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School refusal
  • I know that so many of us have this as a major issue but wondered if there is anything that I can do to help my son more? My year 9 son is late for school most days. He has had a few days where he won't go at all. These occurrances are always on my day off though yet I put as much effort into getting him there on my days off as I do on my work days. I therefore end up cancelling my plans on my days off, missing appointments and not seeing friends. i don't tell him of my plans so I know he is not doing it deliberately. I am late for work most days too. He is mute most mornings so I cannot even find out what is making him freeze on some days more than others. After the event he might say he felt ill but cannot elaborate. School have kindly sent me a copy of their attendance policy today! Yet we gave a presentation to his teachers 2 weeks ago to highlight how difficult it is to get him to school each day and how much school causes him anxiety. They did appear receptive. He is masking at school with a "female presentation" of autism we are told by the PDA diagnostic team. Life is pretty miserable. I'm getting so low that I am going to see my GP today. Any suggestions welcome.
  • Holly59
    Posts: 2,586

    07162017 said:

    I know that so many of us have this as a major issue but wondered if there is anything that I can do to help my son more? My year 9 son is late for school most days. He has had a few days where he won't go at all. These occurrances are always on my day off though yet I put as much effort into getting him there on my days off as I do on my work days. I therefore end up cancelling my plans on my days off, missing appointments and not seeing friends. i don't tell him of my plans so I know he is not doing it deliberately. I am late for work most days too. He is mute most mornings so I cannot even find out what is making him freeze on some days more than others. After the event he might say he felt ill but cannot elaborate. School have kindly sent me a copy of their attendance policy today! Yet we gave a presentation to his teachers 2 weeks ago to highlight how difficult it is to get him to school each day and how much school causes him anxiety. They did appear receptive. He is masking at school with a "female presentation" of autism we are told by the PDA diagnostic team. Life is pretty miserable. I'm getting so low that I am going to see my GP today. Any suggestions welcome.



    https://pdaguidance.wordpress.com/2016/01/27/school-refusal/


    https://www.pdasociety.org.uk/families/education

    If you scroll down there is a section on School Refusal . There is a wealth of information on here .

    Presume the school are working with you using PDA Stratagies ?

    Why don’t you try pretending you are going to work if the controlling happens on your days off .That way he can’t control your days off so much . Anything is worth a try .

    There are obviously issues at school that need redressing , sort those out and the chance of refusal lessons .

    Is this school suitable for his needs ?

    You could also ask someone like Laura Kerbey from PAST . She works from Skype , telephone , email .

    https://www.positiveautismsupportandtraining.co.uk/laura-kerbey

    The school could try altering the time he attends by 15 minutes to reduce his anxiety .Avoid the school rush . Have you asked him what bothers him most at school . You would be surprised how much they can explain .

    What on earth have they given you a copy of their attendance policy for ! Don’t they understand ANYTHING about the Autism Spectrum .

    There is an Education Webinar the teachers could watch for starters . It’s just been updated . Make sure your GP watches these too. There is a section for Professionals . Keep a paper trail .

    https://www.pdasociety.org.uk/resources/webinars

    Hope this helps .

    Pat xx


  • I would put in writing what was discussed at the meeting/presentation, with the date, who was present, key points raised by both sides and ensure a copy is sent to the HT, office and his class teacher. Then send a copy to any party that hasn't had it that needs to.

    What a cheek they have. They might be hinting at the EWO which is totally unfair under the circumstances.

    Does he have an EHCP? If so, I would call an early annual review if one isn't due to have his difficulties written in specifically. You need it all documented just in case of problems with the LA.

    Be cautious what you say to the GP about how you feel, parent-blame is rife already and if they think you aren't coping or are getting mentally unwell, you could end up with unwanted SS involvement.
  • We have asked the school to use PDA techniques. They don't have too many issues with him and I'm not sure how much they accept the masking or his sensory issues.
    Who are PAST?
    No he doesn't have an EHCP. School said he doesn't need one! It is on my list of things to look into as I don't agree.
  • Holly59
    Posts: 2,586

    07162017 said:

    We have asked the school to use PDA techniques. They don't have too many issues with him and I'm not sure how much they accept the masking or his sensory issues.
    Who are PAST?
    No he doesn't have an EHCP. School said he doesn't need one! It is on my list of things to look into as I don't agree.




    Are the school using PDA techniques ? Have they been trained in PDA techniques and support?

    He definatly needs an EHCP . . What a disgrace telling you that .

    Laura Kerbey is lovely , she does training in PDA and has many years experience . Worth an email or phone call . She works privately but is another option to look at .

    http://community.fireflyfriends.com/blog/article/autism-why-i-describe-my-daughter


  • For what reason would social care be warranted? Should I not ask for support and risk depression?
  • Holly59
    Posts: 2,586

    07162017 said:

    For what reason would social care be warranted? Should I not ask for support and risk depression?



    You have to think ahead . If you can get a formal diagnosis now it solves a multitude of issues later .. Once the child is 18 it’s up to them whether they persue the diagnostic route .

    You need to look ahead at issues like respite . What you don’t want is for the situation to detoriate and your child starts to self harm . Depression is one of the most difficult things to deal with . Prevention is better than cure . That’s how SW get involved in these cases.

    If the system thinks that you are unable to look after your child eg due to depression , they are often too quick to remove the child .

    Bottom line is that everyone needs to work together . You need a School with a good understand of the Autism Spectrum for starters .

    There will be numerous agencies involved eg speech therapy , CAMHS , GP , Educational Psychologist etc. .

    Have you been in touch with ipsea ? You definatly need some sort of advocacy service on board to help you .

    https://www.ipsea.org.uk/

  • 07162017 said:

    For what reason would social care be warranted? Should I not ask for support and risk depression?



    I'm not saying don't ask for support, but you said "I'm getting so low that I am going to see my GP today." and that indicates possible depression. Where parental mental health is concerned, that can flag up a SS referral especially if they think you are not coping. An autistic child is already considered a child in need in law due to ASD being a disability, if they think a parent isn't coping it can trigger SS. It won't definitely happen but could, and even if so that doesn't automatically mean they will be horrible, you might get good SWs if it happens, but it's pot luck and safeguarding attitudes are very hysterical in the UK. Many parents have asked for help and ended up with child protection plans or worse. I don't want to dissuade you from asking for help if you need it, but you need to go into it with your eyes wide open. Be prepared that it might be advisable to secretly audio record appointments with professionals to cover yourself if anything crops up later, because false statements in files are rife and it can get escalated very quickly as professionals all take one another's words at face value and repeat it in every other report as if it's fact, even where it's entirely inaccurate.

  • Thank you for your help.
    Yes he recently got a PDA diagnosis and is waiting for CAMHS
  • Good luck, don't let the school bully you.

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