Ok this is long but I’ll keep it as brief as possible. DD 13, diagnosed ASD and I strongly believe has ADHD, and either PDA or ODD (but I’ll never know about either of those as there’s no diagnostic pathway in my area).
Primary was ok - she started to need a lot of support once she got into year 5 which the school gave her in the form of one to one sessions with the ELSA who was brilliant. And then lockdowns happened so the rest of year 5, and a lot of year 6 just didn’t happen.
Secondary was ok for the first couple of terms of year 7, and then it all started to go very wrong, I believe she couldn’t mask beyond that point. Starting truanting lessons, refusing to do anything teachers asked of her, very rude to staff, disruptive in lessons. Her behaviour at home was absolutely unbearable too, and unbeknown to me at that point she was self harming.
Year 8, more of the same for the first couple of weeks, the school were beyond useless at doing anything to support her and their solution went from putting her in isolation pretty much all the time to just suspend her each time she came in, which wasn’t helpful for me as a single parent trying to work. I could see her behaviour going from bad to worse and so at October half term I made the decision she wasn’t going back to that school. Her behaviour changed instantly for the better and she was far more pleasant to be around at home.
So for the rest of year 8 I tried to get her into another school, we live rurally so options are limited, and basically no one wanted her because of her behaviour record. Did appeals - nothing. Finally found somewhere that would take her which is in another area which has the middle school system so she wouldn’t be able to start until year 9. So she missed pretty much the whole of year 8.
During that time I applied for an EHCP with the help of SENDIAS, but they refused to assess because they said there wasn’t enough evidence, and that her difficulties might have just been circumstantial to her previous school.
So she started her new school in September. She really dialled the bad behaviour up to 11, and after 10 days of having been there she was very close to being kicked out, for encouraging another student to assault a teacher. They decided to put her in the inclusion unit - a small base which only has a few kids in, just for 2 hours per day. The guy that runs it was great and I thought if anyone can get through to her it will be him. But she completely refused to engage, despite being there for many weeks. She was then given the option of choosing one subject to attend and being allowed to attend those classes. But she either truanted them completely or turned up so late it wasn’t worth going, so that was removed as an option. The school then suggested that she go in for 2 hours a day and sit with her head of house, which she point blank refused to do and therefore hasn’t been to school since a couple of weeks before Christmas holidays.
As soon as she was back at school in September her behaviour at home became absolutely vile again, to the point where I ended up in hospital twice due to stress related things, and she was literally making mine and her sister’s life a misery. It got to the point where I phoned SS twice begging them to take her as I literally couldn’t cope. Since she stopped going she has reverted to being relatively nice to be around.
I must say her current school have been great at supporting me and trying to support her compared to her previous school, but the bottom line is that she just isn’t going to cope in a mainstream school. I am being supported by the PFSA and she is really pushing the idea of HE. I realise it would be ideal for the school for her to be off their roll. However I am a single parent with a disability which means that I have very limited energy, and I have two teens with SEN with very high and opposing needs. I am really not well at the moment and barely coping with life. I can’t pretend for a minute that I could home educate her, I realised that in lockdown, she won’t do anything I ask.
In the last year she has been:
- refused an assessment for an EHCP.
- doesn’t meet the threshold to be seen by CAHMS.
- doesn’t meet the threshold for an ADHD assessment.
- turned down by every school in the area, and that’s when she only had a bad behaviour record from the first school.
It’s just dead end roads and brick walls whichever way I turn. And I’m exhausted. I have no fight left in me anymore. She needs a specialist education but my local council is about to go bankrupt, and they’re just not issuing EHCPs anymore. And even if by some miracle I managed to get one, there aren’t placements for her to go to, from what I understand. Everything is about money and there isn’t any.
I really don’t know where to go from here. I can’t see her going back to the school she’s at and I know from last year no one else will have her, and if they did it would just be the same thing all over again. The knock on effect of all this on me, and her sister…I can’t even put that into words really. For my sanity I’ve been having a few weeks off even thinking about it but I know I have to do something before I start getting fined for her not attending school. But what? To add, I don’t have money to throw at the problem, literally none, I am unable to work at the moment and DD doesn’t have a father.