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How to help DGS

(39 Posts)
Nandalot Tue 02-Apr-19 11:38:34

DGS is a super boy but his problems seem to be becoming more pronounced as he gets older (almost 8). He is getting extra help at school particularly fine motor skills. School assessment triggered a GP appointment but further referral requested by GP has been refused, ( I suspect funding issues). He is becoming more and more anxious: OCD traits like washing hands frequently;needing toilet again and again before leaving house. He worries about everything, e.g. if he has another bowl of cereal will he be sick? He is a chatty boy at home about his interests, but does not like to answer in class. He is shy with other adults. Other children seem to be excluding him from their games. He has a twin sister and for a long time they played together so as the sexes are naturally dividing for playtime both have found it hard. Any GNers who have experience of this or who have advice it would be much appreciated.

Teetime Tue 02-Apr-19 11:45:59

Oh dear I can see you are worried. Hopefully the other Grasnetters who have been employed in a professional capacity will be able to help more than me. All I can say is my GS did similar things but has over time learnt to manage some of his own anxieties although he is still quiet and doesn't speak up, hates crowds etc and has a few phobias(he is nearly 14). His help has come through music finding out he is musical has done wonders for his confidence and for his street cred at school (plays a mean guitar now). I hope you get some help with your GS and that he is given help to find something that he can enjoy.

EllanVannin Tue 02-Apr-19 13:05:10

One of my GGS is similar Nandalot. It's since he joined the " bigger " school from primary, at the age of 11. He's a twin but his sister is okay. They're both 13 in June and he now attends school 2 or perhaps 3 days a week with no pressure on him to attend.

Last November I went to see his class teacher because I was worried about him and stated that I thought he was overwhelmed by the size of the school as he's already a bit on the sensitive side and all the pupils too had an impact on him.

He was then sent to a purpose-built centre which specialises in children and young adults with disabilities. He enjoys going there on the days he doesn't attend school as he can speak to a trained teacher/youth worker in a one to one situation as those there are in the same boat and of a nervous disposition.

I would say that my GGS has a mild form of autism but waiting for an appointment to see a professional is a long process. For all I know he may have seen a psychologist in school as there are some things which remain confidential unless it's with the child's parent. This being the reason for the sporadic school attendance.

Nandalot Tue 02-Apr-19 14:51:16

Thank you for your replies, Teetime and Ellen. I am pleased that music has proved a godsend for your DGS, Teetime, my DGS is learning the baritone but I don’t think that will be the answer!
Ellen, I hope your GGS gets his appointment soon.

M0nica Tue 02-Apr-19 16:00:41

My son had fine motor and more general muscular uncoordination and was diagnosed as dyspraxic. He was given a specialised exercise regime, which helped, plus once he had access to a keyboard the writing problems became irrelevant.

He did not however have the other problems. Has your DGS had a SEND assessment, which I think should be organised through the school. Either way find out how to apply for him to be assessed by an educational psychologist.

trisher Tue 02-Apr-19 16:10:29

Nandalot even if further referral has been refused (and you might want to appeal about that) your DGS should have an Individual Education Plan if he has been identified as needing extra help. If he hasn't got one I think his parents should ask for one. Basically it sets out what his problems are, gives targets to help him improve and says what strategies will be used to help him do this. It should be discussed with his parents and updated at least every half term. So if he is shy with adults one target might be to get him to talk to other school staff and widen his circle. It might be done by sending him and another child with messages to someone.
As far as playing and surviving without his sister, lots of twins have this when one of them is more sociable/bossy than the other. Does his school have a ' play ground buddy' system?' A small group of children wearing special hats/vests are there to play with lonely children. Schools sometimes have a special bench as well where you can sit if you want someone to play with you. If there isn't one of these you could talk to the head about it.
I sometimes think GCs are more worrying than our own children! Good luck

Gonegirl Tue 02-Apr-19 16:11:50

I wonder if joining the Cub Scouts might be helpful to him? Perhaps being with other youngsters outside the school or home, in an environment which is fun and interest based, along with being well supervised, would help him to join in in with the others and forget about the things that bother him. Might be worth a try. It could well lead onto other things, such as weekend activity camps, rallies and so on. I am a great believer in the Scout movement.

mumofmadboys Tue 02-Apr-19 16:18:41

I think it is worth going back to the GP and asking for a referral to CAMHS ( Child and Adolescent mental health service) for an assessment. This is sometimes organised through the school nurse. Keep pushing for him to be seen and assessed. Let us know how things go.

