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Schools for difficult teens - anyone know of any ?

(31 Posts)
Duritzfan Tue 23-Mar-10 18:04:20

Hi ..my teen boy (14) is heading towards being asked to leave his current school..
He has been involved in a gang and is a bright but easily led boy who is on the autistic spectrum - but is high functioning and so his disorder if you like, manifests itself in a huge issue with authority in particular.
His current school are wonderful - but we have been for a meeting with them today and I am well aware that they are begiining to feel that his behaviour may be affecting the other children in the school - which is going to be a problem.. so I am looking for our next option, if what I'm dreading happens and they do ask us to remove him..

He wants to go into the army, and would love to go to a military school - and I think the discipline would be very good for him - but the only ones I have found so far are in the states..! Boarding school is maybe a good idea as it would give him a chance to stand on his own two feet ..

Does anyone know of any decent schools who might be willing to take him on ?
He is already in a private school due to his having been completely lost in the state system - we had hoped that the private system and the small environment that that coudl offer may be able to help him turn things around ..but ..so far its not working and I am getting really worried for him..

Anyone help ?

CockShore Tue 23-Mar-10 18:12:13

I believe there are Pupil Referral Units (PRU) for such cases. Don't know alot about them, so you would need to look into it i'm afrtaid.

Or Home Education?

Duritzfan Tue 23-Mar-10 18:21:23

He 's not bad enough for PRU ..and I don't think home ed is the answer for him as he has social difficulties anyhow, we feel isolating him is even more risky..

We are just responsible parents who wnat to help our son BEFORE he goes off the rails..
But there seems to be a huge gap in this country for that ...

Alicetheinvisible Tue 23-Mar-10 18:23:51

How about an Agricultural boarding school? My Dad went to one, and a friend went to one in somerset.

mumblechum Tue 23-Mar-10 18:24:58

Does he go to Army Cadets/Sea Cadets at the moment?

There aren't any military schools in the UK so far as I know, if he's bright he could go to Sandhurst but getting him through the next four years is obv. the problem.

Hope you don't mind me asking, but are you still with his dad? A huge proportion of teenage boys with problems as you describe don't have a male role model at home. If that's the case then maybe he could get onto some sort of mentoring programme?

Duritzfan Tue 23-Mar-10 19:29:21

Hi .. no problem mumblechum ..yes Dad is very much here...and always has been ..

I just have an extremely challenging boy on my hands..

Duritzfan Tue 23-Mar-10 20:30:31

whats an agricultural boarding school Alice ?

Alicetheinvisible Wed 24-Mar-10 08:38:48

Hi, this is the one

lazymumofteenagesons Wed 24-Mar-10 14:46:12

Can I just ask that if his biggest problem is with authority how come he wants to go into the army? I would have thought that was a bit of a contradiction.

I don't think there are military schools in the UK but there are probably boarding schools run along military lines. There is a 6th form college which is connected to the army if he can wait a couple of years.

Duritzfan Wed 24-Mar-10 15:12:36

I know .it seems a little odd - but because of his asd he sees things very much as black and white .. when he is told what to do he does it no problem ..
its when he is left alone that he runs into trouble..

thanks Alice.. looks interesting ..thats what I was hoping for really - names of institutions and schools who would be willing to take a hot headed boy...

Macforme Wed 24-Mar-10 18:27:15

http://www.pangbournecollege.com/

Has a military ethos.. it's a fave with Forces families and a lot head into the services. Only school I know of with military uniform!! My friend's children attend there and are doing very well...one is quite a handful (bright and disruptive) the other has severe dyslexia and both have been well supported. Might be worth a look?!

claricebeansmum Wed 24-Mar-10 18:33:19

We have discovered that what one school labels as difficult another thinks is normal...

madwomanintheattic Wed 24-Mar-10 18:33:48

welbeck? don't know age range though. and tends to be officer types from experience grin

claricebeansmum Wed 24-Mar-10 18:39:59

We have just looked at boarding school for our DS who had been suspended twice and is dyslexic but bright. It seems that it is just what he could do with...

maryz Thu 25-Mar-10 18:55:12

I don't want to upset you, but we went the boarding school route with ds, who sounds similar to yours. He very much wanted to go - he had a diagnosis of AS, liked routine and structure, was black and white about rules and loved sport (in fact he was exceptional at a number of sports). It started fine, until he met a couple of boys who had been sent there because they had been expelled from their schools. Boarding school does seem to attract some children who are sent because no-one else can manage them.

Unfortunately ds met one boy who at 13 was heavily into cannabis. By the age of 14 ds was smoking and smoking dope. By the age of 15 he had tried ecstacy, vallium and god knows what else (in school). He was expelled at 15 and has gone downhill ever since. Sadly, the other boy left the school, continued downhill and has since committed suicide.

