Wednesday, February 20, 2013

A Cry for Help

This is more like a long tweet/status, than a post.  Its me seeing if any of you lovely people out there have any suggestions......anything?!
I wrote my post yesterday (here).

My child simply won't go to school, he has autism, I know, but he won't go. He went Monday, without complaint. Not a murmur. He came out happy......then he woke up Tues and flat out said no.

I have mentioned on here the problems I am having physically, I can't grab him and force him. I also can't cope emotionally, I don't want to leave my child mid meltdown, in someone else's care!

I feel like a bad parent. I mean, how many news stories have you read about a parent that is being sentenced to actual prison time, simply because they can't get their child to school. Have you passed your own judgement on them? I know I have.

And yet here I am in that position. Nothing is working.
The pictures, the talking, the 'sticking to routine', None of it is working.

Another thing most parents don't realise when you have a child with this kind of 'disabilty', is the lack of support I get now he is in school. I do get support from them, but they don't see this side of my child. They didn't see him yesterday when he started hurting himself because we were trying to talk about him going to school. They don't see him growling at you instead of using words, because you've tried to talk to him.

What am I supposed to do? Who do I turn to for advice?

If you know the answer to anything I have written, please let me know.
There are loads of ways to contact me.


  1. I can't help, but wanted to know I had read and sympathised. Hope it gets easier soon. Xxx

    1. Thank you, it means a lot knowing you're not alone x

  2. We have phases like this with my eldest. He's been too big to pick up and carry for a few years.

    He has an understanding school, and a statement, both of which are helpful. The first thing you need to do is talk to the SENCO, because you're going to need to work out together what's triggered this. If you do everything you can to keep school informed in this way, then it's far less likely that action will be taken against you, as well.

    My eldest is bright, so on the days when all else fails and I can't get him out of the house, we have a school day at home. He gets work to do. He has no telly, except at lunchtime, and unless he has a specific task to do, he doesn't get computer time until when he would normally get home from school. It's hard work, but being calm, business like and even detached with him seems to break the cycle quite quickly, in a day or so. Not taking it personally, no matter how tired you are, really does help to de-escalate.

    I don't know if you're on mumsnet, by the way, but you'll find lots of parents with similar difficulties on the Special Needs board there and a lot of sage advice.

    Keep on keeping on!


    1. Thank you! I think a meeting with the SENCO has to be on the cards, and I like your idea of home schooling him when he has days like this. I think I may bring that up, his school is quite understanding too.
      When he gets going, and everything is ok, I think we've cracked it, then he's back like this and I get defeated.
      He's currently in his bedroom, no ipad, no treats, nothing, as they are things he gets when he comes home from school.
      I shall get on to mumsnet now, I hadn't been on there before. xx

  3. Hi Joanna, I can't offer any specific advice but I just wanted to say you might want to come and ask about this on our Talk about Autism online forums: I'm certain some of our members have been through this before and they will be happy to offer help/advice

    1. I will come take a look, and thank you, any suggestions are welcome x

  4. Hi, I'm Deb @MumForAutism; we shared a few tweets earlier about school refusing. First thing I want to say is that you're not a bad parent though I understand why you feel like this; I did too when my son started school refusing.

    As others have said, you need to talk to the SENCO as a first step. Its important to register your concerns of your son not just for his benefit but also to protect you from claims that you are to blame for his refusing. I would also explain his pattern of behaviour as there autistic children (including my son) who mask their ditress at school and let off at home. I know how hard this is particularly when professionals don't see this behaviour.
    You may want to think about keeping a written record not just to see if you can find an trigger but to help people understand your son. However, I know how hard it is being a mum and you may not have time for this so don't worry too much.

    Also if you haven't already, consider applying for an assessment for a diagnosis and enquire about your son being placed on the SEN register (ie school action, school action plus or assessment for a statement of SEN) - your SENCO should help here; if not try your local Parent Partnership or IPSEA. The earlier the better as you can put in place the support he needs.

    Otherwise try not to worry too much about him missing the odd day. Our autistic children can easily become overwhelmed or exhausted and its important that they rest. However, it is worth trying to find out if there is a specific reason why he won't go on some days. I know my aspergers daughter refused to go to school on PE days because she struggled running.

    If school refusing persists then you will need to get futher advice and support, possibly from an educational psychologist or psychiatrist (CAMHS).


    1. I've just come back from a meeting with his teacher which felt very positive, I definitely like the idea if keeping a diary. Iam going to fill one in for yesterday and today. Although I also have posts as a reminder now!
      Thank you for all the advice on who to talk to and what to ask about. I've never heard of most of what you mentioned above, so its definitely time to meet with the SENCO
      Again, thank you so much for taking the time to post this response it means the world to me xx

  5. I don't think I can offer anything any better than what has already been shared, but I wanted to give you some hugs & for you to know you're not alone and I understand your frustrations xx

    1. Thanks Julie it means a lot. He's such a sweet boy its hard when he gets worked up xx

  6. Big hugs my lovely! I was going to suggest homeschooling too. You're doing such a great job despite what it must feel like. We are all here anytime and sending cyber hugs xxx

    1. Thank you so much, it means a lot. The support I've received has been amazing xx


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