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      Depression, Mental Health and Crisis Support   06/04/2017

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Elefan

Residential special schools

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Elefan   

Hi,

 

I have scoured the topics but can't find something that answers my niggling query!

 

Our LEA and the Special ASD Unit attached to the mainstream school that my daughter attends have concluded that the placement has failed.

 

As a result of other significant factors, everyone is in agreement that the only way she will access her education and receive the therapies she needs is to be in one environment. Home schooling is not an option either.

 

However, she does not want an education and is resistant to being kept away from me. I just don't see how she would 'comply' with a visit to a residential school never mind a couple of nights assessment stay. The school prospectus's state that the child has to be 'willing'!

 

So, what happens to children who are not willing, but all other settings have failed and they are considered too disruptive in the home environment, too?

 

I don't think it is a case of her seeing the right school and suddenly clicking with it and being amenable. In any case, she enthused about the ASD Unit she is currently in before the honeymoon period ended and the position became untenable. As all residentail schools state that if a child is given a place, it is for an initial 3 month period,...I imagine any potential initial willingness will have gone after 3 months and they will be saying they can't work with her either!

 

I know that I won't be alone in this situation, so hope someone can come along and share their experience!

 

Kindest regards,

 

Elefan

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>>I don't think it is a case of her seeing the right school and suddenly clicking with it and being amenable. >.

 

This IS what happened with my son - I visited the school, and thought it would suit him (I also visited lots of residential schools that would not have suited him). I then sold it to him by highlighting all the things he would enjoy there (go-karting, swimming, the fields, etc). He visited and had a good day (they did not require overnight stays at that time), and that was it. He did go through times when he wanted to be home and he never did enjoy the "school" stuff much, but the school dealt with issues as they arose (eg: he came home more frequently for a while).

 

The school had a few children over the years who did not want to be there (but also did not want to be in ANY school), and they dealt with it as best as they could. If the placement was not right for any of the children, the school would help find a more suitable one.

 

I must admit the bit about the child being willing to go there did worry me the first time I read it (and you don't know if they will be willing until you try really), but it was not an issue in the end.

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bid   

Lovely to see you again Elefan! >:D<<'>

 

At my son's residential school they were very flexible with a variety of settling-in strategies, including starting with a few days per week and building up, not accessing lessons/particular subjects at first, etc.

 

I think most AS specific residesi schools are very well used to young people who are disaffected for a variety of reasons. Most will have been out of school for some time after previous placements have broken down/mental health problems, etc.

 

Are you able to visit a number of schools? I only had two viable options: the first was a lovely school but I knew it wouldn't be right for A; the second we walked in and both just 'knew'.

 

Good luck >:D<<'>

 

Bidxx

Edited by bid

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baddad   

Hi elefan -

 

No real advice, but sorry to hear you are all having such a hard time right now :(

I was just going to say something along the same lines as kazzen - that for now all you can really worry about is the 'willingness to go' and then cross the 'willingness to stay after the honeymoon period' bridge if and when you get there... There's a possibility, i guess, that it won't get there, and that everything will be okay from the outset, but it is more likely you will hit some sort of 'bump' at some point. The thing is, that 'bump' may not be a complete brick wall - more just a sizable hurdle...

Residential has worked for many children where all else hasn't, and while it is a huge lifechange for all concerned, like most lifechanges it's an opportunity to break old, negative behaviours and to refocus on new, positive ones. Not always opportunities we can make the most of (for whatever reasons) but opportunities non-the-less.

Obviously finding the 'right' place and/or the right place with a place available is going to be a major task in itself, but the biggest plusses of doing so are that they will be specifically geared up for children with similar issues, and the 24hr curriculum offers a continuity of approach that's really not viable in most domestic situations. That's not the parents or childs fault - it's just how it is because the patterns at home have been established for years. If you think about it, it's a bit like trying to give up drinking in a pub - all of the old temptations and 'patterns of behaviour' are there waiting to be picked up. Change the location, and that's taken out of the equation...

 

very best to you all. keep us posted

 

L&P

 

BD :D

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Elefan   

Thanks you three. :)

 

I'd be here all night writing a novel to explain why the willingness issue could be a show stopper,...but I will spare you. :)

 

I have three schools on my shortlist after doing some internet and phone research. I got an email from the LEA official today naming the same three for me to investigate. LEA, CAMHS and SS are on side, but whether they manage to agree on each funding a third will remain to be seen as to how far this progresses.

 

Bads,..how did your son transfer to secondary in september (he and my little one are the same age, I think - year 7)?

 

Elefan

x

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baddad   
Bads,..how did your son transfer to secondary in september (he and my little one are the same age, I think - year 7)?

 

Elefan

x

 

Yes, yr 7 - and so far going really well - Will PM you.

 

L&P

 

BD :D

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oxgirl   

Elefan, we're worrying about the same issue at the moment. We're looking at post 16 resi colleges for our lad, but the biggest hurdle will be getting him to agree to even the idea of living away. We haven't discussed it with him yet, but think his initial instinct will be to just refuse out of hand to consider the idea. I looked in a prospectus and saw exactly the same as you, that they need to be 'willing' and just thought, 'oh-oh'. Good luck.

