When did you know it was the right time for residential school for you and your dc?

(13 Posts)
Lesley25 Mon 11-Jun-18 18:11:17

Just that.
Our ds is 10 in October and his violence due to being unable to communicate his needs is destroying us. His anger and frustration is immense understandably, but despite numerous interventions, increases in respite and behavioural psychologists I’m at a loss.
He doesn’t want us to console him when he’s hurt himself and just goes from room to room destroying whatever he can.
Ss can barely cope and ring me once a week (I’ve asked them to) when it gets too much like stripping off clothes and violent.
We’ve tried so many interventions over the years I’m just so tired.
On weekends He won’t leave the house without punching smacking and doesn’t like any of our suggestions. He is barely verbal. One words maybe 2, but certainly cannot communicate when he’s poorly.
I’m dreading summer holidays and I’m dreading the years ahead. I’ve contacted social services and our social worker who is in the process of sorting direct payments and an increase. I’ve told everyone concerned we’ve seen residential schools, one in particular I liked.
But I don’t know if my heart can do it. He needs me in the same room to go to sleep, he relays on us so much to just be there. It feels like I get close to the decision and back away when we have a good week but I don’t know how much longer I can do this without it pushing me away from my ds and that’s the last thing I want.
I’m stuck. Has anyone been through something similar?

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Nettleskeins Mon 11-Jun-18 20:32:39

Do you think he finds the transitions between school and home very upsetting?

would residential school be less traumatic for him in that sense, because he has less to contend with transition wise, in so far as it is causing him anxiety (you say he doesn't want to go out)

Is he in pain, constipation, ear, - my SIL who works in a residential home for LD adults, some autistic says constipation is one of the things that makes people miserable, but very overlooked, when the clients cannot communicate it.

Does he like his existing school at all? Is there some problem there which he cannot tell you about?

I didn't want to read and run, but have a child with autism who went through a bad patch when he was 10-13, and is much happier now, once his anxiety was reduced. He didn't go to a ss school though, so I'm not much help on that front. Hope someone will come along shortly to give better advice.

Lesley25 Mon 11-Jun-18 21:20:41

Thank you for responding.
Illness is something we do experience a lot of, it doesn’t help that my son will put dirty things in his mouth sensory seeking so that exacerbates the illness front. We have lots of antibacterial gel!
It is usually the cause of difficult behaviours but I’m aware I’m starting to use it as an excuse in the last year as the reason for difficult periods when it’s more then that. Just tonight he hurt his foot (scrapped it so it bled a little) so I’ve mentally written off the next few days in terms of difficult behaviour.
That’s not right in itself.
I know I’m making excuses for everything now.
He seems v happy to go to school and gets upset at weekends when I say to the staff “see you Monday”. He’s aware it’s weekend and doesn’t like that plus I get the notes from the day telling me how happy he is sone days.
The ss will support me, it’s something they’ve seen over the year and know how difficult our life is.

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Lesley25 Mon 11-Jun-18 21:23:05

He doesn’t find the transitions hard between home and the school day, he’s always pleased to get on the bus but honestly I’m not sure he’s pleased as such to be home- it’s more of a routine. He is pleased to see me to an extent but I guess I’ve never really thought about if he’s actually pleased to be home.

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Boulshired Tue 12-Jun-18 20:18:36

I am going on a six month at a time basis, every six months I can manage is a bonus. I know residential school is in the future as it is getting harder to keep him and the family safe. I have come to terms with this but it is hard my DS is 11.

Nettleskeins Tue 12-Jun-18 21:38:26

if you google mumsnet residential school there is some helpful advice from previous threads. I think one parent said that it can take a year to secure a placement so plenty of time to think things through once the process [or trying to get funding etc] starts and not feel you are making the wrong decision, if you decide against it.
someone also made the comment that to give them the independence that they benefit from, in a residential placement when they are 18, is much a much harder process if they haven't experienced that placement earlier, and it is counter productive for the residential placement to be only experienced when the child and parent reach breaking point

it is difficult to keep the routine at home at the weekends and do exactly what they enjoy, the same way every weekend, as a parent you feel it should be free time, downtime. Sometimes our kids like things to be incredibly predictable at weekends too, relentlessly so from our point of view. we found that works for ds to do much the same every weekend. He likes repeating the same fun things over and over, for him that is a football match in the afternoon (he goes by himself or someone else) occasionally the location varies. He likes to go to the same restaurant or eat the same sandwich from pret. Ds is very easy now and communicates very well, has done gsces (nearly) but I notice how incredibly inflexible his idea of fun is. He still needs to be talked through every variation or practise the fun things.