If you find somewhere, let me know. I haven't managed to find anywhere for ds sad and he is now pretty much a drug addict.

Duritzfan Fri 26-Mar-10 13:17:48

thanks ladies..

Maryz -to be honest that's what I have fought against so long ..He has wanted to go to boarding school for a couple of years and I have refused because I am scared of him getting away with things that he might not at home..

I just really dont know what to do - it feels as though the world is waiting for him to fail spectacularly..

I just want some help to get him through this stage of his life...

I'm so sorry Maryz .. I hope your son finds a way back

Duritzfan Fri 26-Mar-10 13:26:41

Welbeck would be great - I juts have to keep him on track until hes old enough - its for 16-18 yr olds....Thank you though ..something to keep in mind if we make it that far hmm

I have got him on a list for counselling ..but that doesnt start till the autumn.. this country drives me crazy .. I have a bright, articulate child who has our full support - but we just cant get any help for him ..

the second he screws upthere will be a raft of consequences for him - but surely a good parent should be trying to stop him screwing up in the first place ...I am so frustrated and angry with "the system "

Duritzfan Fri 26-Mar-10 13:28:28

Mumblechum - do you know of any mentoring programmes ? I mean I know he has his Dad around, but he has barely any other responsible interested adults in his life - I am willing to try anything .

goldenticket Fri 26-Mar-10 13:34:30

any useful info here?

So sorry you're trying to cope with this sad

poshwellies Fri 26-Mar-10 16:27:59

List of some 'specialist' schools here

madwomanintheattic Fri 26-Mar-10 18:32:41

i know another poster asked - but couldn't see a response, is he in army cadets currently? sometimes the 'bigger picture' and sorting out what he's doing outside school can have an impact on school as well?

air cadets start at 13 too - lots of similar opportunities which instil a sense of discipline and lots of opportunities.

actually handling firearms etc and having that sense of responsibility might give him the confidence to be less responsive to issues at school? but similarly to the army, he'd need to prove he was trustworthy of that responsibility...

(i don't know off the top of my head of current regulations concerning Army recruiting with an existing dx btw. there shouldn't be an issue with cadets - i know sea cadets with asd dx.

madwomanintheattic Fri 26-Mar-10 18:33:20

...at least it would get him into a slightly more socially acceptable sort of gang?

Duritzfan Fri 26-Mar-10 19:01:01

Hi .. no he's not in cadets ... we have found our local one and taken him but he doesnt have the confidence to go in ...

I think I am going to take him to the army careers office tomorrow to try and light a fire in him ....maybe talking to some soldiers will help to keep him on the path .

..madwoman ...exactly....he seems to be lost since leaving the gang and he needs to find a new "pack" if you like...

Goldenticket and poshwellies - thank you .. off to look up those links...

I think because we removed him from his state school (where he got involved with the gang) and put him in a private school we are being kind of kept out of some of the usual paths to help...I have spoken with our local Youth Offending Team and and probation ... but none of them can do anything until he breaks the law ..
They all agree that its wrong but cannot help..
We got one session with a teen counsellor - but that's it..

He has no ohter decent men in his life which i know doesnt help...His uncle is a selfish so and so who couldnt care less and his granddad locally just isnt interested..

My Dad, who he adores lives hundreds of miles away - as does my mum who he is very close to and is also an e proabation officer who specialised in juveniles..

Unfortunately we moved away from her to where we live now to help out my sil and bil

- but now they are back on their feet they are back to being totally wrapped up in themselves...

I wish we could move back ..

madwomanintheattic Fri 26-Mar-10 19:28:14

have you called anyone from the cadets? the sites can sometimes look a bit imposing lol, but he's just the right age to get the most out of it. camps, etc. it would be a really good thing for him.

i'm sure the careers office will say the same. (i know a lad who's taking his gcses this year who is intending joining up next year. he's had a fairly ropy time (adhd) but has really got it together over the last couple of years. it can still be ok, but he does need to be encouraged out of his comfort zone a little. so difficult with dx. is there a way you routinely have used to get him to do things he isn't keen on? is he better if he knows more about it first?)

scaryteacher Sun 28-Mar-10 17:06:15

www.royalhospitalschool.org

This is where lots of RN kids go, and they have a Naval Uniform for parades etc. It used to be the Naval boarding school and is very keen on outdoor ed, and is situated in Suffolk - the nearest large town is Ipswich.

There are no exeat weekends (never have been) and so the kids are there for a full half term at a time. It is the nearest thing to a Military School, apart from Duke of York's at Dover, but that is specifically for the children of serving personnel only.

I know several ex and current students of RHS, and they all enjoyed/are enjoying it.

In my db's opinion (ex RHS pupil, currently serving RN Officer), Pangbourne was for pussies, and I wouldn't have said it was a 'fave' with Forces families by any means.

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