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First CAMHS appointment for DS1 age 6(7 Posts)
School and DH and I suspect DS1 may have aspergers. School made a referral and asked that we got our GP to do the same to try and speed things up, which we did. We have our first appointment in Feb.
I'm already worrying about it!!
1) what will happen/be discussed?
2) what do we need to make sure we get across? Is there anything we should ask for?
3) what happens afterwards?
4) how do we explain this appointment to DS? We've been very careful to not discuss our concerns in his presence because he is very bright but also a huge worrier and we dont want him to think that something is 'wrong' with him. In the meeting we'll have to discuss all these things with him there, but I don't want this to be the first time he hears it.
Any help/advice would be greatly appreciated! We're in Surrey if that is significant.
Does the CAMHS appointment letter specifically say he has to be at your first appointment? Our first appointment was parents only, and it was just a meeting with one person where they went over concerns etc, and took a developmental history. The next appointment included the whole family, but it was structured in a child-centred way with general chit-chat, invitations to draw/play, (rather than discussing concerns in an adult way), I guess so that they could observe behaviour.
If he really has to be there maybe you could ask that one parent take him out for part of the session while the other stays to discuss concerns? I agree that you won't be able to talk freely with him there. Definitely worth alerting them beforehand to your concerns about worrying him.
It says they expect him to be there and that if we want to speak seperatly then they will have to arrange another appointment. It does seem odd to me too! I think I will call them to find out if we can speak seperatly at the beginning or something
When my dc were younger there were times when they had medical appointments and I wanted to say something but not necessarily go through it all in front of them. I'd produce a word processed document that I could hand over at the start of the appointment. It also meant that the health professional didn't have to spend as much time taking notes.
If you do this you can write down some of your concerns without your ds having to listen to it all. I always tried to keep it to one side of A4 if at all possible so it could be read fairly quickly without disrupting the flow of the appointment.
Could be that they are doing the child-centred appointment first?
Good idea to write down anything you wouldn't want to say in front of him and maybe send that in prior to the appointment making it clear that those topics aren't to be discussed in front of DS during your meeting as it is likely to upset him.
I think if you send anything in prior to the appointment, still take a copy with you. CAMHS is a very stretched service and there is no guarantee that something sent in will have got linked to the right person or that they will have time to read it.
If you take something in with you and hand it over then it usually gets read, there and then. You can as gnome says, ask for it not to be discussed in front of your ds. I've done that with paediatric appointments and it's always been respected. I've also done it with CAMHS once and they just discussed it anyway but it was with a slightly older child. I didn't think it was right; their opinion was that I was being overprotective.