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Can I ask some advice WRT my DS?(6 Posts)
Please be gentle, I've deliberated about posting but I'm not sure where else to get some advice or support.
My DS2 is 10 yrs old and in yr 5 at school.
He has been having art therapy at school once a week as suggested by a family education support worker (I'm not sure of her actual job title)
My DS has problems with uncontrollable rage at home, periods when we lose him altogether where he seems to block out the world and just be encased in this rage, throwing furniture, screaming, sobbing, smashing things up.
This is only at home, at school and in public or anywhere else he won't speak to anyone about anything, he will look else where and maybe nod or shake his head.
He struggles to make and maintain friendships, he tends to find a friend and get obsessed with them, he uses poking, nudging as a way to get attention from people but doesn't seem to know how to progress any communication into a friendship. Despite this he's academically bright and working above the level he should be, he's also very sporty and athletic and has a natural flair for sports.
I have had concerns about DS's home behaviour for as long as I can remember, he was bullied chronically from nursery into the first several years of school before I pulled him out and got him into his current school, the old school always said it was our unstable home life that caused his problems with behaviour and social development, I dropped it after a while, genuinely believing that I had caused his problems.
Our DS1 has a life limiting, degenerative health condition so we don't ah e a settled home life. Lots of impromptu hospital stays and lots of battles to get DS1 to co operate and do his daily treatments. We've also had bereavements and house moves etc. We also have 2 much younger children and DS1&2's father isn't entirely reliable with keeping to a schedule as to when he sees them,
That's the background.
I was asked to start attending DS's art therapy sessions because he wasn't communicating with them much and they thought some time with me one on one would benefit us both.
The art therapist is a lady who works predominantly in a school for SEN children with ASD and is a parent of Autistic children herself. She also used to assess children for ASD.
She says she strongly believes DS2 is on the autistic spectrum and has asked me if I feel I would like to get an assessment for him to allow us to access some more support, she says she'll support this however she can.
I'm not sure what to think or how to start any of this, I would like some more support with how to deal with DS2's behaviours, some of them are incredibly troubling and I have run out of ideas to try! So from that respect then yes, I'd love to be able to access help.
I'm not sure how it would effect DS2 though, he's very self deprecating and seems to genuinely believe he's "weird" (his words not mine!) and worthless, I'm not sure if a diagnosis would allow him to realise it's not his fault he has challenges or if it would confirm that he's defective in some way and make his self hatred worse?
I know if we go for an assessment it won't be quick or easy, CAHMS is on its knees locally and I don't know if private services are available or if they'd be acknowledged later down the line by the NHS.
I'm so confused! Any advice would be great please.
Have I got this right?
He has these terrible aggressive rages at home
He has no spoken language outside of the home (electively mute).
He avoids eye contact.
He believes he is weird.
Yet this is the first time anyone has mentioned seeking further assessment from anywhere?
Yes, it is. He's had various people work with him for his anger management issues and as I said, I mentioned it at his previous school because they have a SEN unit but was dismissed completely and told it was our home life that was the problem. It sounds ridiculous, I know but when you get told something enough (in this case that it's my fault he's like this) you learn to believe it.
I have absolutely no experience with this sort of thing so I just assumed this was how he is. I couldn't feel worse about it, I just want to know how to help him.
How long has he been at the current school? I think you need to start with an appointment with the SENCO. He may be coping academically but he needs support in other areas, especially as (unless you're in a middle school area) he will be going to secondary school next year. A diagnosis would probably be a good idea as a route to accessing more support, but can take a long time, my DS was referred via SENCO and school nurse. GPs can also refer - if the school don't take your concerns seriously try your GP. In the meantime a serious discussion with the SENCO about supporting him with learning social interactions and preparing him for secondary school. Have a look in your school's website for their SEN policy. I am horrified at the way you have been treated quite frankly and shocked that the current school have not suggested anything beyond art therapy but sadly "blame the parents" is an easy way for schools to shirk their responsibilities.
We have a GP that I trust 100% with the children, he's always been fantastic so I'm going to speak to him during the week, our head is fantastic, DS hasn't been there long but she's already been far more supportive of us as a family than the previous school were so I'll ask her to arrange a meeting with whoever the SENCO is. If it will help DS to get more support then I'll do whatever I have to, to get this sorted. Do you know if there's a charity for ASD that could I've me guidance on the possibility of a private assessment to speed things up a bit?
Ah good, glad the current head is supportive, if your DS is fairly new then it's not unreasonable that they haven't put much in place for him yet. Write a list of all your concerns and take it with you when you see the SENCO, also the GP, it's easy to forget stuff. Also start a list of anything of note dating right back to his birth, it is all helpful in the diagnosis process.
Have a look at the National Autistic Society's webpage, lots of info there, plus they have local support groups, you don't need a diagnosis to use those. Also, loads of helpful people here, the best topic for to use is SN Children.
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