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At DD day of fun at school

25 replies

Happyface246 · 29/09/2022 19:48

Just looking for advice as to what you would do. Dd had a team building day today at an outdoor activity centre. She is currently being diagnosed for autism and struggles making friends. She has a good friend who is in another class. She often has panic attacks and siezures due to anxiety and the school are aware of this. Today she wasn’t allowed to be with her friend and was told to stay with her firm. She doesn’t mix well and finds it hard to strike up conversation so was left on her own most of the day. She ended up having a full blown panic attack in front of a teacher who had no clue what to do. Luckily her friend saw, came running I’ve and roped her with breathing techniques. On one of the activities she lost her trainer in the mud and so spent half an hour walking with no shoes on. She was allowed to sit with her friend in the coach home. Should I contact the school and complain? Bit seems staff were around so it’s not as though she was unsupervised just lonely.

OP posts:

Am I being unreasonable?

51 votes. Final results.

You are being unreasonable
You are NOT being unreasonable
candycaneframe · 29/09/2022 19:49

I'd not contact the school, you need to work with your daughter on this as it's not fair on the friend over anything else to be your daughters emotional support person

Flopisfatteningbingforchristmas · 29/09/2022 19:51

Far too much for her friend to deal with.

2reefsin30knots · 29/09/2022 19:57

Complain that they didn't deploy a child in another form as your DD's support?

There needs to be a better strategy that that. Are you in contact with the SENCo?

JaninaDuszejko · 29/09/2022 20:02

I would contact the school and complain. I'd also point out that it is a failing of the school that a child (your daughter's friend) had to deal with a situation that the teacher didn't deal with. Your child won't be the only child ever who has a panic attack, teachers should know some rudimentary skills in calming down children. They failed both your daughter and her friend.

LunaLoveFood · 29/09/2022 20:05

I would talk to school about putting a care plan in place. If she is having regular panic attacks, they really should have a plan in place on how they will deal with it and not leave it up to the child's peer to sort it.

scrufffy · 29/09/2022 20:07

Bless her. What age is she?

HeddaGarbled · 29/09/2022 20:13

I think the friend does need to be given some space to enjoy activities like this and have a wider circle of friends.

The issues that need addressing are the events that led to the panic attack, the not dealing adequately with the panic attack and the shoe incident.

MissingNashville · 29/09/2022 20:15

I would contact the school to talk through what happened and to get her more support for anything that may come up in the future. The adults need to be able to cope and help your daughter if/when things like this happen. It shouldn’t have came down to another child to help your daughter although that child sound like they did a fantastic job.

Talk to the school, try to come at the issue as in you want things to be better in the future rather than just complaining. Acknowledge what happened but it’s what happens next that’s really important.

I hope your daughter is ok, it must have been a very hard day for her.

Kite22 · 29/09/2022 20:17

Everything @HeddaGarbled said.

LivingMyBestLie · 29/09/2022 20:21

If you asked for her to be with her friend with an explanation then I would explain.

However, is it possible her friend wanted some time away from your daughter? Not in a cruel way, but to be able to enjoy the day without limitations?

I'm so sorry your daughter had that experience, I can only imagine how hard her condition must be on her and you.

Ginger1982 · 29/09/2022 20:31

I'm sorry for your DD but her friend shouldn't have the weight of that responsibility on her. The school need to step up here.

SNWannabe · 29/09/2022 20:32

Seizures due to anxiety? Really?

ItsNotReallyChaos · 29/09/2022 20:32

It's not fair on your DD or her friend to build a situation where her settledness is dependent on them being together.

Them not being put in the same group definitely shouldn't prompt a complaint.

However, having a clueless member of staff responsible for her is an issue and I'd raise it so that they can address the training needs before the next trip.

Strictly1 · 29/09/2022 20:34

Who has told you that the teacher didn’t know what to do?

SuzySangfroid · 29/09/2022 20:37

Strictly1 · 29/09/2022 20:34

Who has told you that the teacher didn’t know what to do?

I also wondered this.

