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Help again guys with 'bullying'

(62 Posts)
claw2 Tue 15-Oct-13 21:53:59

Ds has been reporting to me almost daily about the same 3 kids hurting him and calling him names etc.

Ds previously reported to me a girl in his class keeps pinching him, slyly on the backs of his arms as they line up for class.

Also younger boys were chanting 'ds is an Indian' and 'ds is a loser' in the playground, which ds tells me was witnessed by another boy

I reported to school, school just said 'girl x can be tactile' and nothing about other incident.

Monday ds reports same girl x, pinching the back of his arms on 2 separate occasions and also that she grabbed his arm, twisted and bent it behind his back in the playground. He says her 'hurting' him is a daily thing. Same again today, pinching him as they line up.

Ds also says same younger boys are intimidating him, he says every time they see him, they stare at him until he looks away or puts his head down, insult him 'baby' and 'loser' until he runs away in the playground, then they leave him alone. If they see him in assembly they poke out their tongues. Ds is scared of them and tries to avoid them.

I reported to school again and have just received a reply to my email 'surprised if girl x indulged in this sort of behaviour, as she is a kind hearted person and its out of character for the boys' Then a few lines about what a good, jolly day ds has had, with only a slight incident at the end of day, with ds getting a headache'

I know that ds has sensory difficulties, I know that ds can misinterpret the actions, intentions of others etc, etc.

I need to approach this differently as just reporting what ds reports to me, isn't working. Ds obviously needs more support than he is currently getting with unstructured times.

Ds has just literally just come downstairs with blood smeared all over his face, where he scratched and cut himself and smeared it on purpose on his face. Told me he is 'sad because of PE and people being mean to him'

What do I do?

claw2 Wed 16-Oct-13 21:02:43

They don't appear to be getting the idea of ds using the reception when he is feeling overwhelmed or uncertain etc. They have asked that ds choose between morning break or lunch break and spend the other in the playground.

claw2 Wed 16-Oct-13 21:04:34

Wet I hadn't even realised, its written on ds's statement, I will have to check.

Just school sent me a letter for a June.

claw2 Wed 16-Oct-13 21:07:17

Just checked covering letter with statement its early March, not June.

Seems school have just scheduled his review for June. I will put that right.

wetaugust Wed 16-Oct-13 21:16:36

You see Claw - it's subtle. You'd think that being an indie they would be on the side of the parent wouldn't you. But in this case their paymaster is the LA. Why upset the LA - why not just delay the AR by a few months. Assists the indie school too in case the LA withdraw him for the final term.

Or am I getting a bit too conspiracy theory here?

claw2 Wed 16-Oct-13 21:26:18

Not at all Wet, the thought has crossed my mind plenty of times.

The LA had SS involved, I suspect to get their hands on my medical files and any other info they could possible use. This back fired on them rather badly and they couldn't really get out of naming indie school and they named it without any fight whatsoever. Literally all I did was ask.

However ds's statement identifies no needs and the provision provided in it could be met by any MS school anywhere without even using a budget!

I was honest with the LA/school and told them I would accept statement on the proviso that it be reviewed in 6 months, as without any needs identified etc they could remove the placement at any time. School were to monitor ds needs etc closely for review.

wetaugust Wed 16-Oct-13 21:31:39

Go with the flow Claw. You'll have an opportunity to get some real 'evidence' into the statement at the March review.

I think it's going to be a case of chipping away by email - as this has proved effective. Don't worry about coming across as over-engaged - so what!

claw2 Wed 16-Oct-13 22:07:25

I have stated that I am keen to resolve issues before they escalate, given ds's long well documented history it is very clear that issues escalate extremely quickly with ds. One minute school are reporting ds is fine, happy and farting rainbows, the same day i was called to go pick him up and take him to A&E for emergency mental health assessment and im on suicide watch. I think I am being totally reasonable.

I have checked in with CAMHS to cover my back and they are 'encouraging' close home/school contact and feel it is it vital for this transition period to go smoothly and be successful etc. We all know, how everyone likes to follow expert advice!

The LA will have to remove this placement from my lifeless claw like hand Wet grin

claw2 Thu 17-Oct-13 20:47:58

Another email today stating that the 2 boys had admitted to it to! School have dealt with it and the boys have apologised to ds smile

Such a relief that they have taken it seriously and review date has been changed and date given.

