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DS can't cope at secondary school

(9 Posts)
StickyFloor Fri 05-Feb-16 12:18:36

DS is in Y7 and has cried hysterically everyday since September. Sometimes takes an hour of pleading to get him out of the car with staff involved.

He has had private counselling for 2 years to help with separation anxiety since I was ill (I'm fine now) plus a bereavement along the way knocked him back. Primary were shit so he has never been assessed but he has always been socially awkward and withdrawn, over-sensitive, gets upset by change, can't cope with physical contact, lots of small things that seem to be building up.

We are waiting for a CAMHS appointment which the secondary school prompted us to do. Apart from that they have excluded him from PE which was something he particularly feared. Otherwise the school are doing nothing, they say they don't have resources to help and if we need more then CAMHS will help.

I don't know what to do. He just hates being at school, it isn't this one in particular, any other would be the same, he wants to be at home with me. Academically he flies without any effort so that isn't the issue. He has no friends and says he is teased for being the boy who cries.

Can anyone offer any advice because we can't go on like this every morning.

GruntledOne Sat 06-Feb-16 00:11:41

Have you talked to your GP about this? Can they try to fast-track the CAMHS appointment on the basis that there is a real danger of him becoming school phobic?

Otherwise it could well be worth asking for an EHC assessment. The fact that he is doing well academically does not mean that he does not have learning difficulties, and certainly if he cannot be in school then he won't be learning at all. The school is admitting his needs can't be met within their resources, which is one of the main criteria in the code of practice.

StickyFloor Sat 06-Feb-16 15:05:30

Thanks for replying.

GP made it an urgent referral as da was saying he would kill himself if he had to keep going to school. Nobody really thinks he would do anything so drastic but it gave some urgency. Apparently that is why we "only" face a 12 week wait.

I am going to insist on a ECHP I think but in the meantime I am worried he will just stop going in before anything changes.

knittingwithnettles Sat 06-Feb-16 21:44:54

This may not be what you want to hear, but we took our second son out of school and home educated him in Year 8/9. And he wasn't even refusing school, but still desperate to be home educated.

It has been wonderful. He had no friends in school, now he is socialising so much better. Once he had built up his confidence again we sent him to a small tuition centre three short days a week, but it doesn;t sound as if your son has academic problems (ours did, and had made little progress since Year 4)

Tbh we have done lots of work at home, made trips, seen people, met lots of other charming home educated children of the same age slowly but surely. And there has been time to work on some of the things that bothered ds2.

My other two are still in school. We are applying for an EHCP and it is nearly finalised. Tbh I wish we hadn;t bothered and just thrown ourselves into the home education and not even considered sending him back but it seems like that is now on the cards, for the GSCE stage.

Hth. People do say, that to apply for an EHCP you need to keep him in school, from the evidence point of view. A valid point. All those refusals are very good evidence that school is not supporting his needs, so you may need to hang on. Or possibly sign him off sick [with anxiety], and use that as evidence.

knittingwithnettles Sat 06-Feb-16 21:51:41

Tbh I know someone whose child broke down completely, was found to have autism at the late stage of 13, received a statement. Went back to tiny specialist unit which at that stage was for children with behavioural difficulties and autism as things had deterioated so much, hated unit. Academically v good. I know what my child preferred, a year out of school is infinitely better to what that child and his/her parents went through, yet they clung onto the principle of school, I don't know quite why. In the end all you want is a happy child.

zzzzz Sat 06-Feb-16 21:54:33

Do you have other children?
A job you need to go to?

StickyFloor Sun 07-Feb-16 23:29:20

I have no doubt that home schooling would make him happy but I don't know if that is necessarily this right thing for him. It feels like giving up and saying that anything you don't like or can't cope with you can withdraw from whereas shouldn't we be pushing him to find ways to cope?

I have a job and another child so homeschooling would be quite catastrophic - but not impossible.

Of course I want a happy child, but I want one who is well educated and can go out into the world and stand his ground. I fear that by withdrawing him we will get instant happiness but I don't know if we will achieve the other things.

knittingwithnettles Mon 08-Feb-16 16:25:08

Ds2 has done lots of things he previously couldn't cope with at all. Because he was less stressed by school environment he was able to cope with: [examples] travelling on bus by himself, travelling on tube by himself, meeting new people and learning how to control his emotions when he felt they weren't listening to him (social skills), tell me when he felt stressed and find solutions. And over the course of the year he articulated lots of the things that he had found difficult with school, that he hadn't managed to explain before.

Of course it hasn't all be plain sailing, I still have to persuade him to do lots of things he would rather not do - go out and do things etc, but he is a bit more confident that as last time my suggestion worked, this time it might too. And if you home educate you can opt out of things that don't work, without upsetting some institutional timetable. I think if your son is flying academically, he isn;t going to lose out at all from lack of formal education, whereas the alternative is that you waste a lot of learning time and more importantly your emotional energy just dealing with anxiety and avoidance (and of course fielding school).

zzzzz Mon 08-Feb-16 23:08:29

I don't know him or you or your set up but this is what I think.

I think crying every day is too much. I think our children get one childhood and for many of the children on this board its a tough one regardless of the love and effort put in by their parents, but I think a happy childhood is like a warming centre to an adults life. I think it's one of the few times where we as parents can significantly shape our childrens lives because all too soon they must run in a race that they may not be able to win or even keep up in. So my feeling is that now, while he is little and it is in your power craft him a life that fills him with joy if you can. Children who are unhappy cannot thrive academically. The lessons they learn are in self hate and failure. For me it would be infinitely preferable for my child to think that he didn't do so well because I made poor school choices than he was somehow lacking. So I would brand the whole thing as your choice, your decision and if necessary your mistake.

If it was me? I'd try something like Interhigh for a year or two and make some wonderful memories and move forwards.

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