test_contentimg

Feeling sad

Report content

Can anyone share good news/success stories with me please?


Our LO was placed with us over 3 years ago (he's 7 now) and after another 'chat' with school today, I feel things are getting worse instead of better. He is angry, hyper-alert and even the Head is concerned my son is going to struggle next term as the workload increases. I'm sad, worried and anxious for my son and increasingly despondent about his future.


I was so naïve in thinking love, security and time would be all it'd take to heal the damage and let my son thrive. I'm frustrated at myself for being deluded and becoming increasing resentful at bm for her neglect and abuse - none of which is helping.


I'd love to hear from parents who've 'turned a corner' or seen their input pay dividends. Really, I'm just looking for hope!


up
3 users have supported this.

Hi Wends.


If it's of any help I've found a massive difference between being at the 3 year point and 5 year point. Our AS also came to us at age 4 and it was probably around the 7 year old stage that we really began to see how much he struggled at school. Whilst things are far from perfect, the last year or so has been so much better at home and at school.


Two things that have made a big difference were post adoption support and an OT going into school and giving the school strategies to help him deal with day to day life in the classroom (he was also identified as have sensory difficulties) and probably, for my partner and I, our acceptance that things are different to how we imagined but can still be fun and our own version of "normal" family life. i'm also conscious that perhaps 8/9 is an easier age and we may struggle again with teenage years for example.


And, finally, finding other outlets outside school for him to have fun and increase his confidence (as he struggles so much academically) have been great. Horse-riding (and animals generally) and being a member of a very beta-football team (the alpha one with alphas parents was a disaster!) have made a huge difference.


I do know exactly how you feel and empathise - it's hard. But for us there has definitely been much more fun in the last year or so too.


A x


up
5 users have supported this.

Thanks so much A. Your story sounds quite similar and it's great to know that things have got better. I've got a meeting with SW next week and will see what additional support they can give school. Thanks for the tips re other outlets. I tend to get so hung up on school that I forget about these. He does go to Boys Brigade and I've never once had a complaint nor concern raised by them. Hubby used to horse-ride so I think this would be worth looking into. It's not something many of his classmates do so would be a massive confidence boost which he desperately needs.


up
7 users have supported this.

Things do tend to bed in about the 3 yr mark and you know much more the kind of underlying difficulties you are facing

I don't know how far away you are but check out the PAC courses that are available. You'll be able to get a lot of practical input from those.

My son really struggled at school from 9-11 but left with some GCSEs and went to college.

He now works at ASDA and really has stuck at his job and enjoys it.

Our adopted daughter did well at school up until she got to 13. She dropped out for a while but got educated via a military academy and then got to college with basic maths and English. She's not gone on so well with life, but is alive.

Keep going offering a positive educational experience and if the school are finding him tough, check out inspired foundations for their training in schools


up
3 users have supported this.

Hi Wends. My son came to us at 4 and I could have described him as being like yours at aged 7. He was still having mega tantrums at that age and was really worn out by school, where he tried to behave, but often let of steam by being silly or mischievous. he struggled with doing homework and could not sit still. He often ranted at me the whole way home from school and was sometimes physical.


He's 10 now, and is an amazing boy. I do have to say we are going through a period of real separation anxiety and he worries alot about a lot of things. He also has some 'ritualistic' behaviours, which are all about keeping our family safe. But his ability to tolerate school has improved markedly, partly because of his own efforts, but also because his small mixed school are very much able to cater to his needs and allow him the transitional and fidget objects that he needs. He still rants at me a bit after school and he shows off to his friends all the time.


What has helped (and is helping) us is pretty much what artichoke has said. We also have PAS and have input from an OT (hence all the paraphernalia at school!). He's bright, which really helps, as he has a good grasp of what's going on for him - but it's also a bit of a contributor to his anxieties. We're hoping the separation anxiety is a phase, although he'll probably always be an anxious person to some degree. But I was an anxious teen and young adult and I wish I'd had the strategies that he is being given now - they will set him up for life.

hx


up
4 users have supported this.

Hi, sorry you are finding things so tough.


