assessment from social services, and have they produced a detailed care plan? You might need some legal advice on that from a specialist firm like Irwin Mitchell or Maxwell Gillott.

sweetteamum Wed 12-Nov-14 15:20:49

They've only told me this over the phone. They've not followed it up with a core assessment report.

They just said the need was based on DS behaviour and not much else tbh.

tempe48 Sat 15-Nov-14 17:04:47

Put in a request for a core assessment and carers' assessment. They can't know what his needs are, until they've been assessed. They should also be looking at the family holistically - ie the impact on any siblings, and you and DH. You have a right to work, leisure activities, health activities, education and "time off" to avoid the risk of carer breakdown - because supporting the parents is often one of the best ways to support the child indirectly.

See for a good introduction:

www.cerebra.org.uk/English/getinformation/disabilityrightslegalissues/Documents/Parents'%20Guide-ParentCarer.pdf

Anything by Luke Clements on community care for disabled children is good IMO - he's a professor of community care law and a practising solicitor.

I personally would go for Maxwell Gillott, because they have franchises for legal aid in education law and community care law. DS can get legal aid, assuming he has no assets nor income other than benefits; you act as his friend in litigation.

Upandatem Sat 15-Nov-14 18:10:16

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

twirlybirds Sat 15-Nov-14 22:06:35

It's a difficult decision and very much depends on the child and the school.
Ds has ASD with some PDA traits and is in residential school purely because there was no other suitable school but he hates it. It has made him more anxious than when in ms and he is not comfortable with the peer group who seem to have more severe difficulties than he does sad

lifeonhold Mon 17-Nov-14 15:25:22

Hi I'm not very experienced on these boards, but just wanted to share my experiences.
When my daughter (asd/sld, now 17) had huge school refusal issues and meltdowns age 13, I just felt I couldnt cope anymore (I'm a single mum and my son is 2 yrs younger than her). I wasnt 'ready' for residential but, due to being at breaking point, I told all professionals that I wanted her to go to a residential school, as her needs were not being met in county, and i was at breaking point. i even called the police. I contacted IPSEA for advice, wrote emails quoting my rights and named the residential school I wanted her to go to. It wouldve cost them over £200k per year apparently. Anyway... basically, they all suddenly sat up and took notice.
I ended up with a good support package from SS (w/e respite, and sessional workers after school and in hols), and a place 'magically' opened in the previously oversubscribed-impossble to get into-non asd local special school.
All of this has been fab, and we have managed to get through the extremely hard teenage years. I have never managed to go back to work though, and I have had to learn to put her needs first, and it is hard. But we are happy, and well supported.
I am now looking at residential college, for the same reasons really (need for highly structured environment and a 24 hour curriculum, a multi disciplinary team approach, and nothing being available in county) - but it is now the right time for all of us, and feels like a positive move rather than one due to lack of choices/ support.
Good luck with whatever you decide, and say no to the guilt! We all are doing our best xx

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