Nandalot Tue 02-Apr-19 23:38:46

Lots of advice here. Trisher, the school is being brilliant. GS on SEN list and DD has met with SEN and teacher and I think this is to be termly. The bench and the buddy system seem good ideas so will mention to DD as well. (She is a governor). It is a small school . I know the supervisors keep an eye out. Some of the not playing is a bit subtle. i.e. he was made a ‘manager’ of the football teams at lunch time by one of the boys i.e. not allowed to play. He soon cottoned on and was upset about it.
mumofmadboys, I think I will suggest this to DD as the anxiety issues have become more pronounced of late.

crystaltipps Wed 03-Apr-19 07:21:53

Has he been assessed by an educational psychologist?
Ask the school for a referral- they’ll probably say no as they won’t have the money, if you can afford it then I suggest you get a private assessment, this will help you get a EHCP, which a parent can apply for themselves.

trisher Wed 03-Apr-19 10:50:41

Nandalot Oh football it's the nightmare, dealing with boys who develop at a very early age (often egged on by their parents) a seriously competitive attitude to it, which means they won't let boys who aren't good be on their team. It needs a concerted effort by the school to promote football is for all, and sometimes it can be competitive, but other times everyone shoud be involved including children with disabilities.

Sydney2012 Wed 03-Apr-19 11:11:23

Sorry to hear about your GS. May. I suggest practicing socialising in other environments. For example getting him to pay the bill in restaurants and cafes, ordering for himself. At playcentres practice making friends with him so he knows how to say hello and ask to play with other children. Also keep him busy with outside interests so he builds his confidence. Invite other children to tea and on play dates . Hope this is helpful it worked for my children .

Pippa22 Wed 03-Apr-19 11:19:30

Cubs and Scouts is a wonderful suggestion but unless you are very lucky it will be difficult to join. In my area getting into Cubs is harder than getting a place at Eaton and you might need to sell a kidney to get in. The reason is a shortage of leaders as it is purely a voluntary organisation. However it is a very bonding group giving huge activity opportunities and is bonding and confidence building. Your lad migh we’ll thrive in that set up Nandalot.

hicaz46 Wed 03-Apr-19 11:20:20

My DGD is very much like your DGS. She is also a twin and had great difficulty transitioning to senior school. She has had anxieties and OCD traits too. My DD paid to see a specialist because appointments for CAMHS take forever and she is now on medication but has now been seen a couple of times by CAMHS. Push for the school to refer to CAMHS who hopefully will be able to help.

Nannan2 Wed 03-Apr-19 11:44:21

Sadly trisher not all children whom are "indentified as having problems" are immediately given an individual education plan or if they are it doesnt help much as to get most help etc they mostly need a ' statement' (as it used to be) or EHC PLAN- but even if and when a child or young person is assessed they still dont neccessarily hand these out either.My youngest(nearly 16) has had loads of medical problems since birth (very prem)including poor motor skills/ balance as well- and i felt he needed more help (call it mothers intuition)he was on a IEP at primary school but years this dragged on,no real turns out at 15 hes had mild cerebral palsy also, like his brother, but had gone undiagnosed! Even now it is hes got no EHC 'official' plan- though hes been given extra time on exams and a scribe to help in school.He has some behavioural problems and had tests(after 15yrs of asking) for ASD issues some of which he has, but are ' borderline' so still no clear- cut diagnosis on that- so no 'statement' (which most schools& health officials are still calling it! )my elder son has mild CP and also has OCD(much washing as you describe) and hates change of any sort,so gets anxious, but again they cannot separate whats CP or ASD issues so again no EHC plan.If only health authorities would recognise some children are in a 'grey area' it would be easier to get the help they need.But Nandalot- get their parents to keep plugging away at gp,consultants, health authorities, till they get to bottom of the problems he has.Then take it from there.