I don't know that other people's experiences are going to be that relevant to be honest - so much depends on each child and what their potential is. Some children will have greater potential than others. So much depends on what the reasons for the child struggling are. Some of these are pretty fixed - foetal alcohol syndrome or a learning disability for example. Other problems can be helped, such as sensory issues.


I guess I would suggest that you get your son properly assessed to find out what his potential is. There are so many possibilities and so many different things that might help.


Will school involve their educational psychologist or their speech and language therapist for example? (Don't exclude speech and language because you think he speaks okay as they cover a lot more than that). Can you get a referral for Occupational Therapy? have you had any thoughts around conditions like adhd or autism, which could be screened for at CAMHS, along with help with behaviour if that's an issue?


Paediatricians could do assessments too - usually at your local hospital.


Then once you know what is possible, you will be in a better position to ask for the relevant help.


Good luck.


up
5 users have supported this.

Thanks everyone for your suggestions, advice and support. I guess I need to continue to work closely with school as I really don't think they have any idea about early trauma and the knock-on effects. A case of me educating them rather than the other way around! On your advice I also put a call into SW this afternoon and they're coming to see me next week.


Thanks again all of you x


up
3 users have supported this.

I wanted to say, I went through a phase where I was very angry about what had been done to my kids - particularly with my daughter in relation to possible mild FASD. But as time has gone on, I've just become more accepting of the situation. I actually think it's important to be angry and upset for them - you're the real, proper, loving, legal parent and through biology someone damaged your child in one or more ways - its a normal reaction. And being angry or upset for yourself is also a really normal thing - in a way your grieving for how things could have been for them. It's an expression of how much you love them. I know it might sound silly when you're watching your child suffer at school but make sure you take care of yourself too!


PS - I had to educate both my kids' schools - somehow, we turn our anger and upset into advocacy and action - and that makes us the amazing parents we are. xx


up
7 users have supported this.

Thanks Haven, these are lovely sentiments. You're right, I do grieve for everything my LO missed out on and how that's affected him. And I am (slowly) turning my anger into action! xx


up
4 users have supported this.

Haven - your post made me realise I had gone through that too - it was when she was very small - coming back from hospital appointments - for sight / SALT / failure to thrive - so fairly minor in the grand scheme of things - but effects that could be down to what happened to her with BPs - I remember feeling very angry and having to stop off in the park each time partly to calm down - that feeling did go - as you say you then become involved in a search for what will help and then you are starting to use that anger in a positive way. I do still become very angry over things that have happened but not directly related to BPs now (though still very connected with early experiences) - I can now feel some degree of empathy for them (one has passed away too so it is easy to feel for the very sad life she had) as time has passed


up
5 users have supported this.

Agree with Flosskirk but just wanted to add something


Today I have packed off my 12 year old on a residential camp with school. Its not the first camp, he goes regularly with Scouts, and went on residential trips with primary school. He is not the most academic child but has an excellent school report because he tries hard, and he will probably achieve 4 GCSEs. Five years ago he was in special school, working below national curriculum levels and was scared of his own shadow.

He has done exceptionally well, we have been incredibly fortunate with his schools and others we have met on our travels.


Things can change - with the right support.


I try not to think about what he missed out on before he came to me. I can't change that. We can change what happens in future. I have aspirations for him, they are probably not what people in non adoption land think of as aspirations, but they are realistic for him.


up
6 users have supported this.

Hi, my 2 are a bit younger so I can't comment on this stage of school, but I just wondered about out of school activities. I know it's not suitable for everyone but my son does karate and I have found it really great for his confidence. They move through the belts relatively quickly at first, which gives them a real sense of pride and achievement. I have found the teacher is very good at managing behaviour positively and has a good understanding of children with different needs, as I think karate is often suggested as an activity to help children with certain needs. Also my son has taken his belt and certificate in to show at school, where he never gets any kind of certificate usually, so this has boosted him with his teacher and peers.

I hope he does get through this and that you get the support you need.


up
4 users have supported this.

Hi Wends

Does he have an EHCP? Really helps and the hours can vary i.e. 2/3 hrs of support a day to full time. It takes a while to apply for but a god send for adopted kids who can't concentrate/manage school.


We have similar days at school - but up and down. Think of the ups when you are low.


yes keep going with any family/outside school clubs as everyone has suggested and celebrate when they go well!