PolterGoose Thu 17-Oct-13 20:55:30

Blimey, claw, it's all go for you this week, horrid that ds has has to put up with the crap but to actually have him proved right is a humongous leap forward, this bodes well for him being believed if there is a next time.

wetaugust Thu 17-Oct-13 23:08:25

Even better Claw. You now have 2 episodes of bullying by diferent children evidenced by school. And school does seem to be taking it seriously - good.

Blimey, what a rollacoaster you're on.

It all sounds so nerve-wracking, though overall so much more positive than before.

Keep going. Are you sure you don't want to accept your nomination? You've done amazingly well and are an inspiration to many no doubt, plus really, though 100x better, it is still tough, scary and all-consuming.

claw2 Fri 18-Oct-13 06:37:11

Thanks guys.

Rollercoaster sums it up well Star, not so much for me, im pretty used to it , more so for ds.

He is so confused, one minute he is happy, next he is in tears. The last two nights he has been breaking down in tears. Last night he broke down and told me 'mum ive been scratching again tonight' I asked him if he knew why and he told me 'he was sad' and I asked did he know why. Yes he is scratching because his cuts make him sad. He was then saying he hates his autism and if he didn't have it he wouldn't cry in PE because he cant do things.

He did bring home a 'trigger sheet' yesterday, all the kids did one at circle time. It is rated 1 to 5, at 1 it says things that annoy me a bit, 4 things which make me upset and 5 things that make me angry etc, etc. So kinda like a feeling chart rated 1 - 5 with different feelings.

All of his were a 4 'things that make me upset' when I don't know what to do, school, bullies, my family being hurt, my cuts and my cat dying is what he has written.

That is a first EVER that he has written/shared his worries with school.

I really didn't know what to say to ds last night, apart from trying to reassure him and giving him a hug.

claw2 Fri 18-Oct-13 07:36:52

Ds is really struggling to come to terms with his autism and how he may/may not be different ad how this affects him in terms of things he can/cannot do.

I believe this the root cause of ds self harming and all the other behaviours are obviously secondary to his autism.

1. How do I sum that up better and ask school for some counselling for ds?

2. How do I help him with this at home?

PolterGoose Fri 18-Oct-13 09:51:04

Have you ever tried any of the Dawn Huebner books?

TBH I'm not very trusting of counsellors, I prefer to do what is within my capabilities myself, using resources like the Huebner books. It terrifies me that someone could fuck up ds and I also have control issues hmm

I'm going to try and get some training in Solution Focused Therapy through work, I already use some of the concepts with my clients, but I think it could be good with our kids with HFA and AS especially.

claw2 Fri 18-Oct-13 10:43:36

Yes we have when your worries get too much. I have also read the out sync child, cant eat wont eat and quite a few other books.

Ds wants to know specifically/exactly how his autism affects him and to be honest im a bit stuck on that one! and how best to help him understand.

For example he was saying that if he didn't have autism, he wouldn't cry in PE. I told him everyone cries, not necessarily about PE. He then said but everyone else can do PE, why cant I. There are lots of reasons, he is obviously a smart kid, but still a kid and im struggling to put into child friendly terms, without making him think that he has SO many difficulties. By telling him about the whys and all his difficulties, it would make the situation worse, not better.

claw2 Fri 18-Oct-13 10:44:40

I will have a read of your link later, ive got a dentist appointment now. Thanks.

PolterGoose Fri 18-Oct-13 11:07:53

TBH claw I'm very matter of fact with ds about his abilities, maybe it helps that me and dp share most of ds's 'foibles' and traits between us to varying degrees so we can use our own experiences. So, for example, me and dp are also crap at sport, hated PE, I was kept off for sports days (as were my siblings) because of my anxiety, I don't hide this from ds or try to make it all seem ok. Thankfully he isn't competitive so doesn't care about not winning, he also knows that like me he has hypermobility which means PE will always be harder. But he's aware that a lot of the kids who are good at the things he's not good at find other things harder than he does.

I am quite open about why certain things are harder for him and why some things are easier. He himself has said that he's glad he has Aspergers because he likes having obsessions, at the same time last night he got in a state about friendships and after much effort in my part to convince him that a number of kids in school are his friends, with him convinced they are not for reasons that only make sense to him, in the end I said "ds, because of your Aspergers you find social stuff harder and I know that they are your friends, because I know what a friend is, but I think we need to do some work on friendship, because X would be really sad if he thought you weren't his friend, in half term we can work on this, ok?"

