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Residential school trip

(5 Posts)
streakybacon Thu 09-Oct-08 13:33:33

Ds is due to go on a three day residential trip with school in November, outdoor activities thing. He's been really looking forward to it since about April.

Since he had the 'big meltdown' at school and subsequent exclusion, he's been struggling a lot in school. That was four weeks ago and yesterday was the first day he didn't have any outbursts or hit anyone, and managed OK. Other than that he's been having difficulty with breaks and even in the classroom, which has never been a problem in the past. Who knows what he'll be like when he comes home today because he's so erratic.

I've been trying to get the school to meet with me to discuss plans for him on the trip but they just keep saying 'Oh, he'll be fine' and won't put any proactive plans in place. They just say that if he doesn't cope with a particular activity they'll just bring him off it to settle down but I don't want that. I'd rather have the schedule arranged so that he knows he'll miss some activities so that he can have down-time that will enable him to manage the rest. Taking him out under stress will look like failure to him and to the other children and is guaranteed to wind him up even further.

Add to this, there's no staff going on the trip who know ds personally. The only person in school to have dealt with ds when he's been distressed and angry is the head and she's staying behind this year. He'll be with the head of the ASD unit but admits he barely knows her and she's had no involvement when he's been upset. Nobody in the school knows how to pre-empt his outbursts and so far all they're doing is crisis management.

This means that during an activity it's unlikely that anyone will be able to tell when he's heading towards eruption and he's going to start lashing out and kicking other kids before he's taken from the activity. The whole situation has Meltdown written all over it. It'll also be the first time he's been away from home without his parents.

Personally I don't feel comfortable about sending him on the trip without a full plan in place. Ds will be distraught if I have to say he can't go but I feel I'd be negligent if I let him.

Any thoughts? WWYD?

cory Thu 09-Oct-08 14:00:48

This one has red flags all over it if I have to be honest. Can you not get the SENCO to sit down with you and run throught your son's personal safety assessment for this trip. (they should make one!!! now!!!)

Dd is a lot less disabled than this, in that her disability only covers her joints and balance, but the school bent over backwards to accommodate her, she had a carer with her all the time, the SENCO went on the trip, they arranged in lieue activities beforehand and ran it through with her so she knew what to expect. What you describe is simply not good enough.

Seuss Thu 09-Oct-08 14:12:17

I think if they aren't willing to meet with you and accept your suggestions then I wouldn't be happy sending him. If they would put plans in place, make sure someone is keeping a close eye on him, then three days isn't that long and I'd give it a go.

coppertop Thu 09-Oct-08 23:02:17

I wouldn't want to send him without some kind of a plan in place but equally I understand how difficult you would find it to say no to the trip.

I don't know the legal ins and outs of these things but I thought there had to be some kind of risk assessment carried out before they take children on trips, particularly residential trips? Maybe someof the MN teachers might know about that side of things?

Failing that, would it be possible to arrange for ds to get to know the head of the ASD unit before the trip? If the Head has experience of dealing with your ds mid-meltdown, is she more likely to listen to you than the SENCO etc?

Sorry for all the questions. blush

Peachy Thu 09-Oct-08 23:10:24

'Add to this, there's no staff going on the trip who know ds personally. The only person in school to have dealt with ds when he's been distressed and angry is the head and she's staying behind this year. He'll be with the head of the ASD unit but admits he barely knows her and she's had no involvement when he's been upset. Nobody in the school knows how to pre-empt his outbursts and so far all they're doing is crisis management.'

I'd be wary.

It's one of the issues of mn I think; ds1 will have one in 2 yeas and i've already started to brainwash him into not wanting to go! (he does get to go on rugby tour this year as the wonderful adored club are taking the entire famillies of the sn branch grin)

Is there an alternative? somewhere you can take him? or is it far- a friend took her ds daily; a pita but ot for long and at least he didnt miss out but was

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