Four days ago (27th October) Jeremy, Beth's Dad, reported that she was back in seclusion - not the cell, in a two-room arrangement, but (crucially) with no hatch. So, no way of talking to anyone other than shouting through a door. So no way of hearing phone calls. It seems that passing her food involved … Continue reading Bethany is back in the cell
Tag: mental health
A must read for all families that have children who struggle to attend school and all professionals that work to support these families. See also the guide specifically for professionals/schools. Please share this widely so that as many families and professionals as possible can access it: it's an essential resource in my opinion. https://schoolrefuserfamilies.wordpress.com/2018/01/04/new-guides-for-parents-schools-when-a-child-struggles-with-school-attendance/ Above is … Continue reading When your child isn’t ‘fine’ in school. Superb resources for families and for professionals.
I’m struggling at the moment at work. Lots of stresses, both physical and mental have been building up over time. I have never been a bounce out of bed person but I’m finding it harder and harder to get up in the morning and leave the house to go to work. I noticed it started … Continue reading Just imagine – if adults were treated like some of our children…
I love being Lily's mum. I love being Peter's mum but this post is about only having to be a mum. It's a long time since I have only had to be a mum to either of my children. Being 'just a mum' is a privilege that many parents will never experience. I suspect that … Continue reading The privilege of being ‘just’ a Mum that so many can never experience.
By Rosie and Jo's mum. It took me a while to get my head round these two ideas: 1. My daughters can be enjoying activities that they have chosen to engage in, want to carry on with and benefit from in many ways while still feeling stressed and overloaded by them. Playing with friends at … Continue reading Even good experiences can contribute to overload.
A guest blog by Helen and Jack's Mum ‘I suspect the problem is her Mum who is really overanxious’. ‘I only spoke to Mum once but she seemed very over stressed’. I knew what was being said about me in that meeting because my friend was sat there, not as my friend but in her role … Continue reading When ‘Mum’ Seems Anxious
Every school-age child with a special educational need (SEN) should have a written plan of support. Every single one. That is my interpretation of the SEND Code of Practice (SEND COP) and I will explain why. Published in June 2014, Chapter 6 of the SEND COP describes the provision of SEN Support in Schools. It … Continue reading SEN Support in Schools – We’re Missing the Point
These are the children that have a diagnosis of an autism spectrum condition, often following an assessment initiated by parents asking for help. They lurch from one day to the next, barely coping, just about surviving - but not living, not really. This is not a childhood you would wish on anyone. Their parent's request … Continue reading Nobody’s Problem
Oh….. so that makes it ok then? Of course not. Yet it happens often and, it seems to me, with increasing frequency. No one is born with an anxiety disorder. It isn’t surprising that children with Autism are prone to mental health problems. To start with schools are designed for neurotypical mini-adults. They aren’t great, … Continue reading We Won’t Treat your Child’s Mental Health Problems – ‘they are normal in autism’
One way or another my life will change quite significantly today. A meeting is being held without me, or any direct contributions from me, but the outcome will be huge whatever the decision. No-one in the meeting knows me or my son, Peter, but decisions are being made about him which will affect the rest … Continue reading Meetings About Me Without Me
“He is 2 years behind but the SENCo says he won’t ‘qualify’ for an EHC assessment.” “School say she is doing well in set 3.” It seems to me that this is misinformation and not in any way within the spirit of the SEN Code of Practice that all schools are obliged to follow: The SEN … Continue reading How Far Behind Does She Have to be for an EHC Assessment?