 

~ Mel ~

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JsMum   

 

 

 

Hi J went to a special school in November and I guess were still in the early days, it is a school J wanted to go to as there is a lot of activities and the enviroement is very much suited for J too, now that he has had a taste of the good things and things have tailered off a bit he is starting to complain of some of the rules and has started to experience the consequences the school puts in place, I personally know he is safe and secure but they do try it on to unerve you, J is starting to say he doesnt want to go, but I know thats because he is been challeneged and I know that where ever he went he would say he doesnt want to go, however I know he has a fantastic oportunity to access provisions and support that he wouldnt else where, for a boy like my J who could easily end up in a secure unit this is the best option and this time last year I was requesting the social services to place him care because I could cope with the physical aggression, so I can say we have turned around a lot, the 24hr curriculum offers J a structure, consistancy and staff who understand and know how to manage him.

 

Js school does need a degree of coperation and willingness to be there, I think the behaviour would have to be at a stage where it would be completely unworkable and unproductive if a child just simply refused to comply all the time and go against the grain that it would be very difficult to work long term.

 

I know though that if J did go to a local day special school Id no way get him there, at least with residential he is already there with staff who can support him throw that particular issue of I dont want to go to school today.

 

We take it week by week and he constantly been assessed, monitored and careplans in place.

 

Whats funny is some days when I do ring he says can I ring back in half an hour as he is busy playing, now that is positive as he is then willing and participating, so the willingness could be as little as getting involved in an activity.

 

good luck with the funding and finding the right school for your child.

 

We are still working with the transisition.

 

JsMum

 

 

 

 

 

 

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bid   

Just another thought, as I work at a residesi special school...

 

Placements usually only breakdown when either other children and/or staff are being put at serious risk.

 

We are certainly used to new students who don't really want to be with us, and this is addressed by the school, the home unit and the behavioural specialist all working together to move the student forward.

 

It really is very, very uncommon for a placement to breakdown.

 

Bid :)

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Hi Elefan. Long time, no see.

 

Just to say DS is a day boy, but about half the children in his school reside. From the moment he went there he was with experts and overnight I was 'redundant' in terms of all the strategies and advice needed to keep my dear boy engaged, interacting and learning. That was moving from one special school to another.

 

DS had been expending considerable energy in finding ways to stay out of the classroom, as he totally failed to see the point in being there. It took a while, but they were able to turn that around. He enjoyed being there from day one.

 

Here's hoping you find the right placement.

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Elefan   

very interesting observations and good to know, Bid. :) Thank you.

 

Hiya Jaded! As my daughter has found ingenious ways to avoid school or attending lessons, I personally will eat my own hat if she loves it from day one,..but the point is that your post proves it is possible and gives me hope. :)

 

I'm off to travel the country to check out schools now. All to be done within the week and I only found out today!!!

 

Take care,

 

Elefan

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Flora   

Hi Elefan,

 

My son (he's 15 now but was about 12 when the question of resi was first mooted) was vehemently against the idea of school per se, and the suggestion that the solution lay in him going to one where he'd have to sleep there was met with great hostility!

 

However, the answe lay in the fact that after looking at a couple of these school I just KNEW that it was what he needed. So I spent a long time wearing him down! I worked on the psychology behind the 'need for an education', and what he would achieve or not achieve depending how he does at school (ie... future employment etc). In effect when it came to the nitty gritty I handed over the responsiblity to him. Pointing out that without an education and no gainful employment he'd never be able to afford to support himself in the manner he'd grown accustomed to. This was a long arduous process and took a long time before it even began to filter through.

 

He's been at his resi school since April last year and I never even hear from him. I might get one 5 minute phone call a week if he feels like having a grumble at someone and that's it. He's postiviely thriving.

 

This may not work for everyone, but it certainly worked for Bill.

 

Good luck!

 

Flora

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SuzyQ   

Hi ,

 

No advice to offer as my dd is in a pychiatric hospital at present she is coming up to 15 with AS and we are now waiting for the LEA to agree she needs full time residential placement they said she coud cope in mainstream which she hadn't been doing since she went there until the school finally agreed she wasn't fit to be there, infact she hasn't been in school since October.

It's just good to hear so many people have children who are in residential placements and doing well. It gives me hope as she has spent three months in hospital and we are hoping soon that she can move on to a residential placement once she is more under control.

 

I am sure it is a case of highlighting all the things your child likes at the school good luck

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Elefan   

Hi Flora,

 

Great to hear your experience, but I think most of the credit for the success is because of your patience to ensure the transition process worked.

 

SuzyQ,

 

I am sorry to hear about your daughters problems. I truly hope that the help they are providing enables her to access the right school setting and create a better future for herself and give you some peace of mind. It is something that gets mentioned for my daughter quite regularly just now, too. She got formally excluded yesterday and she attacked a social worker today, too. I have visions of any school that I see saying, 'um,..no thank you' with her track record since she started secondary in September! Lots to do over the next few days.....

 

Bid,...I spoke to someone who's lad was in the year above your boy at the special school he went to! :) A lad with the same name as yours, too, if that helps! Pm me if you can't work out my code! :)

 

Night night,

 

Elefan

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