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Residential school trips- how do you handle them?

10 replies

Marscapone · 15/06/2022 08:06

covid times this was not an issue of course!

My Ds12 has ASD and ADD. He also has a number of anaphylactic allergies and a chronic lung condition.

School are now starting up their residentials again. Including a trip to abroad at the end of the year which I would love DS to go on.

How do you / your school handle DCs with additional needs going on these trips? Some of the trips our school does welcomes parent helpers which would be good, but not this one it seems.

Would it be overbearing of me to contact them and say that given he has these needs would they be willing for me to be a parent helper? I can pay for my own ticket and DBS check etc. I don't want to be 'that parent'.

DS already misses out on so much.


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LargeLegoHaul · 15/06/2022 08:46

DS3 has ASD, multiple allergies and a long term lung condition. Prior to covid he had been on a few scout camps and 2 residential trips in primary school. On the first few scout camps DH went too. He has been on a couple of scout camps since they have resumed and 2 school residentials.

At school DS3 has a 1:1 anyway and they go too. The school make reasonable adjustments for his autism. Some adjustments to his meals are made and we send some food with him (this is going to be harder for the ones abroad since brexit) to top up and for snacks.

For the 2 school trips we weren’t’t allowed to stop DS3’s overnight feed for his 1:1s learnt how to manage that. And they learnt how to help DS3 with his medication and physio too.

Definitely speak to the school about DS’s needs. For the trips other parent helpers go on I don’t see a problem with you going too but if you were to be the only one how would DS feel? Do you feel if you don’t go DS won’t be able to attend? If so, you need to ask more questions than just being a parent helper as often parent helpers are purposefully placed in a different group to their DC.

Marscapone · 15/06/2022 09:47

That is really helpful, thanks@LargeLegoHaul . Thanks I appreciate hearing of your experiences.

I am not sure how DS would feel if I went. If it was this week he would be happy because he is really dependant on me (we are trying to foster his independence). But in 6 months time that might be different as he is then a teenager and it might be embarrassing. The trip is actually something that DH had discussed doing this year anyway completely separate from the school (it is activity based) so we could go ahead and do it ourselves, but I'd love for him to go with his school friends and experience that with them rather than hanging around us and his younger brother all the time.

I will sit on it for a few days and think about it all.

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LargeLegoHaul · 15/06/2022 11:25

If you went do you think DS would gravitate to you rather than spend time with friends? This is what we found with DS3 when DH went on the scout camps.

To reassure you about residentials with allergies and a lung condition, DS2 also has these and has been on school trips and scout camps. Although he doesn’t have the added complication of ASD, which does make things more difficult. He also doesn’t have overnight feeds, needs less medication/treatments and is only allergic to tree nuts and peanuts.

I write instructions on what meds/treatments are needed when. And send a crib sheet listing medication, diagnoses, allergies, contact details of medical teams and a brief overview of important medical history so if medical treatment needs to be sought (it hasn’t so far!) all necessary information for initial treatment is available. We also send a copy of DS3’s hospital passport.

Marscapone · 15/06/2022 11:36

All great ideas thanks @LargeLegoHaul I think he possibly would gravitate towards me.

It is already the case he can't attend some things such as sleepovers and parties (unless I am present).

I am thinking I will write to the teacher organising it. There will be native speakers present on the trip (as teachers) so they can explain about the food allergies in situ as required. I thought I would write and list the medical issues he has and ask if the teachers would be comfortable being really aware of these and doing what is required regarding really close supervision. If they are not (which would be fair enough) then the second option is seeing about parent helper issue. Third option is he does not go and we do something similar ourselves.

It's emotionally debilitating just seeing all these amazing opportunities for the children and either not being able to participate or having to second and third and fourth guess absolutely everything. I know you will understand that just from what you have described as well. {thanks]

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Marscapone · 15/06/2022 11:36

that was Thanks

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LargeLegoHaul · 15/06/2022 14:50

I think you have a good plan. We have always found staff willing to make adjustments and learn so DS’s could attend.

You are right about the constant forward planning. It is exhausting, but I am determined DS’s will have a normal a life as possible and part of that is going on residential trips. It just takes a lot more effort, time and planning to enable it.

I think he possibly would gravitate towards me.

This, and DS3 being older, is why DH stopped going on scout camps. Due to his autism DS3 would cling to DH rather than mixing with others.

Marscapone · 15/06/2022 15:16

DH has just told me that I will 'ruin his street cred' if I go when he is 13!

This is most likely true, and very much a useful reminder, as indeed are your words @LargeLegoHaul I try to not smother him, but not always successfully!

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LargeLegoHaul · 15/06/2022 15:22

I try to not smother him, but not always successfully!

Neither am I! DS2 rolls his eyes at me whenever he thinks I am being too overprotective - difficulty is we have different opinions on where that line should be. It’s a difficult balance between doing enough to keep them healthy and meet their needs and not wrapping them up in cotton wool.

MikeSingsTheBlues · 16/06/2022 16:32

For us it comes down to trusting the staff taking him. He's gone some years and not others, depending on who's in charge and the relationship we have with them. Arguably that's not fair on DS, but our first job is to keep him safe.

Marscapone · 16/06/2022 19:36

MikeSingsTheBlues · 16/06/2022 16:32

For us it comes down to trusting the staff taking him. He's gone some years and not others, depending on who's in charge and the relationship we have with them. Arguably that's not fair on DS, but our first job is to keep him safe.

Yes that makes alot of sense. Thanks

I wrote today with a bullet point list of what needs attention being paid and asking if the staff are comfortable with it. No response as yet.

A couple of weeks ago there was an off the cuff school day out( 48 hours notice) I did not feel comfortable with. It involved exposure to one of his lesser controlled allergies so we pulled him from it. I think a 4 day residential with native teacher speakers potentially would be more 'controlled' and planned for if that makes sense. So I am feeling more confident about DS attending this, as long as we know the teachers are really aware and we can discuss it properly with them.
Fingers crossed. :)

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