And above all treat yourself......


up
2 users have supported this.

Hi Wends

Please don't beat yourself up over your initial thoughts on adoption i.e. love and security as we've all been their in one form or another! My son is 8 and struggling at school and I've bee their as most have where your called in from the playground on an almost daily basis.Best thing you have done though is to contact sw as they can put you in contact with post adoption support and thus the help your son needs.It was the best thing we did for our son though we have a long way to go with him re school....


Don't beat yourself up over this as your doing all you can x


Regards

Westi


up
2 users have supported this.

Thanks again everyone. If he could get 2-3 hours one-to-one or even small group support at school it would make all the difference. School tell me this is not possible and 1 hour a week (!) is all that's available but I hope SW can persuade otherwise. And yes, everyone is right about 'free time'. AS is going camping with daddy this weekend, which they will both love, and I intend putting my feet up with a bottle of fizz, large bag of Percy Pigs and a few episodes of First Dates!! xx


up
6 users have supported this.

So important to be supportive partners as it benefits both yourselves and your child x

Enjoy first dates! my guilty sin is masterchef USA x


up
2 users have supported this.

I would be asking school what they are spending the pupil premium money on if they can only provide 1 hour a week


up
2 users have supported this.

Hi Heavensent, unfortunately we don't have Pupil Premium in Scotland. They are looking to introduce Pupil Equity but it will only be provided to schools in the most deprived areas and even then only to children in P1-P3 who are eligible for free school meals. Wouldn't it be great if there was a national, straightforward, no-need-to-apply fund available for ALL adopted children to be used as/when/how required? We live in hope......!


up
1 user has supported this.

Sadly, like you we are in Scotland and there is no PPP and very little understanding of the needs of adoptive children. I have had to educate all our schools with varying levels of success. However on top of this education in Scotland is currently in crisis and what I'm hearing from parents of ASN kids across the board, is that support is being cut. Support for my AS was withdrawn without notice or consultation in January and he's had a really rough time of it since. SW and Ed Psych are supportive of us but still we have had no luck in reinstating stuff (and its not even stuff that costs, just ways of dealing with him when stressed) and are being constantly stonewalled. We are now looking at alternatives for him, but as he's older now there are more options.


up
1 user has supported this.

Thanks Bop, you've reiterated what school told me so at least I know it's not just them! My son is in a class of >30 and I know he's not the only child needs support. The situation is really quite shocking and without getting political, Scottish Parliament need to get their priorities right !!


up
Be the first user to support this

Our school in Scotland has consulted with parents about how to use the Pupil Equity Funding (and funnily enough, I think they got more answers from the middle class mums!). Might be worth finding out what is going to be done/what it is used for at yours. Although the funding is based on poverty figures, I very much think our kids can be included in this, with the right arguments.


http://www.gov.scot/Topics/Education/Schools/Raisingeducationalattainmen...


"What about school pupils who won’t receive this support from Pupil Equity Funding? What are we doing for them?


Although the Pupil Equity Funding must help to support children registered for free school meals, Headteachers can use their judgement to include additional children as part of the school’s approach to help pupils affected by poverty.


Pupil Equity Funding is additional funding, on top of the existing almost £4.5 billion invested in school education annually. Through the Scottish Attainment Challenge we are also supporting the Challenge Authorities and Schools Programme from a separate funding stream which will continue in 2017/18. "


I do wonder whether there's something about your school's motivation to help your AC. I moved my daughter to a different school because at the time, 4 1/2 years ago, they were just not interested in helping her despite all my protestations and 'education' I gave them. It's actually the same school as my son goes to now and who we both love and are proactively helping him - it's amazing what a change of Headteacher will do!


You might also find this of interest - was passed on to me from a friend. In East Lothian, but might be useful to show your school.
https://www.celcis.org/knowledge-bank/search-bank/blog/2017/05/relations...


up
Be the first user to support this

Thanks very much Haven. I have a meeting with SW this afternoon and am then going to request a meeting with school to find out how they intend to support AS as he goes into p4 after the summer. Worst case scenario I will have no hesitation in moving him to a different school!


up
1 user has supported this.