It was snowing, I felt empty as he packed his last bag into the car, this was my new life as a single mum to three. They would see their Dad, and there was a glimmer of hope that social care would finally provide the help we had been begging for to prevent this break … Continue reading The ‘Surprise’ Child Protection Meeting
This final part (well I may upload the postscript..). This says it all really..... 'HOWEVER, ALL WAS NOT WHAT IT SEEMED. What the Finance Group (MARG) did next, even the most hardened SEN Warriors will struggle to believe.' Earlier parts of the book can be found here. Chapter 6 Is It Really For … Continue reading It Must Be Mum – Part 8
So Peter has been in hospital for some time. The acute side to his condition has settled somewhat but in order for his progress to be maintained and continued Peter needs a therapeutic residential ASD placement. Everyone has agreed this. Making it happen on the other hand is another issue altogether. The impact on his … Continue reading It Must Be Mum – Part 7
...And the crippling practice of the Local Authority Staff begins. Earlier parts of the book can be found here. Peter (now age 10) was admitted to a Tier 4 CAMHS unit 150 miles away from home a few weeks earlier with, among other things, 'signs of school related trauma'. He had previously been in mainstream education … Continue reading It Must Be Mum – Part 6
Earlier parts of the book can be found here. Chapter 3 An accidental Expert? I had just wanted to be Peter's mum, that's all. I wanted to drop him at school, help him with reading and homework and live a family life the rest of the time. I had a 'big' job. I was a clinician … Continue reading It Must Be Mum – Part 5
In part 4 the extreme refusal by school staff to support Peter is explored, my incredible naivety is exposed as is the phenomenal arrogance of school staff. I think all parents of children with SEN will relate to this! Earlier parts of the book can be found here. Spinning Heads - Chapter 2b Ever since … Continue reading It Must Be Mum – Part 4
Peter is admitted to hospital 150 miles from home and has his 10th birthday there. He undergoes the first six week of his assessment admission and recommendations about his future needs are made by the hospital team. Some school staff continue to insist that he is 'fine' and their unconscious incompetence reaches an all time high...... Earlier … Continue reading It Must Be Mum – Part 3
In Part two Peter's admission to hospital becomes inevitable - but where do you find a mental health bed for a 9 year old? Lily's condition deteriorates and their mum turns to her friends for help, which doesn't turn out to well. Click here for Part 1 of 'It Must Be Mum' Subtle Differences – … Continue reading It Must Be Mum – Part 2
About this story In just ten months Peter went from a boy who attended mainstream school unsupported, costing the taxpayer nothing in additional school resource, to being so broken by his school experiences he needed to be admitted to a psychiatric unit at just 9 years old. As a result he is unlikely to ever … Continue reading It Must Be Mum – Part 1
Mum to DJ and Velcro I was asked to be a part of this amazing little group of mums to offer up my experiences, advice and support to other parents following a similar journey. I've watched this little idea of itmustbemum start to grow quickly and have felt quite nervous as to when and what … Continue reading When it all goes dark
Following on from the tips from Rosie and Jo’s mum (see unable to attend school) I want to share some lessons learned from the experiences of Peter and Jack. Peter and Jack were almost 9 and in Year 4. They had shared the same kind, nurturing teacher for 1 term in Year 3 and the same unkind … Continue reading Unable to attend school – what next?
By Rosie and Jo’s mum. “When she’s in school, she’s fine…..” “Once you’ve dropped her off, she’s fine.” “She’s been fine all day.” I’ve probably heard these phrases and other variations of them hundreds of times over the years. When I had watched the 12 year old Rosie grow progressively more pale and anxious as … Continue reading What does ‘fine’ mean?
Rosie and Jo’s mum. When Jo was eight, I was told that, if she didn’t ‘want’ to go to school, I should manhandle her out of the house and all the way into school. I called her CAMHS psychologist and explained. She told me to manhandle her into school too. Incredulous, I repeated her words … Continue reading Unable to attend school
Just so you know - for those arriving here after reading "the book" - this blog was 12 months after Part 8 was written. So Peter did make it to the residential school which he so desperately needed. However, as you will see it wasn't all plain sailing. 😦 In case you have doom and … Continue reading 36 Hours in the Life of an SEN Mum Trying to Re-enter the Workplace
I’m incensed! Again! To be clear, when a child is displaying distress before and / or after school because their needs are inadequately understood and supported during school hours, it is not OK. Parents are told “We can’t help because we don’t see the problem in school”. They don’t get it do they? That is … Continue reading ‘Masking’ and ‘Blending In’ – is there a difference?
This morning was another little first in parenting – I nipped to the shop leaving my 9-year-old at home with her 11-year-old brother, very briefly, for the first time. We enjoyed a relaxed breakfast together and it felt just so deliciously ordinary. I am aware that the word ‘normal’ can make some people flinch and … Continue reading What is “Normal” anyway?
It is clear from the few forums I am on that there are a number whose children's chronic and prolonged school related distress has resulted in serious and significant harm to their mental health. Damage that isn't all reversible and has sometimes led to children being admitted to mental health inpatient units whilst still in … Continue reading It’s Not Fair
So what do children with an Autism Spectrum Condition need from their local Mental Health Services? prevention-and-early-intervention-of-mh-difficulties-for-those-with-an-asd Posted by Peter and Lily's mum. If you have found this post helpful and you think others may too, please click one of the share buttons below Like this blog? To see more of our blog posts … Continue reading Prevention of and Early Intervention in Mental Health Difficulties for those with an Autism Spectrum Condition