Could your ds be worried that he doesn't know how the weekend is going to go, for example might he like things like driving for the sake of it (and not getting out) or specific things over and over that he feels he is not getting? forgive me if you have tried all these things, I know you are really asking about the Residential aspect, rather than seeking advice on daily life flowers but just thought I would mention it in case it helps in any tiny way

Lesley25 Tue 12-Jun-18 21:43:50

Thank you Boulshired
I’m starting to do that, but it’s more on a termly basis whilst letting all the authorities know it’s coming. I just don’t want to get to the point where we are at breaking point and the wait is then a year to get into residential. It would be interesting to know when a parent says “yes, we need a residential school” how long after that does it happen.

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Lesley25 Tue 12-Jun-18 22:00:07

Thank you nettle
You’re right, it’s the inflexibility. Ds will enjoy some of activity once we are out but just says no to everything beforehand and then the aggression starts. It’s as if a flick switches. I just feel like he’s become more reclusive, in his own world. Tbh this is mainly because of his severe learning difficulties, the autism was obvious at 2 but the LDs less so but obviously at 9 the gap is huge. And I think he knows that. My son has no conversational speech cannot read or write and will put everything in his mouth.
I sometimes feel like there is no family like ours, I never see children as severe as my son anywhere, I have nothing to compare with except some (few) children as severe or more so but are constrained by mobility issues at his school.
Deep down I’m scared, scared that my ds doesn’t like being in our family and scared that someone or somewhere could do a better job at preparing him for the world. I’ve always said if ds can progress I’ll do whatever I need too. Only this feels like the ultimate gut wrenching thing to do because it would be a 52 week placement.
A lot of the threads re residential are years old but still useful except the funding requirements have changed and the red tape is much longer.
But I never thought that I shouldn’t wait till our family life has broken down with our ds. That’s definitely something I should think about more.

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Nettleskeins Tue 12-Jun-18 22:13:26

with ds he needed to know how long something was going to last, and for it to be time limited, no waiting, no queues, no hanging around. He needed to know every stage of the outing, when we were drinking eating stopping starting, IN ADVANCE and in course of the outing.

Could that be one of the reasons he finds the "see you on monday" a trigger, because it is too general and vague for him to comprehend, and there fore a source of anxiety...when is monday, what happens in between.

There is a blog called Faith Mummy which makes me full of admiration, and she touches on some of the things which make her high functioning autism child very anxious ,and also her LD child who is more severely impaired, who likes going out and about but gets very aggressive too. One of her posts was about her son communicating via ipad to show her what he wanted to do.

Lesley25 Wed 13-Jun-18 15:56:20

I love faith mummy. Her ds is similar to Mine. However my ds will use the iPad to engage in a cartoon but not to show me where to go. You’re right it is the “vague” aspect. But I’m caught betweeen a rock and a hard place by telling him where we plan to go in advance as he melts down for hours beforehand. I’ve always said I would never say we were NOT going to do something if we actually are so whilst I want to Tel him where we are going I don’t want the meltdown for hours and violence that ensues. I might go back to pecs as this maybe the key into acceptance of an activity without it being verbally said and causing the angst. Thank you for the suggestion!

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LadysFingers Thu 14-Jun-18 22:01:08

My advice is if you are considering a 52 week placement, have DC come home for the weekend every 2 - 3 weeks - so you have down time too! (We have had a 38 and 52 week placements)

Don’t worry that they can do a better job than you. They probably can’t, but they can make the right decisions 90% of the time, which is good enough and the advantage is the staff work shifts and get to go home - where you can’t. However, they will be good at teaching independence skills, because of their expertise!

LadysFingers Fri 15-Jun-18 09:18:43

When DD was on a 52 week house, none of them went home every weekend! Some, their parents used to come and see them for the day or weekend, but they did not take their DC home except at Xmas - because either they could not cope with DC at home or DC was better, not having to cope with the transition. There was parents’ accommodation onsite at a nominal charge, so parents could stay overnight. I never heard the staff judge parents for it - I was told every other DC was there on 52 weeks because the marriage had broken down except us! Best for you and DC to avoid that, if you can by seeking a residential school if necessary.

Lesley25 Fri 15-Jun-18 22:23:41

Thank you lady

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