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ASC issues

Discussion in 'Special educational needs' started by jellycowfish, Jan 18, 2016.

  1. jellycowfish

    jellycowfish Occasional commenter

    Although a (mainstream) teacher, I'm posting for advice regarding my son, in the hope someone can help.

    My 12 year old son was diagnosed ASC/ADHD aged 6 and has been successfully educated in a mainstream primary school. However, 12 months ago, he began having increasing difficulties coping in a classroom, and by Easter was permanently 1-1 with at least 1 TA in a separate room. His mental health has deteriorated alongside this, and there have been threats of suicide, threats to harm/kill others, and there have been a number of episodes where he has completely lost it and hurled furniture around - although he has not intentionally actually hurt anyone.

    After consultation with many professionals, we assumed this huge change was brought on by fear of SATs, transition to High school, and now also the onset of puberty. He is on medication for his ADHD, for sleep and now on an anti-psychotic drug which is supposed to be reducing his anxieties.

    He began at a mainstream High school last Sept but this has been unsuccessful. He started last week in a very small unit for a 6 week assessment period so that the Authority can work out a suitable long term setting. This has also been unsuccessful - and it seems unlikely that he will be allowed to continue there.

    I have no strategies left to deal with this, and neither, it seems, does anyone else. I have had to give up work as he spends more time at home than in school, and the knock on effect of these issues is affecting the whole family.

    His anxiety levels are consistently at a high level. He 'deals' with his anger/frustration/fear by screaming. He is incapable of seeing anyone else's point of view. Although he can be calmed down sometimes, it only takes a tiny issue to send him back into his uncontrolled behaviour. Of course, I appreciate some of these traits are down to his ASC, but strategies which have worked in the past are no longer successful.

    Does anyone have experience of dealing with anything like this? I really can't see a way forward. CAMHS appears to be clutching at straws and trialling ways of dealing with him but nothing seems to be having any effect.

    Thanks, and apologies for the long post.
  2. shinyshapter

    shinyshapter New commenter

    So sorry to hear of your son's anxieties. I can't imagine how tough this must be for you as his Mum.
    I don't really have any answers for you,although I do work with students with ASC - I'm no expert.
    If your son was in mainstream previously, I'm guessing he is fairly high functioning, would he see a counsellor to discuss his worries and plan some coping strategies? what about his environment - are there things that he does to self-calm? Does he have sensory needs?
    As a teacher, you know that it is common for students to have real issues with transition, if there are additional needs in the mix it's very complicated.
    I'm sure your CAMHS worker would have told you that expressing a desire to self harm is not a definite intention to do so.
    The behaviours described sound like he is expressing his inner turmoil by acting out (ie furniture thrown around) anger is often expressed when the true emotion is fear.
    I really hope you continue to get support, hang in there.
  3. circuskevin

    circuskevin Established commenter

    So ... what are his hobbies, interests?

    i once had a 9 year old autistic lad knock on my door and ask if I could teach him some magic. He learnt balloon modelling and stiltwalking too and became a proficient entertainer.

  4. keeleywickham

    keeleywickham New commenter

    Hi there! You don't mention the possibility of a special school? I teach in a school for children with MLD and we have a lot of kids who join us from mainstream after having a really tough time. He could still do a mainstream (ish) curriculum, I teach English GCSE to my little lot and they are doing extremely well. Remember a few things. 1) it is the responsibility of the local authority to educate your child so they need to take that responsibility seriously, they can't just pass the buck. 2) Adolescence is quite brutal for autistic children, mostly because the gulf between themselves and their peers can really open up exposing a lot of social difficulties. Also hormones can wreak havoc on an already overburdened brain which can add to the stress. You are not alone! There will definitely be local groups for ASD parents to chat things over, and probably too a youth group for ASD teens if you live in a big town.the National Autistic Society can be a godsend too and you can call them and ask for advice. There will be teachers out there who 'get' your son and schools like mine that are used to coping with challenging behaviour and who can help him feel happier and more content. My heart regularly breaks when I talk to my ex-mainstream students. WHo thought the neuro-typical world could be so brutal? I wish you all the success and hope you can get things sorted. Kxx
  5. jellycowfish

    jellycowfish Occasional commenter

    Thank you so much for your replies!

    So ... what are his hobbies, interests?

    He loves anything computer - based, trains, space, - his future career isn't what's worrying me. He is bright and will be able to find his niche somewhere. It's getting him through the next 6 years that's my problem.

    Hi there! You don't mention the possibility of a special school?

    He is currently at a small unit being assessed for a placement in a special school, but as the Authority doesn't have any suitable settings, I think it's going to be a fight to get them to pay for an independent setting locally which may be ok for him. His main problem now is that he can't deal with other pupils - he's been 1-1 since Oct half term. I was hoping this time in the unit would provide him with some coping strategies, but that hasn't been the case, and unfortunately when he finishes there, just after half term, we have the whole transition thing again when he moves to wherever his permanent setting will be. I know there are no magic wands - just wondered if there was anything else I could try.

    I'm guessing he is fairly high functioning, would he see a counsellor to discuss his worries and plan some coping strategies? what about his environment - are there things that he does to self-calm? Does he have sensory needs?

    He has been given a range of coping strategies but their successes are hit and miss, depending on how stressed he is. At home, he has a range of calming measures, but these can't always be replicated at school - and as he's more anxious at school anyway, calming takes a great deal longer.

    I think I need to accept this is going to take some time, and just take the support where I can get it.

    Thanks again.
  6. circuskevin

    circuskevin Established commenter

    Is he involved with any autistic groups?

    I spent Monday working for Autism West Midlands teaching circus skills to these type of kids.

    6-11 year olds in the morning and 12-18 year olds on the afternoon.

    These groups arrange various activities for the kids and give other family support.

    Something else for you to try?


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