I think school is going to ask DS to leave(46 Posts)
Long story short: Ds2 (14 v soon) has been having a rubbish year at school (independent, for information). In constant trouble for shouting out in class, constant rebellion, occasional violence. His grades have collapsed. He's had Friday detentions, escalating to a Saturday detention, now after another incident we are being called in to see the headmaster. I think this is last chance saloon before he is asked to leave. They won't want him entering his GCSE years like this. They have been very clear about the behaviour they expect and he is either unwilling or unable to comply.
DS1 and DD1 are at the same school - no problems with them. The problem isn't what school are doing. DS2 has real mental health problems. I suspect depression and anxiety. He's had suicidal thoughts. He is on the waiting list for CAMHS but that is months off. They are so hard pressed that he won't meet any of their criteria anyway. He sees a counsellor but I don't know what he is supposed to get out of it. At home, his behaviour is worse than school, if anything. His moods dominate the whole family.
I really do not, do not know what to do.
Have they excluded him at all? They can't just ask him to leave. What support is in place for him at school?
They may suggest a learning centre but without a history of interventions they will not be successful.
"They can't just ask him to leave."
Then can, I'm afraid- it's a private school.
If it's an independent school they can just ask him to leave.
What was he like when he was younger?
Do his grades match his IQ.
Does he want to stay at school? Move school?stay at home?
There are lots of options.
I'd take him out before they expel him. Try and keep the door open with school in case you wanted to return.
If you suspect depression and anxiety, I'd pay for him to see someone before the cahms stuff comes through. I think it's something you need to get to the bottom of (like with a child psychologist, again ,I'd pay as its urgent if he has suicidal thoughts).
Being at an independent, you are in quite a precarious position because they can and will exclude him if his behaviour is putting the fees from other people at risk. I know someone who works in a private school and quite simply they need money and can't risk it.
What do you think the cause of his behaviour is? Drugs? Attention seeking? Lack of boundaries?
When you discuss the situation with him, is he able to ever talk about it without his emotions taking over? Do his 'moods' ever lift?
Thanks for your responses.
His behaviour has always been quite extreme, particularly when faced with boundaries. And he is very attention seeking.
We rarely manage to talk with emotions taking over, but when we do it is clear that he doesn't know what is upsetting him. He can't sift it out. That's what I was hoping the counselling sessions would do.
Re the depression and anxiety, I would love to get a proper diagnosis for him but that requires a child psychiatrist, rather than a physiotherapist (so I'm told) and you don't get those privately. Certainly not in the north where we are.
As far as school goes, he denies there is a problem. He doesn't think they will ask him to leave. It hasn't even crossed his mind as a consequence, even though we've discussed it. He really won't take responsibility. Says it is all other people, but that teachers blame him (multiple teachers in a variety of subjects? really?). Then he has a tantrum because we don't believe him.
And yes, he has seen 2 GPs. The first told him to pull his socks up and behave , the second referred to camhs.
The school, I'm guessing, will not let him start GCSEs with them with current behaviour. And I honestly don't know what to do to change his behaviour. Until he takes some ownership, I think we are at an impasse.
So sorry about your problems.
Even if you are somewhere rural and remote, like Cumbria I am sure you will be able to find a private psychologist or psychiatrist, though you might have to travel to a city.
Have a look at this website
One of those is close to me! I'll follow that up as a matter of priority. I kiss you, travelled!
Have you tried looking at the AChiPPP website?
Have you considered taking him out and using the money you will save on professional help for him? You could start with a child psychologist.
I think it would be worth taking him out anyway, and using the money on therapy to work out where this is coming from.
What do you identify as trigger points for him?
Are there any lessons he behaves in?
The school might be more helpful if you tell them you're taking DS to get professional support? If he wants to stay in school can they tell him clearly what he has to do?
The money isn't the issue. I can cover both - there is nothing that would improve the life of our whole family more than a more settled DS2. I'm not rushing to take him out because he does not deal with change at all well. We are currently seeing a cognitive behavioural therapist, I'm just not sure what he is getting out of it.
He behaves well generally for alpha male teachers. He is very pecking order oriented. And young women teachers.
Could he possibly have Aspergers? DS2 used to behave in many of the ways you describe (& was not allowed into his state grammar school's 6th form because of it, which he was devastated about) & we now realise, much too late, that he definitely has ASD. If we had recognised it (or school had) he could have had some help. (He is very intelligent & there weren't any problems with his school work so they just assumed it was wilful badness & punished him accordingly.)
He's 22 now & we're still floundering about what's best for him. Possibly CBT. Good luck with yours - I hope you will be able to sort his problems & keep him at school.
Possibly. We have thought about that. His brother is a patchwork of mild ASD, dyspraxia and ADHD. DS1's personality is very gentle, which makes him much easier to deal with although his problems seem to be more pronounced. DS2 is very brittle and challenging much of the time, and manic at other times.
Brittle & challenging, & occasionally manic, certainly describes some of DS2's behaviour, though he can also be kind and thoughtful. ( I think He might also have ADD/ADHD)
I've just looked at travelled's clinical-partners link & there is one quite near us too. Getting him assessed & diagnosed (or not) would be a great start. I will ring on Monday. (Thanks for starting this thread, sigh. I hope it will be helpful for both of us )
He used to be told very clearly by school what not to do, & he would stop doing that, but then do something else that was equally undesirable & be highly indignant when pulled up for it because he hadn't been told not to do it. He didn't articulate that at the time though so again, it just looked deliberately destructive.
He was treated for depression while at university but although he took the medication some of the time I don't think he was convinced he needed it. And he went to one counselling session, missed another & didn't bother after that. Hes not good at listening either. He's very hard to help
What was it that made you choose CBT?
I would have thought something far more gentle might be appropriate? Would you describe him as emotionally mature or young for his age? He is 13, right?
There's not a plethora of adolescent specialists near us. To be honest, I went with the most highly recommended that I could.
FinestGrundyTurkey, I agree, very difficult to help. I don't know what to do for the best. Ever. And I have three other children. What really distresses me is that this stops me being the parent I can to the others.
Sorry I missed the independent bit. Is he at an independent that has a reputation for educating students with additional needs? It does not sound like it. I am sure MNers or a search on here could help you find somewhere more appropriate. It is probably better to move him than have him kicked out. There are also agencies that will do school searches for you.
If you're not happy with his therapist, don't be afraid of changing. I appreciate there might not be a lot of choice- someone with a background in play therapy could possibly be more suitable? Or music/art therapy?
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