janipans Wed 03-Apr-19 11:44:51

My partners grandson has many issues but turned a corner by relating to animals. He has riding lessons with Riding for the Disabled and has really blossomed. The family also got a dog which shares a mutual love as well as being a playmate. If the family didn't want a dog maybe you could get one?

trisher Wed 03-Apr-19 11:51:44

Nanaan2 I know all about the issues involved. I fought for many years for my DS. I only posted simple things because being involved in the intricacies and the long term actions needed in some cases to get results are far too complicated and difficult to post about on here. If an IEP isn't working it needs real tenacity to get it improved. (and possibly a certain amount of professional know how).

dorabelle100 Wed 03-Apr-19 11:59:12

a Rudolph Steiner school might help

Coconut Wed 03-Apr-19 12:00:02

A friend has a daughter with difficulties and she has fought for years to get specific help. You have to challenge absolutely everything, if they say No, get it in writing and get reasons why, research it yourself and then make your demands. My friend is drained with it all but has won all her battles with the authorities as she knew by research exactly what DD was entitled to. It is very sad that you have to take this route, but it’s worth fighting for.

Hollydoilly10 Wed 03-Apr-19 12:43:02

I would take him to see a homeopath, it is something we commonly see in patients.

susanstroud Wed 03-Apr-19 13:07:55

I am in the States. I was a school psychologist for 25 years. Teacher for 10 first. We have a Child Find law in the States. Even if your child does not quality for an IEP, he might would qualify for a Section 504 Plan here in the States. This is an accommodation plan that does not receive federal funds but gives the child special accommodations to address things like needing extra time, sitting in a special seat, prompting before transitions, reduced amounts of redundant work, etc. Lots of kids have a Section 504 plan when they have anxiety disorders or ADHD. I adopted two children and the school did not refer either of them because they were academically doing 'okay'. I worked with them all the time. But I had them tested. One had a severe LD and ADHD but a very high IQ that enabled him to get by. The other ended up with bipolar disorder and hospitalized from medication side effects when she was 11. You have to fight for your kids. Don't expect anyone else to do it for you. Remember the best intervention is early intervention and if you don't address an issue by the time a child is 12, behaviors are very entrenched. Good luck.

newnanny Wed 03-Apr-19 13:24:08

My foster son has enormous confidence by joining a disability cricket team. He trains twice a week. One training session is small with just three children attending which means individual attention. The other session is larger with twelve children. The Lord Tavener's pays for the training sessions. They also lay on competitive cricket for those that want to play and are selected, but they ate very inclusive. The coaches are trained in dealing with children with additional needs.

newnanny Wed 03-Apr-19 13:26:14

Each county cricket team offers this provision.

NotStressedOut Wed 03-Apr-19 13:51:22

My grandson is going through the process to be diagnosed with Autism. He was referred initially the discharged so my daughter went back to the doctor and the school and another referral was sent. He was approved for an EHCP and is now on the waiting list through Cahms for the diagnosis. My daughter has had to firm and kept pushing the relevant departments. My grandson is anxious too and hates going to school. He had trouble writing but is 98% percentile for intelligence. He has a teaching assistant with him at school but because he has meltdowns they can’t cope with him. He is 8 and is now starting to hit people. He doesn’t like to be told what to do by teachers. He doesn’t understand why friends don’t want to do what he tells them to do. Consequently he gets angry with them. He can’t go on school trips either. My daughter is now looking for school for children with autism for my grandson. It’s very stressful for the whole family. Hopefully your grandchild will get a referral granted and get the help he needs.

NotStressedOut Wed 03-Apr-19 13:59:26

Do not take your grandson to a homeopath as advised by previous poster. That will not help at all. The dictor and the school need to do the referral and the parents will also be sent forms to fill in for the referral. The forms do not always have the right questions so an attached letter with any further details not on the form would be a help.