PlasticSheetingRTÉNews · 29/09/2022 20:37

If she’s genuinely having seizures due to anxiety, I think you need to consider if school is the right environment for her until you can get the anxiety in hand. Seizures are a very extreme response.

I agree with others about the friend- it must be awful for her having to support your daughter to that extent.

GertrudePerkinsPaperyThing · 29/09/2022 20:37

Friend needs to be given her own space, definitely.

But equally, teachers should know how to deal with a panic attack and an adult should have been looking out for her.

itsgettingweird · 29/09/2022 20:39

candycaneframe · 29/09/2022 19:49

I'd not contact the school, you need to work with your daughter on this as it's not fair on the friend over anything else to be your daughters emotional support person

Kind of agree.

As in the friend shouldn't be the one comforting your dd.

You need to tell the school they have that responsibility and to learn, put strategies in place to prevent them and consider your dd probably has autism and treat her accordingly.

They have a duty of care to safeguard her well-being and today they fell well short of that.

For example they should have had an adult with her supporting her to manage communication with her peers and the situation as a whole.

Sirzy · 29/09/2022 20:43

I think school did right in not putting them together. The friend deserves to be herself and not always on caring duty for your daughter.

ds goes to the same school as his cousin. Ds is autistic and has severe anxiety but I have made it clear all along that Dn isn’t his carer and it’s not his job to feel on call for him at school.

work with school to get strategies in place which don’t involve other pupils

bewarethetides · 29/09/2022 20:48

I'm sorry your DD is having a difficult time, but it's the school's responsibility to manage/sort her, not another CHILD.

Hankunamatata · 29/09/2022 20:49

First thing that jumped out was that her friend should not be responsible for taking care of your daughter. She should not be having to run through calming techniques - way too much for friend to deal with.
Secondly you need to apply for ehcp if she isnt coping in school.

MissingNashville · 29/09/2022 20:53

SNWannabe · 29/09/2022 20:32

Seizures due to anxiety? Really?

I used to work with someone that had this. I presumed epilepsy when I witnessed a seizure but apparently it wasn’t epilepsy, it was another type of seizure due to stress. So yes, really!

Meadowbreeze · 29/09/2022 21:12

I feel really bad for that friend. She really should be able to enjoy an outdoor activity and really the only person who I think should be complaining is the friends parents.
You need to work with the school to set up a system that works, minus the friend. Complaining won't do that as it will be trial and error. Kids aren't robots and some things won't work out. You need to have a good relationship with the school to ensure this is as smooth as possible and have trust in them that they're doing their best.

SlashBeef · 29/09/2022 21:15

I would not want my kid deployed as the emotional support child for another. Maybe the parents asked for them to be separated?
Your focus needs to be on getting coping mechanisms in place for your child and also working with the school so they can do this too. Complaining won't help anyone.

minisoksmakehardwork · 29/09/2022 21:33

I'm a send parent and work in send mainstream.

While it is commendable that your dd's friend can comfort and reassure your dd and bring her out of a meltdown, it is not something you or the school should be encouraging except as a last resort. The school staff should be getting to know your dd and work with her to find supportive strategies. This might be different from one staff member to another. But they have to make the effort.

Dd1 is a young carer due to her siblings needs and has somewhat fallen into a carer role with one of her friends as well when in school/on trips. Although this is shared between a group of friends who've just got to know each other through school and shared interests. Mostly, the group advocate for their friend when teachers get it wrong. But they're 14 and quite articulate as a group.

My advice is to go into school and ask why your dd was not supported by the staff who know her and why her needs were not shared with the facilitators of their team building experience. I imagine the school separated the two so her friend could experience the trip without being a carer and so your dd would be in the position of having to get to know others. It was badly executed though.

My own send dd is on a residential and I communicated beforehand my concerns for the trip and her accommodation. Her teachers and I agreed a plan for any issues that did not rely on her twin brother, attending the same trip. If I learn that dd has to rely on her twin to cope with the trip, I will be having very strong words with a school that would put the emotional welfare of a student in the hands of a 10 year old. It is not acceptable to do this whether the children are 7, 10 or 14.

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