Mother Needs Help For Self-Harming Son

I have just been contacted through this site by Sharon, a mother from Kent, whose son has been excluded from school following incidents of self-harming.

She writes, “My ADHD, ASD, Dyslexic, self-harming son, has just been excluded from school, because they don’t think Luke trying to strangle himself in class or him regularly saying he wants to kill himself, is a good role model for the other pupils. Their answer, discriminate (against) Luke for his disability. He needs support, not rejection and that’s all this exclusion is to him, rejection!”

This is apparently the second time Luke’s school has excluded him. His mother, Sharon, believes it is not Luke’s fault but it is because the staff in his mainstream school are not trained to deal with ADHD or Autistic Spectrum children.

Sharon is at her wits end. She says, among other self-harming incidents, her son has also tried to hang himself in the school’s P.E. cupboard. I have recommended that she contact SOS!SEN. Luke has been refused a Statutory Assessment Kent LEA and his parents have appealed to the SENDIST tribunal, which will be heard later this year.

Sharon says, “It looks like Luke will not have a secondary school to go to this year. The tribunal is only for a Statutory Assessment, then we need to go through the whole process yet again for a statement! We have already been to CAMHS for over a year now. No counselling, he was put on a waiting list for a ASD assessment, but there was a 13 month waiting list for that. The last time we went to CAMHS a new Dr. saw Luke and we now have a diagnosis of ADHD & ASD tendencies. Were awaiting a dyslexia test, and counselling for the self harming, which is quite evident to everyone, but they chose to ignore it, or put it down to bad parenting!”

Sharon says that Luke’s primary school failed to get him the help he needed and his problems are now worse as a result. I don’t know all the details of Luke’s case but it certainly seems to be an impossible situation to be in. However, it isn’t sadly, unique. Why is it that children in severe need of help with psychological problems are so often failed by those professionals around them?

I send my best wishes to Sharon and hope she manages to get the education and counselling for Luke that he deserves. If anyone reading this can offer free legal or medical advice to sharon, please contact me at info@specialneedsjungle.co.uk or make a comment below. Thank you.

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14 Comments

  1. Lorraine

     /  May 17, 2009

    Gosh, that is so awful. My heart goes out to both of them. My husband is a solicitor and I shall ask him but this sounds a pretty specialised thing to me so not sure if he can help. I’ll get back later in the day.

    Reply
    • Sharon

       /  May 17, 2009

      Any legal advice that he can give me please, would be great fully received. I do have a solicitor, for the SENDIST part, and I believe an IPSEA person can represent me at the tribunal But I also intend taking Legal Action against the KCC for neglect and discrimination. That would have to be on legal aid. Thank you for your comment, it is nice to know that someone actually cares about my child and myself. Thank you X

      Reply
  2. Special Needs Mum

     /  May 17, 2009

    Thanks Lorraine. If anyone else can help too, please get in touch. I do not think Sharon has the resources to engage legal or private medical help and there is no legal aid for these cases.

    Reply
  3. Clare

     /  May 17, 2009

    Please could I help this Mother? the child is clearly very depressed , I have people who were involved with my Son , when he was depressed about his severe Dyslexia. Please pass my telephone number on to this lady, I can put her in touch with some expert people who could help her and her Son during this difficult time. If Money is a problem, Legal Aid is available

    Regards, Clare

    Reply
    • Sharon

       /  May 17, 2009

      Hi thanks Clare, The self harming comes from a lack of understanding, and the ability to communicate what is going on in his head. He is not actually depressed. The self harming is a way to release the emotional pain through inflicting physical pain, which can then be controlled by himself. It’s a way he takes control over his emotion. I understand the self harming is part of the Autistic traits.

      Reply
  4. I can only offer advice from the states-I don’t know the way things are done over there..She needs backing from a professional-over here we have I.E.P.s (individual education plans) They cover everything from academics to behavior. She might have to pay out of pocket for a psych evaluation..What are your education laws…over here a child can not be denied access to public education-which helps when you are fighting for things. Do you have the same law…I am woefully ignorant..If I had a better grasp, I might have better advice.

    Reply
    • Sharon

       /  May 17, 2009

      My son has had all the usual IEP’s and Pastoral Supports for the last 3-4 years. None of them do any good, or have helped at all. (I think that’s probably because I am in Kent!) I have had a Psychological report done, which I had to pay for, but the Authorities here just don’t want to know any special needs. Probably because the KCC lost £50 million in Icelandic bank accounts. That would explain a few things!

      Reply
  5. Clare

     /  May 17, 2009

    Legal Aid is available for the Specialist Educational Lawyer who then asks for the other Agencies to be involved.

    Reply
  6. Clare

     /  May 17, 2009

    I have been through similar , and the Sun now shines for my Son. I have telephoned Tania , though she is out presently , though have left a message.

    I think its good this lady’s Son is not in School, at least his Mother will be able to keep a close eye on him while the correct people are contacted to help this very depressed child. My son was out of School for a year , now he attends the correct School and has never looked back since the day he started. Will contact as soon as I have spoken to Tania . Take care, the Sun will shine again, Im sure of this.

    Reply
    • Sharon

       /  May 17, 2009

      Will await to hear from you! Thanks X

      Reply
      • Special Needs Mum

         /  May 17, 2009

        Sharon – Have emailed you Clare’s number, she has been through the whole process before and is something of an expert in the whole thing; you’re in good hands! – Let us know how you get on. Tania x

  7. Clare

     /  May 17, 2009

    Sorry Sharon , didnt mean to speak across you, I scanned read all this before I went out to get a new tyre on my car, didnt realise you are the Mother. Chat soon Regards,
    Clare

    Reply
    • Sharon

       /  May 17, 2009

      Hi Clare will call you as soon as my son is out of ear shot, i don’t talk in front of him! Thanks Sharon

      Reply
  8. Clare

     /  May 17, 2009

    Great Sharon , Look forward to hearing from you. Regards, Clare

    Reply

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