Ds was dx at 6 and we've always talked about his difficulties in the context of his dx's. it's probably just luck, not something I've done, I just muddle along really.

Will your ds read stuff about his dx?

wetaugust Fri 18-Oct-13 11:31:56

Claw

It's good that he's finally able to articulate some of his feelings.

He really needs to be seen by a child and adolescent psychiatrist. Ds saw the CAMHS one every month for about 6 years. It was really useful for him to have someone to discuss things with plus the psych was able to offer medication when he needed it.

Is there any chance that you could make a forceful request to CAMHS for this?

The other useful thing could be the NAS Befriending service. If he were to get a befriender who was quite young it could be a good 'big brother' - DS has an NAS outreach worker who's about 8 years older than him and exactly on his wavelength. It really helps him

claw2 Fri 18-Oct-13 15:45:03

Polter he will read stuff, but he kind of doesn't think that's him, he cant relate to it. He has started to blame autism for all for his difficulties, which is right, it is responsible for his difficulties, however he really resents it for the same reason. So we have a vicious circle, he scratches because he is sad and is sad because he has autism and difficulties.

I have tried explaining that everyone is different, everyone has different strengths and weaknesses etc. Ds has a very old head on his shoulders in some respects and he is thinking about the future and sees it all in a very negative way. 'He is always going to have autism, he is always going to have cuts, he is always going to have difficulties'

I have told him that things can improve, but it seems what I say isn't enough. I think he needs professional help to come to terms with it.

Wet he is still under CAMHS and I think I could probably insist on them seeing him. I am worried about him, I can this spiralling in depression etc in future. NAS actually gave me a list of ASD counsellors, maybe they would be worth a try?

PolterGoose Fri 18-Oct-13 15:54:27

An NAS approved list sounds like a good place to start. Medication might be worth considering too?

You could try some of the solution focused techniques because its all about looking at the now and the future, and concentrates on what you can do. It's very powerful.

claw2 Fri 18-Oct-13 16:13:35

Thanks Polter, im very anti medication, probably because I don't know much about it. I suppose if/when the time comes, i will know the time has come and I might have to rethink that and do some research.

I have just spoken to CAMHS again, the woman dealing with ds's case hasn't even met ds, she isn't a child psychologist, she is a psychiatrist and has just been there in an advisory role since October last year. She said she will look back on ds notes from when he had a year and half's worth of therapy and speak to the team, about what they offer ds.

I will see what they come back with.

MariaBoredOfLurking Fri 18-Oct-13 16:47:46

The 'annual review meeting' is often a bit of a farce: it's just advisory anyway, and if any useful proposals come out of it, there's not much to stop them being ignored.

Legally, the actual AR is done by the LA officer sitting at her desk, doing the meeting write-up & deciding whether or not to amend the statement. So your planned meeting in June will result in an AR date in July (if you're lucky). If the LA did want to try any silly business, the imminent summer holidays would facilitate that.

You can keep the 'annual review' as planned. And still have a meeting to rewrite the statement meanwhile. Technically, the meeting you're after would be an interim review, see page 6 and is additional to the AR.

MariaBoredOfLurking Fri 18-Oct-13 16:55:18

Going to reception at break (providing he's ok with that) is a very quick and unarguable way to demonstrate that he has delayed social-communication skills. Maybe the reception TA could pop over to his class to 'teach' rapid PE-changing skills? She might be far more effective than you in enforcing/persuading her colleagues that he 'needs 5min extra'

Reception TAs often walk on water, as a minimum they're the acknowledged kids-getting-dressed experts, and schools like to keep their expertise in-house wink

MariaBoredOfLurking Fri 18-Oct-13 16:59:10

Got it! Get school to set up a CAF for when the interim review is due, and then 'helpfully' remind the LA they've forgotten the review, school can then magnanimously offer them the chance to combine it with the CAF.

wetaugust Fri 18-Oct-13 17:03:35

I was very anti-meds too Claw and it was the psychiatrist who suggested it.

Once we hit on the right med his life was transformed. He would need to see a psychiatrist before meds could be prescribed. He must be one of the most severe needs that CAMHS deal with - so the psychiatrist should really be seeing him regularly.

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