My son has just been diagnosed with severe obsessive disorder. He already has learning difficulties and has a statement of educational needs. On his recent hospital admission where he was seen by CAMHS and the social worker I was advised that we would need a meeting at school to discuss how we progress things forward. In the meantime I have had to do the professionals work for them. I have contacted the school and worked in partnership with the head of year and also the exams officer in order for my son to get the right entitlement for his upcoming GCSE exams. My son also has to make decisions regarding his future this year and I am of the belief that currently he is not in the best place to make these at this time. I recently visited a college for him and although the course is what he wants to do, I am not convinced that this would be the right place for him due to it being big and also would it be safe for him. I am just at my wits end regarding this. He is currently going to school, but with support in the morning and afternoon, with dropping him off and picking him up. I do not have much support at home and certainly no group that I can talk to regarding my frustration in terms of getting things right for my son and his future.
This really is a stressful time for you all and thinking of the future must be particularly difficult as it is hard to predict how things will develop. You have made the first step in liaising with school and this seems to have enabled some things to be put in place for your son, though obviously it is still difficult for you. In relation to college, our suggestion would be to keep options open. If possible, look at a range of schools and colleges your area, contact the SEN or student disability services, this may help you and your son assess where his needs will be best met. As he has an Education Health Care Plan he should be well placed to access any available support. Support for yourself is very important during this stressful time, Young Minds have a parents phone line: http://www.youngminds.org.uk/for_parents A number of parents we have contact with have found the phone line very helpful. They may also be able to put you in touch with a local support group.
Hello, I need some advice with regards to my daughter who is 11 years old and isn't attending school at the moment. This is due to her depression and anxiety. She also has a diagnosis of ASD. Is there anything I can do for her while she is at home? Art therapy came to mind. Any advice would be most helpful.
I am sorry that your daughter has become anxious about attending school. I note that she is secondary school age and I wonder if this is a new feeling due to the transfer to a larger school. I presume you have had meetings at school and explored the issues surrounding this anxiety, and looking at the areas of pressure. For example is it maths, PE, a particular teacher or friendship group? An individual timetable to assist her returning may help if she is able to have some choice of subjects to begin with. Whilst your daughter is not attending it is essential that you keep to a timetable, for example still getting up washing and getting dressed ready for the day at 8.00 – have some books that you can read together, and take exercise each day. If you have a computer it should be possible to link into the school web site and educational activities. What unfortunately often happens is that the sleep pattern slips and this causes other complications making it more difficult to return to school. Time watching TV or social media should be kept to the end of what would usually be the school day. Good luck!
My daughter is in year 5 and has severe multiple food and environmental allergies, eczema and asthma. Where can I find more information about how to look at secondary schools? Also I heard that I can ask her primary school for an "action plan" - but I cannot seem to find more information on this online. Could you please point me in the right direction?
Transition to secondary school is often a stressful time for families but more so if your child has particular medical needs, so thinking about it now when your child is in year 5 is a good idea.
Feedback from parents suggests the following points may be helpful:
• Talk to parents of children currently at the secondary school. They can tell you what the overall ethos is and may give you examples of how their child has been treated when additional care/ support was needed. (how the school deals with a range of needs/ problems they may not have medical needs but this will at least give you a view of how they manage adjustments)
• Talk to children attending the school too, they will let you know if staff are approachable and what it feels like if you need help.
• Always visit the school either at open days or via appointment. Request to speak to the member of staff responsible for medical needs. Ask to see their policy on the management of medical needs. All schools should have a policy and a named staff member. This is often the SENCo.
• Ask the current primary school what they know about the local secondary schools.
• Check out the school websites and see if they have copies of school policies. Read an up to date OFsted report, this is unlikely to mention medical needs but will comment on ethos. • When you have identified a school work with the school in drawing up a support plan for your child so that everyone is clear about what is helpful and required to keep your child well.
The following link give good practice advice to schools on medical needs plans: