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Residential placement for ds at school, not sure what to do

(12 Posts)
twoisplenty Fri 23-Feb-07 08:45:15

Wouldn't mind your comments on our dilemma. Our ds attends a lovely sn school which he loves. We have the funding for him to stay 2 nights per week in their residential unit which is very homely. When he stayed for tea once he was very happy and excited, although he knew he was going home after tea. He has also stayed 2 nights in the summer holidays for summer camp at the school and was absolutely fine.

But when we talk about staying over, he gets worried. Also every day when arriving at school, he looks at his escort and signs "home". she reassures him that she will take him home after school.

Do we take the plunge and let him stay at school Wednesday - Friday? Do we see if he gets used to it, with the thought that his fear is worse than the reality of staying? Or do we leave it until next year?

He is nearly 8 yo by the way.

Our reasons for thinking residential placement would be good is that he would make better friendships, and become a little more independent. Also the ususal things llike learning life skills, dressing, extra classes in mobility etc etc. But mainly friendships. At home he has no friends, only family.

Loving MN by the way!

Davros Fri 23-Feb-07 09:06:09

Hmmm, difficult as you don't want to "trick" him but you also don't want to deprive him of what sounds like a very good option He may just get used to it and not only accept but enjoy and benefit from. Maybe he is anxious that it will become longer and more permanent? But addressing such an issue could be counterproductive as it might make it sound like it could happen. Can the school give you any guidance or any of the other parents?

twoisplenty Fri 23-Feb-07 09:34:56

I'm finding it difficult to make decisions about anything at the moment which doesn't help. School is happy for us to go either way, take it or leave it, so not much help. They have said that children either take to it easily or some have had a little while to adjust but then been fine and happy. And they are very loving towards the children and we have no worries over their care and issues over letting us know of any problems.

I think the problem is also me...letting go. It just seems so alien sending a child away for 2 nights...but then again if he loves it then I don't want him to miss a valuable opportunity to really enjoy himself.

???What to do, what to do!

Good idea to talk to other parents, I shall try and find out who is residential who is similar to our ds.

Rambling away here, sorry, my mind is like cotton wool.

Tiggiwinkle Fri 23-Feb-07 09:40:37

It is difficult isn't it? My youngest DS is just 8, and I think I would find it extremely hard to let him go for 2 nights-it just seems very young really. I guess it depends what kind of pressure you are under at home as well-would it be very beneficial to you as a family as well as to your DS?

2shoesisinvisible Fri 23-Feb-07 09:46:56

dd stays over at her school for respite. she normally has 1 night a week . sometimes 2 so this week she stayed wednesday and friday. we did try her a couple of years ago staying firday and saturday she hated it so we went back to a single night.
can you start of with just one night and then gradually build it up. It took dd(now 11) ages to get used to it. but she loves it now.

twoisplenty Fri 23-Feb-07 09:51:41

Homelife is very good, because although he needs help with everyday things, he plays with his sister really well and is a lovely lad. We get the physio done ok.

I also think 8 is young, but school always says that all their residential children started at 8 or even much younger.

Something someone said last night (at a dinner do) made me think again. she said that her grown up children are really independent, travelling round the world etc. I asked how they became to be so confident. She said she always let them go and discover life themselves to gain confidence, and become strong. She made them mix with other children than school friends, and let them cope. They now have a real resilience.

Does that apply to disabled youngsters too?

twoisplenty Fri 23-Feb-07 09:52:34

2shoes - how old was your youngster when he started residential? Doing 1 night sounds very good to me.

twoisplenty Fri 23-Feb-07 09:53:13

Sorry meant dd!

2shoesisinvisible Fri 23-Feb-07 12:40:13

she started going once a fortnight at about 6
then we just slowly built it up. I personally think 8 is still very young and I wouldn't worry about independance at such a young age. I think being with your family is VERY important.
there are children who pretty much live at dd's school and I always feel a bit sad for them but do realise that each situation is different.
sorry if you have been asked but what sn does youd ds have?

twoisplenty Fri 23-Feb-07 18:25:23

Ds has cerebral palsy. Its moderate in that he can use a walking frame, and wheelchair for longer distances. I think I have made my decision - seeing as I have delayed making a decision for ages, it means that I'm not happy for him to be residential just yet. He is so happy at home and loves playing with his sister. he loves his cousins etc, so we'll leave residential until next year at least.

Feel better already! Thanks for messages.

2shoesisinvisible Fri 23-Feb-07 19:51:24

dd has cp as well. you are right to do what you think is best. as and the end of the day you are the expert.
for what it's worth I think you have done the right thing.

Tiggiwinkle Sat 24-Feb-07 11:41:29

Glad you have made your decision twoisplenty!
I also think it sounds like the right one for your DS and your family.

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